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NYC to Offer Free Cybersecurity Tool to Public

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

While New York City has always had to fight against having an image as a crime riddled urban center, the government has taken steps to ensure that at least the city's residents and visitors are a little bit safer online.

NYC has launched a free cybersecurity app that hopes to help residents stay protected, particularly while on mobile devices and public wifi. The app, called NYC Secure, will help alert users to online threats such as malicious websites, sketchy wifi networks, and more. However, the app does require users to take an active role in listening to the app's recommendations.

Is an App Enough?

As the big city has stated, the app alone won't keep people safe, particularly as online threats come in many forms and hackers continue to get savvier and savvier. In addition to the app, the city will be beefing up its own city-owned wifi. And while often online security comes at the cost of privacy, the new security measures will not use or store any personally identifiable information.

NYC's mayor warned that New Yorkers are not safe online, and that in the "new reality" it's the government's job to ensure citizens are safe online. As noted by Reuters, the program was announced within days of the news about the city of Atlanta being targeted in a major ransomware attack that basically stopped the city's government. The NYC program will cost around $5 million annually.

How Much Cybersecurity Do You Need?

Selecting the right level of digital security involves a balancing act between safety and annoyance. Lawyers and law firms occupy an odd category when it comes to online security, as most of the data seems superfluous to disinterested third parties, yet ethical duties require heightened security precautions compared to lay individuals.

For the most part though, the two most important aspects of cybersecurity for law firms is training and implementations. If members of your firm don't know how to use cybersecurity features, which usually occurs when there has been insufficient training, then your firm is just that much more likely to get hacked.

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