October is Cyber Security Month.
Threats to technology and confidential data have become more commonplace. To help individuals protect themselves online, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) have used Cybersecurity Month as an opportunity to raise cybersecurity awareness.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month Theme:
See Yourself in Cyber
- For individuals and families, we encourage you to: See Yourself taking action to stay safe online.
Things You Can Do:
- Think Before You Click: Recognize and Report Phishing: If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.
- Update Your Software: Don't delay -- If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
- Use Strong Passwords: Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A passwords manager will encrypt passwords securing them for you!
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): You need more than a password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.
- Double your login protection: Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure you are the only person who has access to your account. Use it for email, banking, social media and any other service that requires logging in.
- Shake up your passphrase protocol: Consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible. Get creative and customize your standard passphrase for different sites, which can prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to these accounts and protect you in the event of a breach.
- If you connect, you must protect: Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, gaming or other network devices, the best defense against viruses and malware is to update to the latest security software, web browser and operating systems.
- Sign up for automatic updates, if you can, and protect your devices with antivirus software.
- Play hard to get with strangers: Cybercriminals use phishing tactics, hoping to fool their victims. If you’re unsure who an email or message is from - even if the details appear accurate - or if the email looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email. When available use the “junk” or “block” option to no longer receive messages from a particular sender.
- Stay protected while connected: Before you connect to any public Wi-Fi, be certain to confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate. If you do use an unsecured public access point, practice good cyber hygiene by avoiding sensitive activities (e.g., banking) that require passphrases or credit card numbers. Your personal hotspot is a safer alternative to free Wi-Fi.
- Only use sites that begin with “https://” when shopping or banking online.