October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Cybersecurity applies to the measures taken to protect a computer or computer system (as on the Internet) against unauthorized access or attack.
Here we at Making Sense of Security provide a few simple measures to help you stay safe in the digital world.
BASIC CYBERSECURITY BEST PRACTICES:
Be sure to follow these practices consistently to ensure continued security for your data.
MAKE A UNIQUE AND LONG PASSWORD
The longer your password, the more complex it can become for hackers to crack.
A strong password is at least 12 characters long. Focus on multiple characters that you like to think about and that is easy to remember.
Make sure you use more letters than numbers. Also include symbols !@#$%^&*?>.
Public wireless networks and hotspots are insecure, which means that anyone may see what you’re doing on your laptop or smartphone while you’re connected.
BE CAUTIOUS OF WIFI HOTSPOTS
Avoid logging in to important accounts like email and financial services while using public WiFi. If you require a more secure connection, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot.
BACKUP YOUR DATA
Make an electronic copy of your valuable work, music, images, and other digital information, and keep it secure.
If you have a backup of your data and your device is infected with ransomware or other cyber dangers, you can restore it from the backup.
When backing up your data, follow the 3-2-1 rule. The norm is to preserve at least three (3) copies of your data and two (2) backup copies on different storage media, one (1) of which should be kept offshore.
PASSWORDS ARE NEVER ENOUGH
Use 2-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA). These can be biometrics, security keys, or a unique, one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Use these whenever offered.
OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
When you create a new account, download a new app, or obtain a new device, make sure the privacy and security settings are set to your comfort level for sharing information.
Check these settings on a regular basis (at least once a year) to ensure they are still adjusted to your liking.
KEEP YOUR COMPUTER CLEAN
To limit the risk of infection from ransomware and malware, keep all software on internet-connected devices up to date, including personal computers, cellphones, and tablets.
Set your devices to update automatically or inform you when a new version is available.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
Cyber thieves can easily obtain your sensitive information by clicking on links in emails, tweets, texts, postings, social media communications, and online advertisements.
Be cautious about clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from someone you don’t know or that you didn’t expect. Simply put, do not trust links.
BE CAREFUL SHARING
Before you post information about yourself or others on the internet, think twice. Consider what a post discloses, who might view it, and how you or others might be affected.
To restrict how much of your own personal information you give online, consider adopting an alternate persona to use for online profiles.
Federal Trade Commission: Cybersecurity Basics https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/small-businesses/cybersecurity/basics
Federal Bureau of Investigation: Cybersecurity Awareness
Consumer Protection: Consumer Assistance
Get Your Free Copy of these Cybersecurity Awareness Tips here.
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