National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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:

MAKE A UNIQUE AND LONG PASSWORDThe 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 are easy to remember. Make sure you use more letters than numbers. Also include symbols [email protected]#$%^&*?>.

BE CAUTIOUS OF WIFI HOTSPOTS 

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. 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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Federal Trade Commission: Cybersecurity Basics https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/small-businesses/cybersecurity/basics

Federal Bureau of Investigation: Cybersecurity Awareness 

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – FBIhttps://www.fbi.gov › news › stories › national-cyberse…

Consumer Protection: Consumer Assistance

Consumer Assistance Topics – Cybersecurity – FDIChttps://www.fdic.gov › resources › consumers › cyberse…

Get Your Free Copy of these Cybersecurity Awareness Tips here.