- Published: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This week, the focus is on the importance of putting cybersecurity first.
Why is cybersecurity important? Because it's everyone's responsibility. We are all connected and online. Taking the first steps to ensure safety of our data can keep us safe.
Some tips for being safe online:
- Use strong passwords. Use a passphrase of at least 15 characters, the longer the stronger. Passphrases are harder to hack and easier to remember.
- Use separate passphrases for everything. If you use the same passphrase for different sites and one gets breached, then your login information is at risk on all of them.
- Use caution to avoid oversharing on social media. Divulging too much personal information creates an opportunity for the cyber crook and can lead to stalking, credential theft and identity theft.
- Be wary of emails. Scrutinize the sender, the links and attachments. Never divulge personal information through an email.
- Be careful how you use public wi-fi. Don't do banking or shopping or share confidential data without the use of a VPN for protection.
- Use https:// websites. Look for the green lock in the address bar.
- Keep a clean machine. By keeping your device and apps up-to-date, you help to protect against vulnerabilities.
- Check your privacy settings on your device and apps.
- When purchasing hardware/software, ensure that default configurations are changed. Check reviews and do your research prior to purchasing. Cybersecurity should be a priority of the manufacturer, but sometimes the rush to market takes precedence.
- Participate in cybersecurity awareness programs.
As we near the end of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, remember to continue security best practices every day. #BeCyberSmart