As our online presence continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize cybersecurity awareness. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks and can strike at any time, making our personal and financial information vulnerable. October is the perfect time to increase our vigilance as it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In this blog, we’ll focus on four key behaviors that you can implement quickly and easily to safeguard against cyber threats.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication or MFA strengthens your online security by requiring additional authentication beyond your password. This action creates a two-step authentication process that decreases the likelihood of attackers gaining access to your accounts. MFA options can vary across websites, apps, and devices, including biometric factors like fingerprints and facial recognition, authentication apps, hardware keys, and SMS codes. This month, enable MFA on your email accounts, financial accounts, social media, and other essential online platforms.
Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
Strong passwords make it challenging for hackers to guess or brute force your log-in credentials. A strong password contains upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters and is at least twelve characters long. Suppose it’s difficult to remember strong passwords for all your different accounts. In that case, you can use a password manager such as LastPass, 1Password, or Bitwarden, which stores all your passwords securely and lets you generate and autofill strong passwords. Set up your password manager this month, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your online accounts have added layer of security.
Updating your software, applications, and devices regularly is essential for cybersecurity because it patches vulnerabilities and bugs that might have been exploited by hackers. Ensure your operating system, browser, antivirus, and other software are up-to-date by enabling automatic updates on your devices. This simple measure can prevent malicious activities, such as malware and ransomware, from infecting your devices, stealing your data, and locking you out of your accounts.
Recognize and Report Phishing
Phishing is a common cyber attack in which criminals use emails, texts, or instant messages to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information or downloading malicious attachments or links. Phishing emails often appear legitimate, using familiar logos, language, and threats or incentives to prompt you to act. This month, learn how to spot phishing emails by checking if the sender is credible, hovering over links to see if they’re suspicious, and avoiding emails that emphasize urgency or ask for sensitive information. If you receive a phishing email, report it to your email provider or company, and delete it from your inbox and trash.
By implementing these key cybersecurity behaviors, you can reduce the risk of cyber attacks on your family, finances, and identity. October is the perfect time to increase your cybersecurity awareness, but these behaviors should be practiced year-round. Don’t wait until it’s too late; take action today to safeguard your online security and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.