Be Cyber Smart

The theme for Week 1 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month is

Be Cyber Smart.

Being cyber smart means getting familiar with cyber basics.

When we are more connected than ever, being “cyber smart” is super important. This year we’ve already seen the number of attacks and breaches skyrocket, including the SolarWinds and Kaseya breaches and high-profile attacks on the Colonial Pipeline and critical infrastructure. What do these recent breaches teach us? Cyberattacks are becoming more evolved and sophisticated with new cybercriminals popping up daily.

Luckily, there are several steps that everyone can take to reduce their risk and stay one step ahead of the bad guys. Here’s a few quick tips to get you started.

Enable MFA

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds a necessary second check to verify your identity when logging into your account. By requiring multiple methods of authentication, your account is further protected even if the bad guy knows your password. You can use MFA by entering a code from your authentication app, a text message, or an email message. You might also see MFA referred to as Two Factor Authentication (2FA).

Use a password manager

Too often, using strong passwords and a password manager is overlooked. People spending more time online during the pandemic has contributed to cybercriminals trolling for accounts to attack. Using long, complex, and unique passwords is a good way to stop your account from being hacked. An easy way to track and remember your passwords is to use a password manager.

Perform software updates

When a device says it’s time to update the software… DO IT! It may be tempting to simply click postpone, and ignore the message. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system on your devices is one of the best defenses against online threats. So, don’t wait - update.

Do your research

A good way to stay safe online is to do some research before downloading any new apps on your device. Before downloading, check to see who created the app, what the user reviews say, and if there are any articles published online about the app’s privacy and security features. If the apps needs too much access to your device, then that’s a good sign that you’ll want to skip that app.

Check your settings

Double check your privacy and security settings, and be aware who can access your documents. Think social media, Google docs, Zoom calls, and beyond.

Being cyber smart and actively managing your online presence is the best way to protect yourself and others from cyberattacks. No single tip is foolproof, but combined, they can make a real difference for controlling your cybersecurity and online presence. By taking preventive measures and making cybersecurity a habit, you can decrease your odds of being hacked - and prevent lost time and money, and well… annoyance.

Do you want more information on creating strong passwords or MFA or something else? Head over to my Cybersecurity Awareness Month freebies page and request access to 10 information sheets that will help you Be Cyber Smart and secure your business and online presences. Hurry, they're only available in October.


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