Technology is a vital part of our lives, but just like in any other facet of life, it is important to take precautions to protect your safety. Though a threat to your cybersecurity does not put you in physical harm, it can still cause significant damage. In honor of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are five tips to help you be cyber smart and stay cyber safe.
Use Passwords Effectively
Don’t use all the same passwords for all of your devices. Change factory-set passwords provided by the manufacturer. Make your passwords complex. Change your password often to help curtail hackers.
Never Give Out Personal Information
Never give out log-in, password or other personal information in an email, over the phone, or for any other reason unless you are the one contacting the company directly via the verified phone number or other trusted method of contact.
Use Public Wi-Fi With Caution
Public and home Wi-Fi connections are not always secure. Avoid logging into personal accounts, like email and financial sites when you do not recognize the connections. If you must connect to public Wi-Fi, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or personal hotspot.
Beware Unknown Senders
Tips for spotting phishers and hackers:
- They often disguise themselves as someone you know.
- They offer a financial reward, threaten you or claim to need help.
- They ask for your personal info.
- They want you to download a file or click a link.
If it Seems ‘Phishy,’ it Probably is
Sometimes someone you know has become a victim of a phisher/hacker. In an attempt to hack your account, this phisher/ hacker may use your friend’s (social media or email) account to contact you. Their messages will often contain requests for money, personal information, or prompt you to click a link.
By increasing awareness and enhancing understanding of basic cybersecurity practices, we can all work together to combat cyberthreats. The human element is often the biggest cybersecurity risk. Each of us has a critical role to play to ensure the security of our personal and professional data. For more information on what you can do to protect your cyber presence visit staysafeonline.org.