October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The overarching message this year, “If you Connect it, Protect it,” dives into the importance of keeping connected devices safe and secure from outside influences.
Here are a few quick tips to help you #BeCyberSmart at home or at work:
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds a second check to verify your identity when logging in to one of your accounts. By requiring multiple methods of authentication, your account is further protected from being compromised, even if a “bad actor” (someone that maliciously attacks and infiltrates your systems) hijacks your password. In this way, MFAs make it more difficult for password cracking tools to enable attackers to break into accounts.
Use strong passphrases/password manager
This may seem obvious, but all too often securing strong passphrases/password managers is overlooked. People spending more time online during the pandemic has contributed to more “bad actors” prowling for accounts to attack. Using long, complex, and unique passwords is a good way to stop your account from being hacked, and an easy way of keeping track and remembering your passwords is by using a password manager.
Perform software updates
When a device prompts that it is time to update the software, it may be tempting to click postpone, and ignore the message. However, having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system on devices is one of the best defenses against online threats. So, don’t wait—update.
Check your settings
Be diligent. Double check your privacy and security settings, and be aware who can access your documents. This extends from Google docs, to Zoom calls, and beyond. For meetings on Zoom, for example, create passwords so only those invited to the session can attend, and restrict who can share their screen or files with the rest of the attendees.
For additional information on how to keep yourself protected, visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance website.