You might've heard of pumpkin spice lattes taking over October, but there's another reason to celebrate this month - it's the 20th anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month! This year’s theme, “Securing Our World” is a coordinated effort nationwide to educating everyone on staying safe online. Here are four key practices that can help you digitally protect yourself:
Utilizing a Password Manager
Password managers are like digital bodyguards that use strong encryption to protect your passwords. Once you set a strong master password the password manager stores, generates and fills in your passwords automatically. Many password managers offer free and paid versions.
Enabling Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor Authentication (MFA goes beyond the basic password, introducing an extra layer of security. Also known as two-step verification, the process requires two ways of proving your identity and can be used to protect your online account(s).This added layer serves as a potent defense, effectively thwarting unauthorized access, even if your password is somehow compromised. Related: Multi-Factor Authentication Coming to All Virginia529 Accounts
Being Vigilant Against Phishing Attempts
Phishing attempts (pretending to be someone trustworthy, like a bank or a reputable company) are still one of the top techniques cybercriminals employ to trick people and steal their personal information, such as passwords or credit card details. Be cautious and double-check the legitimacy of messages and websites to avoid falling for phishing scams. Detecting phishing attempts and reporting them are essential actions in safeguarding not only ourselves but also those around us.
Keeping Your Tech Safe through Regular and Automatic Updates
The world of cyber threats is always changing, and those who want to exploit your software are constantly on the prowl. To stay ahead of these dangers, it's important to update your devices and software on a regular basis. Enabling automatic updates ensures that your tech stays up to date with the latest security improvements, shielding you from potential vulnerabilities.
The 20th anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a milestone that serves as a timely reminder to be safe and responsible when online. Remember to empower yourself with these crucial cybersecurity practices, report phishing scams, and keep your devices up to date. You're not just protecting yourself; you're helping to "Secure Our World.”