National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity. This month, organizations all around the country have been stepping up to provide helpful advice to prevent cybercrime and we would like to do our part as well.
Whether we realize it or not, the internet touches almost all aspects of daily life. Businesses and private users alike are in a constant battle with online threats that demand attention. If it’s been awhile since you’ve reviewed your own security practices, October is the perfect month for a checkup. In the meantime, below you will find a few tips for online security.
As cybercrime campaigns become more advanced one of the best precautions is to enable two (or more) factor authentication on all of your critical services. Two-factor authentication requires a user to confirm two pieces of information before logging into an account. This is usually accomplished by requiring a password and a unique security code that will be sent to a user’s phone. Even if a hacker discovers a user’s password, they are unable to break into the account. While two-factor authentication does increase the complexity of accessing your own accounts, it greatly reduces the chances of account theft.
The internet is vast but it’s easier to search than you may realize. Anything you post to social media; be it Facebook, Twitter or Reddit is in the public domain. You may not think that your private life is valuable to hackers but every piece of information you share gives them leverage to find a weakness.
While public WiFi is convenient, it should never be trusted when it comes to secure data or accessing private information. Public WiFi is just that, public; anyone could potentially snatch or observe your data as it is transmitted.
We’ve said it before but phishing scams are among the most common attack vectors for online criminals. If you are sent a notification that is even slightly unusually, pay close attention to the hyperlinks and be on the lookout for look-alikes. An “O” can be easily replaced by a “0” and lead you to a wholly different and dangerous website. When in doubt, the best thing you can do is to manually type in the URL of a website and check your account from there.
Be safe this October and if something looks suspicious, don’t be afraid to report it to your IT provider.