National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This is a month-long celebration with security professionals as well as an educational time for all. Online safety is a shared responsibility. Below are some things you can do to help protect yourself online.

Social Media

Do you want the whole world to see that post? Lock down your social media platforms and be careful what you share. Criminals often monitor the social media accounts of their targets, looking for vacation pictures or other signs that you are not home.

Passwords

Every day systems are breached, often harvesting usernames and passwords for accounts. Because of this it is best to use different passwords for each account. In the event one is breached, the rest of your accounts are safe. To aid in this you can use a password vault to remember the passwords for you, while only needing to remember the password for the vault. There are several to choose from, from free options to paid, that offer different features. Just be sure that the vault is well known and secure.

When choosing passwords for accounts, assuming you are not using a password generator in a vault, the best practice is to take a sentence and turn it into a password. A sentence is easy to remember, but even using just the first letter of each word creates a random string that is hard to guess. “I love grandma, she makes the best cookies in the world!” could be changed to iLg,smtbCitW! Or even “I<3G,smtbCintW! To make it a bit more secure. You should use a sentence that is important to you, but not a common one like those found in books or poetry. The longer the password, the better.

Email

Before you send that email, ask yourself “Would I want this email sent on a postcard around the world?” If not, then use a secure messaging service instead of a basic email account.

 

For a full list of security resources including more cyber security tips click here.