Cyber Security is a Team Sport: Everyone has a role to play in helping to ensure online safety

October 1, 2018

Need to pay a bill? Just click. Want to purchase a new appliance? Click. Send a party invite to a group? Click. The forward march of online technology continues to make our lives easier and free up more time for other activities. But with increased convenience comes increased risk of identity theft and an online attack on your finances and other confidential information. We all play a crucial role in making sure that our online experience is as secure as possible. It’s a good idea to use some of the extra time that online technology allows to take some simple, proactive steps to help ensure that you’re doing all you can to keep you, your family and your workplace safe online.

Raise your password game

Consider taking your passwords to the next level. Creating longer passwords that incorporate a combination of special characters, numbers, upper case AND lower case letters can increase the time a hacker needs to break them by up to 10 years. Additionally, avoid the temptation to use the same password for every log in. Use different passwords for different websites and apps for an extra layer of security.

Don’t get hooked by fraudulent emails

“Phishing” – fraudulent emails that claim to be from reputable companies – is a popular method cyber attackers use to acquire confidential and sensitive personal information. These fake emails will try to get you to reveal personal information like credit card numbers, passwords and the like. Beware of opening suspicious emails that request personal info or invite you to click unknown links, and always think before you click.

Be an MVP with MFA

Most cyber-attacks could be prevented by using multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a set of steps for app and website logins which helps confirm that you are really you. MFA methods typically consist of two or more of: something you have, something you know and something you are. Implementing MFA helps reduce the chance of an attacker gaining access to your social media, bank accounts and other confidential resources. For more info on setting up MFA, visit www.twofactorauth.org.

Be “socially” responsible

Be mindful of the amount of personal information you post on social media apps and sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, especially posts that share that you’re on vacation or away from home. And check your social media settings to make sure you’re only sharing what you want with who you want.

This National Cyber Security Awareness Month, take some time to step up your safety game and make sure your online experience is as secure as possible. By ensuring your safety, you’re helping to ensure the safety of your family, your workplace and your community, too. After all, cyber security is a team sport.