It’s Easy to Stay Safe Online – October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Held each year since 2004, the goal is to educate the public on cybersecurity ...

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Held each year since 2004, the goal is to educate the public on cybersecurity awareness and best practices. This year’s overarching theme is “See Yourself in Cyber.” With a few quick tips, you can be on your way to staying safe online.

Watch Out for Phishing

Through malicious attachments or links, an attacker pretends to be a trusted source to obtain sensitive information, such as passwords, banking information, or personally identifiable details. It is one of the most popular tactics cybercriminals use today. Phishing can be detected by grammar and spelling errors, a sense of urgency and inconsistencies in email addresses, links or domains. If you receive a phishing email, don’t click on any links! Just report the phish, block the sender and delete the message.

Update Your Passwords and Use a Password Manager

Strong passwords can protect you from hacking and malware attacks. You also want to make sure you don’t use passwords on more than one account. Different and unique passwords make it harder for someone to access your accounts. 35% of people never change their passwords and only do so if they’re prompted to. Give yourself an easy, immediate security boost by regularly changing your passwords. Password cracking is a go-to tactic for cybercriminals to access your sensitive information.

Instead of being a “password repeater,” which makes it easy for criminals to hack multiple accounts, you should use a password manager. Using a password manager allows you to securely store all your unique passwords in one place. They’re easy to use and are a quick and effective way to help you be more secure online.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Paired with strong passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA) helps keep your accounts protected. MFA is the process of using a second method to verify your identity when logging into an account. This is an essential cybersecurity tool that adds an extra layer of security. Even the strongest passwords can be guessed or stolen. Using MFA for important accounts, such as online banking, email and social media, will help keep you protected. According to Microsoft, 99.9% of cyberattacks can be blocked with multi-factor authentication, which makes it a must when securing your devices and accounts.

Activate Automatic Updates

Cybersecurity attacks can also be prevented by keeping your devices and software up-to-date. For example, Apple users were urged to install the latest update on their devices this past August to help combat hacking. Updates address vulnerabilities in software and help you stay one step ahead of criminals. Having automatic updates enabled means you don't have to worry about them, but you should periodically check if there are any available.

We encourage you to implement these best practices to help enhance your own cybersecurity. After all, each of us has a role to play in securing our connected world. Take action to #BeCyberSmart!

You can learn more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month at

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