No matter what time of year, it’s important to take action to keep ourselves and others safe online, whether it’s backing up data, securing your passwords, and more.
Take a look at these cybersecurity holidays that highlight important ways to stay safe. And remember to mark them on your calendar!
2021 Cybersecurity Awareness Holidays
28 January - Data Privacy Day
The National Cybersecurity Alliance organizes ‘Data Privacy Day’ to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust. Individuals and organizations of all sizes are invited to become Privacy Day Champions by getting involved in the day’s activities and sharing the message across social media.
However, the focus on respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust, shouldn’t really be a once-a-year event. This is why the Bitwarden password manager has been developed to empower individuals to take responsibility for online security the year-round with tools such as Personal Vaults, end-to-end encryption, and secure text and file sharing.
9 February - Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day focuses on making the Internet a safer place for children by teaching them about online security. It’s never too early to learn online security best practices and some of the topics covered include phishing, sharing information, and recognizing warning signs. Their password advice includes:
“Weak passwords make it easier and faster for someone to gain access to your online accounts or get control of your device – giving them a route to your personal information. For a strong password, national guidance recommends using three random words (e.g., bottlegaragepylons): Consider paying for your child to access a password manager. Encourage them to have a separate password for their email account. Ensure the whole family uses two-factor authentication where possible.”
31 March - World Backup Day
World Backup Day encourages people around the world to learn about the increasing role of data and the importance of regular backups. Many people are still working from home because of the pandemic and are without the regular backups and network connection that an on-premises business would have. This makes it even more critical than ever to protect data by backing it up regularly.
Indeed, since the start of the pandemic, IT leaders in the UK and US have reported an increase in data outages (43%), human error tampering data (40%), phishing (28%), malware (25%) and ransomware attacks (18%). Therefore, World Backup Day calls everyone to backup data to a detachable drive or to the cloud, and then put in a system for regular data backups thereafter.
7 May - World Password Day
As the name suggests, World Password Day is a day intended to get people thinking about personal password strategies and taking action. A World Password Day survey found that although many people are aware of password best practices, work still remains to convert that awareness into action. Other takeaways from the survey include:
- 85% of respondents claim they reuse passwords for multiple sites
- “My memory” was the most frequent response to “How do manage passwords?”
- The second most popular response was “pen and paper”, followed by “computer docs”.
- More than half of respondents reset passwords every month due to forgetfulness.
- 24% of respondents had been affected by a data breach in the past 18 months.
October - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Throughout October, the CISA and NCSA raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the United States. This year’s theme is “Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart” and throughout the month the CISA and NCSA will be encouraging people and organizations to do their part in protecting cyberspace, stressing personal accountability, and taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.
- October 1 and 2: Official NCSAM Kick-off
- Week of October 5 (Week 1): If You Connect It, Protect It
- Week of October 12 (Week 2): Securing Devices at Home and Work
- Week of October 19 (Week 3): Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
- Week of October 26 (Week 4): The Future of Connected Devices
29 October - National Internet Day
National Internet Day celebrates the people who helped build the internet and looks back at how we got to where we are today. Interestingly, the history of the Internet goes back a lot further than many people think.
Organizers of National Internet Day also use the event to raise awareness of issues affecting the future of the Internet such as Net Neutrality. Thankfully, anyone can start taking advantage of online security software to better protect personal data and control how to share personal data.
14-20 November - International Fraud Awareness Week
International Fraud Awareness Week promotes anti-fraud awareness and education to minimize the impact of fraud. The Fraud Week website hosts a slew of explainer videos educating individuals and organizations about identity theft, the importance of internal controls, and phishing prevention.
Certain topics such as phishing prevention present a great opportunity to empower individuals, especially when using a password manager with web browser plug-ins and cross-platform synchronicity. Password managers with these capabilities confirm when a user is directed to a “known” site for additional security.
30 November - International Computer Security Day
International Computer Security Day reminds us that although we are accustomed to dealing with the threats of the physical world, we may not be so good at dealing with the threats of the virtual world. Nonetheless, each world poses similar danger (e.g.,, scams, fraud, theft, and prying neighbors). Those of us who operate digitally should adopt the same level of precaution in the digital world as we do in the physical world.
The organizers of International Computer Security Day recommend individuals adopt good virtual habits to have peace of mind in the digital world. For example, recommendations to prevent unauthorized access to your devices and accounts include: Install antivirus software to analyze downloads and protect equipment from malware. Create unique, strong passwords for each device and account (you’ll find some tips here).
Keep operating systems, browsers, and software updated with the latest versions available. Avoid connecting to public networks if you are going to download data or send personal data.
Know of a computer security holiday that we missed? Tweet us @Bitwarden or send an email to marketing at bitwarden dot com.
Data Privacy Day- https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/
Safer Internet Day- https://www.saferinternetday.org/
World Backup Day- http://www.worldbackupday.com/en/
Cybersecurity Awareness Month- https://www.cisa.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month
International Fraud Week- https://www.fraudweek.com