Mark Your Calendar with These Cybersecurity Awareness Holidays
No matter what time of year, it’s important to take action to keep ourselves and others safe online, through 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!
The National Cybersecurity Alliance organizes Data Privacy Week 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 all year-round with tools such as Personal Vaults, end-to-end encryption, and secure text and file sharing.
Change Your Password Day has been celebrated since 2012, when businessman Matt Buchanan decided to set a day to remind everyone to change their passwords after falling victim to two hacking attacks.
The hacking business is thriving in our increasingly online world. Hackers prey on uninformed online users who create simple, easy-to-remember (and easy to guess) passwords and reuse them across multiple internet accounts. While Change Your Password Day calls for awareness about personal cybersecurity and the need to change one's password regularly, Bitwarden would like to take that call to action a step further and emphasize the need to change your passwords to something strong and unique. Using a password manager is a great place to start.
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.”
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National Clean Out Your Computer Day was created by the Institute for Business Technology in 2000 – possibly with the intention of clearing junk off the college's servers. Now it is regarded as an unofficial day to get folders organized, delete duplicated and obsolete files, and engage with best practices to make your PC or mobile device run faster and more securely.
Best practices include backing up data (before inadvertently deleting your favorite pictures), removing old programs and apps you no longer use, updating anti-virus software and running a full system scan, and checking your passwords for weak, re-used, and compromised login credentials. Then share your hard work on social media using the hashtag #CleanOutYourComputerDay.
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.
The first ID Management Day was held in 2021, and is going to be repeated on the second Tuesday of April each year, which would make April 11th the date for 2023.
Identity Management Day is an annual awareness event organized by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and Identity Defined Security Alliance. The event has the objective of educating business leaders and IT decision makers on the importance of effective identity management using identity-centric security best practices, processes, and technology.
Guidance is also provided for consumers to help protect their online identities. The National Security Alliance provides multiple infographics, tip sheets, and videos to help raise identity security awareness, best practices for properly securing identities and access credentials, and making effective use of readily available technologies such as password managers.
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:
84% 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”, while password manager was third.
Almost a quarter of respondents reset their passwords every day or multiple times a week.
24% of respondents had been affected by a data breach in the past 18 months.
Throughout October, CISA and the NCA raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across the United States. Throughout the month CISA and the NCA will be encouraging people and organizations to do their part in protecting cyberspace, stressing personal accountability, and taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.
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 for 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.
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.
International Computer Security Day reminds us that although we are accustomed to dealing with threats in the physical world, we may not be so good at dealing with threats in 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 contact us through our website.
Data Privacy Week - https://staysafeonline.org/programs/data-privacy-week/
Change Your Password Day - https://nationaltoday.com/change-your-password-day/
Safer Internet Day - https://www.saferinternetday.org/
National Clean Out Your Computer Day - https://nationaltoday.com/national-clean-out-your-computer-day/
World Backup Day - http://www.worldbackupday.com/en/
Identity Management Day - https://www.idsalliance.org/identity-management-day-2022-overview/
World Password Day - https://nationaltoday.com/world-password-day/
Cybersecurity Awareness Month - https://www.cisa.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month
National Internet Day - https://nationaltoday.com/national-internet-day/
International Fraud Week - https://www.fraudweek.com
Computer Security Day - https://nationaldaycalendar.com/computer-security-day-november-30/