Cybersecurity Awareness Month background image.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Simple Cybersecurity: 4 steps to online safety

“Cybersecurity Awareness Month, every October, is a collaboration between government and private industry to raise awareness about digital security and empower everyone to protect their personal data from digital forms of crime.”

- National Cybersecurity Alliance

Table of Contents

Strong and unique passwords

Use multi-factor authentication

Keep your software updated

How to spot a phishing scam

Additional Resources

Step 1. Strong and unique passwords set the foundation of cybersecurity

On a daily basis, the average person logs into some variation of Instagram, TikTok, banking apps, work accounts, personal email, e-commerce sites, and rideshare accounts. It’s fair to say we live in an online world. 

With users sharing so much information, how can they stay safe? It’s actually simple. Using strong and unique passwords helps protect your data. Not sure if your passwords are strong enough? Test their strength and learn more about password management. You can also get started now with a fully-featured free account for unlimited logins across unlimited devices.

Step 2. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA), two-step login, or multi-factor authentication (MFA) refers to the separate methods of verifying one’s identity in order to access an account. This may include logging into an account with a password and then re-confirming with an authentication code. For a more detailed explanation check out this post for Top 10 Burning Questions on 2FA and for more on different methods for 2FA/MFA visit this two-step login help article. Simply put, two-step login offers the extra layer of protection everyone needs.

Visit The Survey Room: a collection of password management and security related surveys and reports spanning businesses and individuals.

Step 3. Keep your software updated

Stay on top of your software updates. Typically, updates will patch security flaws, remove bugs, and add features that may better secure information. While it’s tempting to forgo the updates, a couple minutes of updates could prevent hours of headache resulting from a stolen identity.

Software updates also help prevent ransomware attacks. Typically, ransom-centric cyber-criminals are trying to exploit vulnerabilities - including vulnerabilities such as outdated software.

Step 4. Know how to spot a phishing scam

Learn how to stay alert for phishing attacks, which refer to the attempt to trick people into sharing valuable data or visiting malware-infected websites. Users should check to ensure emails are coming from the right sender, hover over links to confirm they go to the right website, and avoid opening attachments from people they don’t know. Be especially careful on mobile devices which do not always have the hover option to see exact email address and link destinations.

Additionally, tools such as password managers can help. Read more about how password managers help prevent phishing.

"A successful phishing attack can be so convincing that you won't even know that you were affected."

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Additional Resources

Join us this month for a cybersecurity awareness themed episode of Vault Hours. Register to save your spot!

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