October is National Cyber Security Month and we're here to help you be Cyber-Smart! Here are some tips from STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, the global online safety awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online.
KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE
• KEEP SECURITY SOFTWARE CURRENT: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
• AUTOMATE SOFTWARE UPDATES: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
• PROTECT ALL DEVICES THAT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET: Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
• PLUG & SCAN: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.
PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
• LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
• MAKE YOUR PASSWORD A SENTENCE: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
• UNIQUE ACCOUNT, UNIQUE PASSWORD: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
• KEEP IT SAFE: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
CONNECT WITH CARE
• WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cybercriminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
• GET SAVVY ABOUT WI-FI HOTSPOTS: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
• PROTECT YOUR $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
Go to stopthinkconnect.org for more helpful tips.