Week 1 – Cybersecurity 101: Protecting Yourself in the Digital World

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we’re sharing some helpful tips on how you can bolster your cyber defenses and help ensure a safer digital world for everyone! This week, we’ll be covering the basics in Cybersecurity 101. You may have heard some of this advice from us before, but it never hurts to brush up on the basics!

In our increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is a topic that concerns everyone in every age group and experience level, from tech experts to casual internet users. Understanding the basics of cybersecurity is essential for protecting your online presence and personal information. In this blog, we’ll explore some fundamental concepts and best practices that can help you stay safe in the digital realm.

Strong Passwords

A great foundation to your cybersecurity defenses is creating strong passwords for all of your online accounts. Weak passwords are an open invitation to hackers. Here are some tips for creating and managing strong, secure passwords:

  • Use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or common words.
  • Use unique passwords for each online account.
  • Consider using a reputable password manager, such as Dashlane or LastPass, to keep track of your passwords securely.

Recognizing Phishing Attempts

Phishing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Here’s how you can recognize phishing attempts:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages asking for personal information.
  • Check the sender’s email address for suspicious or misspelled domains.
  • Hover over links to preview the destination URL before clicking.
  • Be wary if there are numerous grammar and spelling mistakes in the body of the email.
  • Verify the legitimacy of requests for personal or financial information with the sender through other means.

Software Updates

Keeping your software and devices up to date is a simple, yet crucial, step you can take in keeping your devices cyber-secure. Updates often contain security patches that protect against known vulnerabilities. Here’s why you shouldn’t put off that new software update:

  • Hackers frequently target outdated software with known vulnerabilities.
  • Keeping your devices up-to-date is easy! You can set your devices and applications to automatically update when possible. Be sure to regularly check for updates on devices that don’t update automatically.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

2FA (sometimes called multi-factor authentication) adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It typically involves receiving a one-time code on your mobile device, which you must enter along with your password to access your account. Enable 2FA whenever it’s available to enhance your account security. Remember to never give out a two-factor authentication code you receive to a third party who is requesting it.

These basic steps and precautions are a great way to kick off Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Take a moment to run through all of these steps and make sure you have the basics covered! By implementing these cybersecurity basics, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself online. Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and staying vigilant is key to maintaining your digital security. We’ll have more helpful advice coming throughout October, and in the meantime, you can read more about how you can stay safe online by clicking here.

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