Cybersecurity Awareness Month emphasizes the importance of staying safe online
Staying safe online is everyone’s responsibility. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, with the goal to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity – that is, preventing by scams and hacks from lurking cybercriminals.
At Johnson County, we want to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to be safe and secure online. This year’s campaign theme, “See Yourself in Cyber,” demonstrates that while cybersecurity may seem like a complex subject, it’s ultimately all about people.
This October, we will focus on the “people” part of cybersecurity, providing information and resources to help educate everyone in our community – from staff to volunteers to the public. It’s our goal that all individuals and organizations make smart decisions online, whether on the job, at home or at school.
Cybersecurity Safety Tips
Cybercriminals could be just around the corner. Following proper precautions while online can keep them from obtaining your personal information – which could lead to financial fraud or identity theft. Follow these four steps to protect your online information and privacy:
1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for all your accounts, especially banking and financial services. MFA provides protection if your password is compromised. Attackers have recently used “MFA fatigue” to force someone to accept an MFA push notification, so only accept MFA push notifications if you’re actively trying to access the service.
2. Use Strong Passwords
Use strong password that are unique to each website or application. By reusing passwords across multiple sites, if one password is compromised, each site that you use that password for is compromised. You can check if your email or password has been compromises at haveibeenpwned.com and similar websites.
The easiest way to generate a strong password is to use a passphrase, which is a sentence or combination of words that is easy for you to remember and difficult for someone else to guess. So, don’t use something like MyNameIsBill2022, and instead use something like BigRedClock&2YellowHands.
3. Recognize and Report Phishing
Don’t fall for those emails or phone calls that seem too good to be true, alarming or threatening – especially if the caller is seeking personal information or if something seems strange. When in doubt, visit the business or person physically or call via a verified phone number.
For example, if you get an email from your credit card company about fraud, contact them via the number listed on your card or published on their website. Don’t trust any phone numbers, websites or addresses in an email. Unlike a seatbelt, don’t click it!
4. Update Software
Finally, keep your software up to date. The easiest way is to ensure auto-update is enable on your phone and software products.