While increasing connectivity to technology provides many benefits it also requires an increased awareness of cyber threats. Remember to take safety precautions online with these tips and resources.
Here are some simple tips to stay safe online.
Passwords are the first line of defense for protecting your personal data. Here’s some helpful guidelines.
- Create strong passwords by using a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Research has proven that longer passwords (16 or more characters) are more secure than shorter ones.
- Don’t use the same password for all your accounts.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Use two-factor (2FA) on every account that offers it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-factor_authentication
- Read up on the Department of Homeland Security’s advice for choosing and protecting passwords. https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-002
Be aware of significant cyber threats:
Phishing: A method used to obtain sensitive personal information through fraudulent emails, texts, or websites.
- Be cautious when opening attachments or clicking on links in emails and going to suspicious websites.
- If a business asks for personal or financial information through email, pick up the phone and call. Use the company’s website, not the number in an email.
- Learn more about phishing from the Department of Homeland Security. https://www.us-cert.gov/report-phishing
Ransomware: The Department of Homeland Security describes Ransomware as “a type of malicious software that infects and restricts access to a computer until a ransom is paid.”
- Ransomware is most commonly distributed through Phishing emails and exploits unpatched vulnerabilities in software.
- Learn more about Ransomware from the Department of Homeland Security. https://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/Ransomware
- Keep your software and devices up to date.
- Be aware of the personal data shared with apps and delete any apps that are not used.
- Conduct frequent backups of your data.
Cybersecurity Awareness Resources and Training:
- Learn more and get access to resources at www.staysafeonline.org and www.stopthinkconnect.org
- Access a collection of self-directed, interactive online tutorials developed by the Public Library Association (PLA), available at https://www.digitallearn.org/