October has arrived! Along with the falling leaves, and cooler temperatures, this month also marks Cyber Security Awareness month. The theme this year is “Step up your cyber fitness.” So, today, let’s chat about some small, but impactful, things you can implement into your daily digital routine to help keep your information and devices safe.
Ignore suspicious links
If you have any doubt about a link’s authenticity, whether it be sent in an email or on a webpage, don’t click it. If you didn’t expect an email from a colleague or friend with a link, be suspicious. If an email asks you to click through to cancel an order you never made, or change your password, be suspicious. And if you see a link to hilarious cat videos – and this is the hardest one to ignore – be suspicious.
If you are worried the email is legitimate, there is always another way to access your account (if it’s a company you use). Rarely – if ever – is a link the only option. You can read more about identifying spam emails with potentially malicious links here.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi
Unsecured Wi-Fi is convenient when you don’t want to use up your data. But the key word we really need you to pay attention to is unsecured. The very thing that makes it easy to use makes it dangerous. It’s simple for anyone else using that network to access your data. Don’t risk it – pay the price for a good data plan that keeps you covered.
Stop recycling passwords
Again, we get it. It’s easier to remember one password than to remember one for every single place you log on to. But here’s the thing – it’s also easier for someone trying to steal your data. If your password has ever been involved in a data breach – and chances are, it has – you are making it very easy for someone to access every other account you have. And don’t think changing one character is enough. Make strong, complicated passwords, unique to every account. Use a password manager if you don’t feel like making this your full-time job.
One of life’s big annoyances is when you get that notification on your phone or your computer, asking you to update. Who has time for that? There are cat videos to watch, and probably business to do (we assume. We’re pretty busy with cat videos). But it is extremely important. Malware often spreads because people fail to do this simple task. And if you’ve ever been frustrated that your operating system doesn’t do enough to protect you from online threats, ask yourself if you’ve been doing your updates. Because guess what? That’s how they protect you.
Online security is incredibly important all year long. That’s why we suggest you make one of your priorities today, and every single day, about increasing your online security. As always, if you have questions about online safety, contact our team and we would be happy to help!