2023 October Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Learn how to elevate your digital security, and shield your personal data from online crimes.

In 2023, we commemorate the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a joint effort between the government and the private sector to elevate awareness regarding digital security, enabling everyone to shield their personal data from online crimes. This year’s initiative encourages four straightforward steps everyone can implement to maintain online safety. These are simple measures we should all adopt not just during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but consistently throughout the year.

4 Ways to Keep You Cyber Safe

  1. Turn on Multifactor Authentication (MFA) You need more than a password to protect your online accounts and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked. Enable multifactor authentication on all your online accounts that offer it, especially email, social media, and financial accounts, and use authentication apps or hardware tokens for added security. To learn more about MFA and how it works, visit https://staysafeonline.org/online-safety-privacy-basics/multi-factor-authentication/.
  2. Recognize Phishing: Have you ever seen a link that looks a little off? It looks like something you’ve seen before, but it says you need to change or enter a password. Or maybe it asks you to verify personal information. It could be a text message or even a phone call. They may pretend to be your email service, your boss, your bank, or a friend. The message may claim it needs your information because you’ve been a victim of cybercrime.
  3. It’s likely a phishing scheme: a link or webpage that looks legitimate, but it’s a trick designed by bad actors to have you reveal your passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information. Once they have that information, they can use it on legitimate sites. And they may try to get you to run malicious software, also known as malware. Sadly, we are more likely to fall for phishing than we think.

    If it’s a link you don’t recognize, trust your instincts, and think before you click. We all need to Phight the Phish!

  4. Update Your Software: Ensuring your software is up to date is the best way to make sure you have the latest security patches and updates on your devices. In fact, turn on automatic updates and regularly check manually for updates if automatic updates are not available and keep operating systems, antivirus software, web browsers, and applications up to date.

  5. Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager: Strong passwords are critical to protecting data. They are long, random, unique, and include all four character types (uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols). Password managers are a powerful tool to help you create long, random, and unique passwords for each of your accounts. Plus, they make storing passwords and user IDs easy. Best practice for a strong password:

    • Long – at least 15 characters.
    • Unique – never used anywhere else.
    • Randomly generated – usually by a computer or password manager. They’re better than humans at being random.

By incorporating these strategies, we can collectively contribute to creating a safer digital environment for everyone. Stay cyber-aware and protect your digital footprint. For more information on how to keep yourself safe, please visit www.bluefcu.com/security-center.

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