CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS, IT’S FOR EVERYONE!!!Feb 24, 2022
By: Sebastian Savage
If you are deeply plugged into the digital world, more than likely, you are familiar with the term Cybersecurity Awareness. If you have never heard the term, don’t worry, cybersecurity awareness means: Following and implementing specific steps or controls to keep your personal information/data confidential, maintaining your data’s integrity, and keeping your data accessible for you and only you. Cybersecurity Awareness is not just for corporations and other types of businesses who are responsible for protecting consumers’ personal information, but it is for the everyday consumer as well.
The purpose of this article is to provide a few examples of strategies that can be implemented with ease to become cyber aware. But what does it take to become cyber aware? That is a good question. Being cyber aware requires becoming more protective of your personal identification information such as usernames, passwords, account information, and location.
One way to become cyber aware is making sure you have strong passwords for your accounts. This means no easily guessed phrases, birthdays, anniversaries, your pet names, etc. Make your passwords at least 12 characters long or use long phrases which include a mixture of capital letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, change your passwords at least every 6 months or a year. I recommend using a password manager to help create and manage your passwords; some are free but perform research beforehand. Password managers are convenient because they can store your password, protect your passwords, and help create strong passwords for you.
Another way to become cyber aware is utilizing Multifactor Authorization (MFA). Multifactor authentication forces you to use more than just your username and password to access your account. This can take the form of a call, text, or a digital authenticator with a code to input to validate access to an account. MFA increases your accounts’ security even if your username and passwords are jeopardized.
Finally, remember to be aware of using public Wi-Fi access connections. Information can be easily stolen on public Wi-Fi connections that are not secure. One solution is to use a VPN service that enhances the protection of your information. VPNs protects your online identity with encryption, secure online connections, and prevents tracking of your online activity. Do your research before deciding on a VPN provider as free VPNs could track your online activity, offer weaker encryption, and potentially slow your internet speed.
Becoming cyber aware has become a requirement for everyone. Hopefully, this article has given you enough information to start beefing up your cybersecurity defenses to protect yourself and your personal information. Maybe it has even given you a conversation starter for the dinner table with family and friends. Regardless, congratulations on taking the first step to becoming cybersecure and I wish you good luck with increasing your Cybersecurity Awareness!
Link to best practices for Home Network Security: https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/tips/ST15-002
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