October is CISA’s #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth! Here are four simple, actionable cybersecurity recommendations from CISA's toolkit to help keep you safe from various cyber threats.
1. Create Strong Passwords and Use a Password Manager
When choosing a password, aim to have a longer password with a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters so that it won’t be easily guessed. It’s also important to have individual passwords for different accounts, so that a breach in one account doesn’t mean that all your data is now vulnerable.
Password managers can help generate strong passwords and save them so you only have to remember one master password to the manager!
2. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA adds an extra layer of security by confirming your identity via a secondary application. This protects your account even if your password is jeopardized. Turning on MFA is fairly simple - check the account’s security and/or privacy settings for access and confirm with the secondary application.
3. Recognize and Report Phishing
Phishing scams involve criminals sending malicious links or attachments to download malware, endangering your privacy and device. Be cautious of messages containing:
Poor writing or misspellings
Incorrect domain names, links, or email addresses
Requests for personal or financial information
Do not respond or click links, even unsubscription buttons. Report the phishing attempt and delete the message.
4. Update Your Software
Updates often provide security patches for known vulnerabilities in the software. Using outdated software increases your risk of cyber attacks. When you receive an update notification for some software, install it as soon as you can. Turning on automatic updates on your device is a great and easy way to boost your digital security!
Following these recommendations is a great way to improve cybersecurity, on both a personal and organizational level. The NSA and CISA recently released 10 common cybersecurity misconfigurations in large organizations, with instructions for each problem. Make reducing your cybersecurity risk a top priority this month!