October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It is a great time to have a refresher on those essential things that will keep you and your private information safe online. Here are five ways you can make sure you stay safe and keep bad people out of your online information.
1. Use good passwords.
Don’t use the same password for every site, and make sure your passwords are not easily guessable. Change passwords at least once a year for banking and other financial sites. Also – turn on features that will send a code to your phone before letting you log in from an unknown device.
2. Don’t answer the fun little polls on social media sites about what your life was like as a kid or any form of sharing personal information.
Many sites use these same questions as “security questions” to help if you forget your secure password. By making the information available on social media, you are making your security answers easy to answer.
3. Back up your content.
Your computer, your phone, your tablet. Even your physical information like card numbers and bank account numbers. Make the back-ups go someplace that isn’t on your device and that is secure – like cloud storage.
4. Update your devices.
Keep automatic updates turned on and check for updates regularly. Keeping your information secure starts with keeping your devices’ software current.
5. Most important – THINK before you click.
Any email, any link, any time, from anyone. Think before you click that link or download that video. Did you expect this email? Does it look legit – like all the words are spelled correctly, and the grammar is appropriate? Are you being asked for a credit card number or password unexpectedly or at a different address than usual? Taking some time and reviewing information and links before clicking may save you a lot of time and headache because you’ll protect your information.