October: Cybersecurity Awareness Month
By contributor Lyan Ware
Pumpkin spice everything, cozy sweater weather, spooky movie reruns, and that crisp, lingering bonfire smell in the air all signal the arrival of October. But aside from the scares, ghouls, and monsters you might encounter on Halloween, actual menaces perpetually exist on the interwebs—threat actors in search of vulnerabilities to exploit for their own benefit.
According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website, October has been designated by the President and Congress as Cybersecurity Awareness Month since 2004. The intention is to educate the public on cybersecurity best practices. Below are a few Halloween-themed helpful tips you can implement to ensure that you’re protecting your data and assets. Be sure to share these with your family and friends!
Creepy Cryptic Passwords:
Unearth the power of cryptic passwords to ward off malicious digital specters. Mix things up with uppercase and lowercase letters, throw in some eerie numbers, and add a pinch of special characters. Create unique passwords for each of your accounts to mitigate the impact made by a successful data breach.
Don’t let your digital defenses crumble like a haunted mansion. Regularly update your devices and software to stay ahead of the lurking digital poltergeists. Often, threat actors seek out infrastructure weaknesses to exploit before patches are made, so staying on top of updates will help prevent them from infiltrating.
Beware of Phishing Phantoms:
Phishing phantoms love to haunt your inbox with deceptive emails. Don’t fall for their tricks! Treat every email with suspicion and avoid clicking on links from mysterious senders. Only engage with trusted contacts and send the rest to your spam or trash folder.
Double, double, toil, and no trouble! Add an extra layer of protection with two-factor authentication. Even if a mischievous trickster gets ahold of your password, they won’t get far without the second key.
Invisible Wi-Fi Spells:
Keep your digital cauldron safe by making your Wi-Fi network invisible. Only those who possess the magical key (your Wi-Fi password) can enter your spooky lair. Don’t let cyber witches and warlocks piggyback on your connection – keep your Wi-Fi under wraps!
Ghosts may vanish, but your digital data shouldn’t! Perform regular backups of your data. A well-maintained backup ensures that even if a threat actor strikes, you can resurrect your files and carry on as usual.
Staying safe online is just as important as locking your doors or checking your child’s candy loot, so don’t be negligent. Remember that threat actors are counting on your carelessness. May your October be secure and spooky!