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Top 10 Ways to Be Cyber Smart

Sep 30, 2021 Personal

Keeping your personal information safe is always a top priority of ours. With increased access and use of technology and the Internet for online shopping, social media, online banking and so many more everyday activities, it’s very important that you do your part in keeping your personal information and finances safe and secure online.

Let’s start with these top 10 ways to become Be Cyber Smart:

1) Make long, unique passphrases

Passphrases are a sentence-like string of words and the best way to create long and complex passwords. A strong passphrase is at least 12 characters long. Think of a phrase or sentence that is easy for you to remember when setting up account credentials.

2) Use Two-Factor Authentication

If your account allows for Two-Factor authentication, it’s always best to take advantage of it. Two-Factor Authentication, like one-time unique codes, is just one extra step to secure your information from hackers and verify it’s actually you who’s attempting to access your accounts.

3) Avoid clicking on suspicious links

Links are an easy way to unintentionally give cyber criminals access to your personal information. Think before clicking links and downloading files in emails, text messages, and social media messages and posts.

4) Keep a clean machine

You can reduce the risk of ransomware and malware on your devices by keeping your computers, phones, tablets and software updated. Check to see if your devices are set to auto-update or notify you when it’s time for an update.

5) Back up your data

Be sure to back up your data and store it safely to avoid cyber threats. The National Cybersecurity Alliance recommends the 3-2-1 rule: keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, with one (1) one of them located offsite.

6) Check your privacy and data settings

For every new account, new app or new device you get, always configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level and check them on a regular basis to be sure the parameters you set are still in place.

7) Share with care

Think before you share online. Always consider what your posts and profiles reveal about you and how it may affect you and others. To be safe, limit the amount of personal information you share to avoid hackers guessing your password and scammers’ phishing attempts.

8) Think twice about Wi-Fi Hotspots

Public Wi-Fi and hotspots are not always secure, which means anyone can potentially see what you’re doing on your phone or computer when you’re connected to them. Always check to make sure you’re using the correct Wi-Fi network for the business you’re visiting, avoid visiting sites with your personal and sensitive information and consider using a VPN (virtual private network) for a more secure connection.

9) Get smart with security questions

Your information is everywhere on social media! One can easily find out your high school mascot or favorite restaurant. When setting accounts with security questions make sure you answer them with an incorrect answer.

10) Use biometrics

Biometric recognition is one of the most secure ways of identifying someone. Many devices today use biometrics to unlock or to gain access to secure locations. Currently, the most widely used technology for biometrics is fingerprint recognition. Make sure to setup your devices for Face ID or fingerprint recognition today.

Let’s work together to Be Cyber Smart!

Source: National Cybersecurity Alliance

Other Resources:
Avoiding and Reporting Scams

Elder Financial Abuse

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