Our world is increasingly digital and interconnected. While there are no specific or credible cyber threats to the U.S. at this time, the growing tension in Europe reminds us to protect ourselves against cyber threats. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency of the U.S. Government Shields Up campaign shares the following recommendations to protect yourself and your family.
A password isn’t enough to keep you safe online. By adding a second layer of identification to online accounts, such as a fingerprint or verification code sent to email or text, you provide confidence it is really you logging in. This small step can make you 99% less likely to get hacked. We suggest you enable multi-factor authentication on your email, social media, online shopping, and financial accounts. Don’t forget about gaming and online streaming accounts too.
TURN ON AUTOMATIC UPDATES
The bad guys use flaws in the system to gain access to your device. Be sure to update the operating system on your mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Also be sure to update your apps – especially web browsers – on all of your devices. Allowing automatic updates for all devices, applications, and operating systems can help protect you from cyber threats.
THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK
More than 90% of successful cyber-attacks start with a phishing email. Phishing is when bad actors make an email or website look legit, but they are really a trick. Once you click, you may be asked to enter passwords, social security number, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information. They can then use this info on legitimate websites, causing you identity theft and financial loss. These links can also contain malicious software that capture data off of your device. If you receive a link you don’t recognize or weren’t expecting, think twice before you click. When in doubt, contact the sender directly through another means.
USE STRONG PASSWORDS
We understand…there are so many passwords to remember! A password manager is a great tool to generate and store unique passwords. Longer passphrases, using numbers and special characters, can be easier for you to remember and more difficult to hack.
No matter the current circumstances, it is always important to be vigilant online to protect your identity and financial accounts. Implementing the suggestions above can greatly reduce your risk for cyber attacks.