John – Information Technology Department at AIS | 3 minute read
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a time to emphasize the importance of individuals protecting themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more commonplace. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) lead a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise cybersecurity awareness nationally and internationally in the month of October. This year’s theme – “See Yourself in Cyber” focuses on the “people” part of cybersecurity, providing information and resources to help educate CISA partners and the public and ensure all individuals and organizations make smart decisions whether on the job, at home or at school.
In everything we do at AIS, we aim to create a secure future for our customers, employees and communities. See below for some tips and best practices for staying safe online:
- Use unique passwords for each online account. If your password to one website is ever compromised, an attacker would not be able to gain access to any of your other accounts.
- Set strong passwords for your online accounts. Aim for at least ten characters that contain a mix of upper and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers.
- Always think before you click! Attackers use phishing links to take your account usernames and passwords. If you were not expecting an email or text message that contains a link, approach it with extreme caution. Take for example the devastation that was just caused by Hurricane Ian. Attackers sent phishing emails with links that appeared to take you to a donation website to help support the victims. In reality, clicking on the link could allow them to steal your information without you knowing.
- Make sure your internet connection is secure. When surfing the web out in places such as coffee shops or airports, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks. These networks lack encryption and can allow attackers to steal any login credentials or credit card information that are sent over the network from your mobile device.
- Keep your personal life personal. Attackers will hunt social media accounts to gather information on a person and build a profile. Avoid posting birthdays, pet names, addresses, maiden names, etc.; anything that may be incorporated into a password or security question.
- Take advantage of websites that allow two-factor authentication to be configured. It is offered for your personal security and reduces the chance of your account becoming compromised. If an attacker got your password, it would be useless to them without that second factor at their fingertips to access your account.
- Web browsers and apps may offer to remember and store your login information. Always decline this option. It may take a few extra seconds to login and access your account each time, but it is not worth the risk of having your account information compromised.