October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! During this time, it is important to think critically about how you interact with the digital world. While the internet has a myriad of benefits, there is also a lot of negative activity out there so it is important to stay vigilant. Utilize these 4 SMART CYBER TIPS to feel confident and to stay cyber safe.
STAY CYBER SMART with these 4 TIPS
Setting up 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) is a critical step to ensuring your information stays safe and secure. Although a strong password is a good first step, these can be stolen, hacked, or reused which compromises your information.
Choose 2 forms of information:
Something you know: PIN # or pet name
Something you have: authentication application
Something you are: Fingerprint or Face ID
An authentication application is easily downloadable on any device, simply visit the corresponding app store and search for the desired application. Google for example, has an app titled “Authy” that attaches to a browser and can be downloaded to a mobile phone. This extra step serves as an additional layer of security for your internet safety so, pick two! Prove it’s you!
2. UPDATE YOUR DEVICES REGULARLY
Windows - Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button in the lower left corner. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click either "Windows Update" or "Check for updates". Install critical Microsoft Windows updates immediately.
Mac - Go to the Apple icon, select System Preferences, then click "Software Update." Install the updates immediately.
It is also important to keep your mobile phones/tablets (i.e IOS / Android devices) up-to-date, as bugs and patches are fixed regularly here too, thereby making the devices less vulnerable to attacks.
For more helpful information check out:
The Student Technology Help page
The Faculty & Staff Technology Help page
The Tech Checklist (IT information to utilize inorder to prep for the next semester).
3. THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK
Phishing scams are a common scheme that threaten cybersecurity, so make sure you PAUSE and REVIEW before you click on ANYTHING. Emails similar to the one pictured below aim to target individuals by suggesting an exciting and realistic prospect. Often this will take form as a job opportunity, prize winning announcement, and much more. And usually there is a sense of urgency involved. TAKE CAUTION. Unfortunately, if it seems too good to be true… it usually is.
To stay safe, be prepared! Know how to spot a phishing scam. Before clicking on anything - always confirm the email address, details of the message, and validity of the statements through a simple additional search of this information. When in doubt, throw it out! BLOCK sender and report SPAM.
SO HOW DO YOU STAY IN THE KNOW?
The ITS PHISH TANK maintains an updated list of current phishing scams.
4. STRONG PASSWORDS
Often the first step in protecting online information is a password. Each application you use should have its own dedicated password to ensure complete protection of your information on each system.
What makes a strong password?
Length: at least 15 characters, capital letters, special characters, numbers
Unique: never used anywhere else
Randomly Generated: Use a password manager
Most browsers have this included and it simply needs to be turned on in settings to use
Want to learn more about cybersecurity during this October cyber month?
https://www.cisa.gov/news-events/news/4-things-you-can-do-keep-yourself-cyber-safe has a lot of helpful resources to check out!
Check out these past ITS Blog entries -
ITS Self Help: https://www.binghamton.edu/its/blog/self-help.html