You do not have to be a computer expert to understand the basics of cybersecurity. Even small actions can make a huge difference in keeping you safe online. As cybercrimes like scams, frauds, identity theft, and network breaches continue to increase, it is more important than ever to know how to protect yourself in the cyber world.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and DHS’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign and its partners across the country are highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.
It is easier than you think to practice good cybersecurity every day. DHS encourages you to take these simple steps towards greater cybersecurity:
- Secure PIN and Set Strong Passwords. Stow away and secure all PIN numbers, being mindful to not leave them on desks or unlocked drawers. No one should be able to guess your password–especially on your most sensitive accounts, like your email or bank account. Your passwords should be at least eight characters and include a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper and lowercase letters. You should also use different passwords for all your online accounts. Follow Departmental password policies for work accounts, and do not share your passwords with colleagues or anyone else.
- Update Your Software and Operating Systems. Cyber criminals often target vulnerabilities in outdated software and operating systems. Protect your devices from the threat of malware by installing the latest updates.
- Protect Your Privacy. How much information about you exists online? Take a look at all of your social media platforms to be sure they are not revealing too much information. Your birthday, address, phone number, and email address should all be kept private, and your photos and posts should only be visible to friends. Make sure your privacy options are set to the strictest level.
DHS is doing its part to make the internet safer for everyone by participating in National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Learn more about how you can be cyber safe at https://www.dhs.gov/ncsam. It is your responsibility to report potential attack attempts.