Recognized annually during the month of October, Cybersecurity Month aims to raise awareness about digital security and empower everyone to protect their personal data from digital forms of crime. Falling victim to cyberattacks can result in financial loss, identity theft, and emotional stress.
Through its California Cybersecurity Integration Center, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is working to reduce the number of cyber threats and attacks in California. In recognition of Cybersecurity Month, Cal OES reminds you to take steps to protect yourself.
Here are 10 tech safety tips you can implement now:
1) Use Strong and Unique Passwords: Create strong, complex passwords for your online accounts, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. Consider using a password manager to generate and store passwords securely.
2) Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Whenever possible, enable MFA for your online accounts. MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to provide a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your mobile device.
3) Keep Software and Devices Updated: Regularly update your operating system, software, and applications. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.
4) Beware of Phishing: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or calls asking for personal information or credentials. Verify the sender’s identity before sharing any sensitive information.
5) Use Antivirus Software: Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on your devices and keep it up to date. This can help detect and prevent malware infections.
6) Secure Your Wi-Fi: Change default router passwords, use strong encryption (WPA3 or WPA2), and create a unique network name. Regularly update your router’s firmware.
7) Regularly Backup Data: Back up important data to an external device or a secure cloud service. This can help recover your data in case of ransomware attacks or hardware failures.
8) Monitor Your Financial Accounts: Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for unauthorized transactions. Report any suspicious activity immediately.
9) Use Secure Websites: Look for “https://” in the website’s URL and a padlock icon in the browser’s address bar when entering sensitive information online.
10) Stop and Think Before You Click the Link: Don’t click on suspicious links, download unknown attachments, or trust unexpected requests for money or personal information. Be skeptical.
By proactively protecting your online presence and staying vigilant, you can reduce your vulnerability to cyber threats and help maintain a safer digital environment for yourself and others.