Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity
- Keep a clean machine. Update the security software and operating system on your computer and mobile devices. Keeping the software on your devices up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
- Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Also, look for common red flags such as misspellings, grammatical errors, requests marked as “Urgent!” or “Sensitive”.
- Use stronger authentication. Always enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication (i.e. multi- or two-factor authentication) helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account.
- Make your passwords long & strong. Use complex passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. Use unique passwords for different accounts. Change your passwords regularly, especially if you believe they have been compromised. Consider using a password manager such as 1Password or LastPass to create complex passwords without needing to remember them.
- Share with care. Limit the amount of personal information you share on social networking sites. Consider increasing your privacy settings.
Keeping Your Devices Secure
- Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
- Evaluate your browser's privacy settings, and consider limiting or disabling cookies. While some cookies are useful, others can be used maliciously and collect information about you.
- Explore security options for all internet-connected devices, including gaming systems.
- Make sure mobile devices are not set to automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi networks, as this can expose you to insecure networks.
- When not in use, disable mobile device features that connect you to other devices.
- Set mobile phones, tablets, and laptops to lock automatically after 5 minutes or less of non-use.
- Back up your data regularly.
- Before disposing of a computer, mobile device, or any internet-connected item, completely and permanently remove all personal information from it.
- Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
More Ways to be Cyber Secure
- Never email financial information or your Social Security number.
- Download software or email attachments only from sources you know are trustworthy.
- Read all disclosure information before downloading software, including apps.
- Always type authenticated web addresses directly into your browser bar instead of clicking links.
- Don't stay signed into accounts. When you are finished, log off and close your browser.
- Close all pop-up windows by clicking the "X" in the title bar. Consider using a pop-up blocker.
- Don't put unknown flash drives into your computer.
CISA's STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Resources: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/stop-think-connect-toolkit
FBI's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Resources: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month
American Bankers Association Cybersecurity Resources: https://www.aba.com/banking-topics/technology/cybersecurity/cybersecurity-resources