October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. With more ways to stay connected these days, hackers and scammers are keeping up to steal personal data and information. It is important to take extra steps to secure your information and not let it fall into the wrong hands.
The University of Maryland found there is an average of 2,244 cyberattacks per day, which is one every 36 seconds. According to the Federal Investigations Bureau’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center, people made more than 791,000 complaints and reported losing more than $4.2 billion due to cybercrimes in 2020.
We often think cybercrime can only happen to someone else, but bad actors are always looking for easy ways to access organization’s information.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Information Technology (IT) has some tips to keep you and your information safe:
- Keep your passwords protected. If they are written down somewhere whether on a piece of paper on your desk or in a drawer or in a text file on your computer, that's like leaving your house key taped to your front door or your car unlocked with the engine running. Your account information is important and should be protected.
- If you are having trouble creating or remembering unique passwords, check out our tips on password creation.
- You can also use a password manager on your computer as well to store all your passwords.
- Double check before you click on a link, in an email, or on a website. You can hover your mouse cursor over most links to see where they may lead at the bottom of your web browser before clicking on them. Being cautious is also a good practice before downloading an unexpected or untrusted file from an email or website.
- When you step away, lock your computer. If you need to temporarily walk away from a computer you are using in a public area (school, work, etc.), make sure to always lock the screen, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- On Windows, it’s as easy as pressing Windows Key + L to lock your computer.
- Use Search + L for Chromebooks and Ctrl + Command + Q for Macs.
- Enable MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) to add an extra layer of personalized security on your account. When you use MFA on your account, along with entering your password, you will also have the option to be sent a code via SMS (short messaging service) text message, get a call, or verify your identity with an authentication application on your smart phone. This extra layer of security helps ensure that only you can access your account.
Contact Mike Wilson at email@example.com or 208.562.3193 with questions or for more information. For those interested in learning more about cybersecurity or a career in this field, visit Cybersecurity's program page.