Cyber Awareness Month takes place each October and is an international campaign designed to help the public learn about the importance of cyber security. All of us are spending more and more time online and with this comes an increased risk of cyber attacks. But there are few things you can do to better protect yourself and your loved ones from cyber threats.
Read on for our three tips on what to stop doing -and we mean right now – to be more cyber safe and one idea for something you can do starting today.
1. Stop with the overshare
You have likely been told to not use your name, kids name(s) or pets name for your password as it can easily be guessed from looking at your social media profiles, but even stuff like your date of birth and address can quickly be deduced from social channels and used to guess a password.
So stop with the overshare and keep your personal details, well, personal. If you do want yearly birthday wishes on Facebook or to profile the epic cuteness of your pet dog on Instagram then keep your accounts private and limit who has access to all the intimate details of your life to people you actually know.
2. Stop and think before you act
Phishing attempts – or emails and text messages designed to trick you into acting so cyber criminals can steal your information and/or install malware on your device to get access to your accounts – are happening all the time. You likely receive a scam text, email or phone call on a daily basis that could be classified as phishing. Not only is this super annoying, but it dramatically increases the chances that one of these attempts will actually work.
So the best defence? Yourself. Stop and think before you click on a link, open an attachment or answer a random phone call. Many phishing attempts use a sense of urgency and spoofed logos, websites and emails to make their requests seem legitimate. But if you slow down and take a really good look at the message, you’re much more likely to spot that it’s a fake.
3. Stop and read the fine print
We get it – so much of our lives are online these days that you have to download an app and sign-up for an account just to order a pizza! It can be easy to just skim the terms and conditions and click on “accept” so you can continue doing what you’re doing, but sometimes you could be agreeing to something that can potentially expose you to cyber criminals.
So stop and read the fine print and make sure you’re comfortable with the data being collected and how it is being shared. And where there is a financial transaction involved, make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company and you know that your transaction is protected and secured or you could end up getting scammed or hacked.
4. Start learning about cyber security
There are lots of resources to be found about cyber Security Awareness Month and Cyber Security in general – check out a few linked below! You can also speak to your local credit union for advice on how to keep your money safe and what you can do to maintain good cyber security.