Why you need to become smarter in terms of security

Our world has never been more connected in terms of technology and the number of new digital technologies is expected to increase over time - which is why cybersecurity (and smart cyber behavior) is important.

October marks the start of European Cyber ​​Security Month on the "Old Continent" and US National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. And while the information campaign can only last a month, we must remember that cybersecurity must be our concern all year round.

cyber security

Awareness and awareness campaigns like this help people cultivate the right cybersecurity habits to protect their valuable data and become more responsible online citizens.

After all, cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, and by adopting appropriate cyber-hygiene practices, both at work and in our personal lives, we ensure that cybercriminals have fewer access points to devices, thus limiting the threat landscape.

That's why we should not underestimate cyber security

If you are a skeptic, here are two examples to reconsider.

If you do not adopt good habits for your cyber security and continue to use the same passwords over and over again, in the worst case, a malicious criminal will gain access to your personal data and may be able to steal your data. to empty your bank accounts, damage your reputation and creditworthiness, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The immediate impact will be on you and possibly your loved ones.

Going into the professional side of cybersecurity, loose habits in a work environment can be detrimental to thousands of people. This is doubly true for people working in critical infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline attack, for example, is one such case: a stolen password allowed cybercriminals to enter the system and lock it with ransomware (malware for extortion and ransom).

In another case, a hacker attempted to poison a water supply in a US city of Florida. And let's not forget all those healthcare facilities that were hit by ransomware attacks and could not offer patients the proper treatment.

Most of these incidents could have been avoided if appropriate cyber security measures had been implemented and people had behaved intelligently.

How to behave intelligently in cyberspace

How can you begin to take cybersecurity seriously and behave wisely? Well, as cliché as it sounds, one of the best things you can do is learn the basics.

This means that when it comes to passwords, you should definitely choose a strong password instead of a simple password that you can easily memorize, and you should always do everything you can to avoid the deadly sins of password creation. access. If you are the type of person who has dozens of passwords, it would probably be a good idea to use a password manager. This will simplify the process of following the passwords as all you will have to do from now on is remember only one central password: the one that will put you in the password manager.

Once you've sorted out the issue with your passwords, you should consider adding an extra layer of security using multi-factor authentication, which can take many forms, from password generation applications to hardware keys and biometrics.

The security of your devices is another issue that you should never underestimate - therefore, always keep them clean, up to date by applying all repairs in a timely manner, and use a reliable security solution that will protect you from most threats.
And while technology can help, remember to keep your mind clear. This means that you should approach what you see on the internet, whether on social media or in your e-mail, with a healthy dose of skepticism. So be cautious when clicking on links or following offers that seem even a little unusual or exaggerated.

Final thoughts

Keep in mind that while cybersecurity awareness campaigns only last this month, cybersecurity awareness is a year-round affair. Remember to never relax your defense and make sure you apply your cybersecurity knowledge to what you do online.

And now that you have learned the basics, you are ready to face bigger fish (phish). Stay tuned for the second week of October, where we will take a closer look at how you can "protect yourself from e-fishing". Also, be sure to find out more about the campaign and see the weekly issues at StaySafeOnline.org.

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