Inspiration

5 Tips to be Cyber Safe

Did you know cyberattacks are on the rise? Obviously, right? After all, we live in a world where almost everything is digital — from social interactions to monetary transactions. But the upward trend of cyberattacks seems to be more alarming than you might imagine. In fact, from 2020 to 2021, cyberattacks increased by 15.1%.¹

According to a ThoughtLab poll of cybersecurity experts, social engineering and ransomware attacks are expected to increase over the next 2 years as methods and technologies advance.¹ Unfortunately, cyberattacks can affect organizations and individuals alike. As we observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to share steps you can take to protect your digital integrity and help keep cyberthreats at bay.

Tips to be Cyber Safe

  • Let’s Talk About Your Password

    Gone are the days when your child’s name and date of birth would suffice as a password. Sure, it’s easy to remember, but it’s just as easy to guess. Next time you choose a password, it’s recommended to use one that’s at least 15 characters long and has never been used before. If the website you’re creating the password on offers a randomly generated one, take up the offer — computers are infinitely better with randomness.

    Now, we know what you’re thinking: how will you ever remember all these complicated passwords? A password manager can store all of them for you and make it that much easier to access your accounts. All you’ll need to do is remember the master password! But make sure that one is strong, lengthy, and memorable.

  • Use Multifactor Authentication

    You may know it as multifactor authentication, two-step authentication, two-step factor authentication, 2FA, or any one of its many different names. Whatever the case, all it means is that you’ll add an extra step to accessing your password-protected accounts.

    So, let’s say you want to access your online banking account. Normally, you’d only need to type in your password. But with multifactor authentication, you’ll have to verify who you are with two additional forms of identification. This could be a face scan along with a code sent to your mobile number, a fingerprint along with a PIN only you would know, or even an answer to a couple of personal security questions. While this may sound like it’s time-consuming, this security method is effective at keeping your accounts secure.

  • Update Your Software

    Do you remember the last time you clicked “yes” on a prompt that urged you to update your computer software? If you’re like most of us, there’s a big chance you’ve been stalling and putting it off! But maybe this perspective will help you change your mind: developers are constantly creating new ways to help us stay protected. Any time a new cybersecurity exploit appears, they’ll build software updates that address it. But it doesn’t matter how hard they work if we don’t actually put their updated software to use! So, next time you get a software update prompt, accept it. In fact, turn on automatic software updates whenever possible.

  • Clean Up Your Files

    You probably have important personal information on your computer or smartphone this very second. If you no longer need any of these files, it’s recommended to delete them from all the places in which they may exist. In fact, make it a habit to clean your files periodically. If you have sensitive data you just can’t delete, it’s suggested you back it up in a separate, physical storage option like a USB or external hard drive.

  • Stop and Think

    A lot of cybersecurity measures come down to just staying vigilant and making smart decisions. In fact, social engineering cyberattack methods target the individual instead of your accounts or devices directly. This means a hacker will find ways to personally deceive or manipulate you into giving up your information. So, if you see an email that looks familiar but is just a little bit off or if you receive a text message from someone who claims to be your friend, take your time to think about your next steps. In all likelihood, this is someone planning to take advantage of you.

Ready for a Future in Cyber?

These security measures can go a long way in keeping your personal information secure. But maybe you want to take your actions to the next level. Perhaps you want to make a difference at a larger scale. If you do, a future in cybersecurity could be what you need.

With Kenzie Academy, you’ll get the skills necessary to help fill the demand for professionals who can counteract and protect against cyberthreats. Our Certificate in Cybersecurity program helps you get your career in tech off the ground. It provides the foundation you can build upon as you start and then advance your role in cybersecurity. If you’re ready to join a growing industry, apply today.


References:

¹Forbes, “Alarming Cyber Statistics For Mid-Year 2022 That You Need To Know,” on the internet, at https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2022/06/03/alarming-cyber-statistics-for-mid-year-2022-that-you-need-to-know/?sh=daaef3e7864a (Viewed Sept. 30, 2022).

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