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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month:  Tips to Protect Yourself


Whenever you log on to a website, make an online payment, send an email, use a social network, post online, or even send a text, you add to your online identity.  How can you keep your information safe?

 1. When logging on to a website, look at the address bar on the browser. If you see a padlock icon on the left-hand side of the address, the site is using encryption   and verification, which ensures you are safely sharing your data.

2. Be wary of suspicious emails or texts and never give out information unless you are certain where it is going and how it will be used. Do not open suspect           attachments.

3. Never throw away or give an unwanted electronic device to someone else without having a professional reset the device and wipe all data from it.

4. Keep your social profiles private and only connect with people you know. Check your privacy settings periodically and disable location tracking for applications      installed on your device.

5. When using Wi-Fi on a public network or in a public a space, follow these guidelines:

  • Turn off auto-connect features on your phone or laptop to control which networks you connect to
  • Use a VPN to encrypt your data whenever possible
  • Don’t access personal or financial information
  • Don’t shop online
  • Don’t stay permanently signed into accounts
  • Pay attention to warnings
  • Don’t leave your device unattended in a public place

6. Choose strong passwords by combining upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.

7.  Use multi-factor authentication. MFA requires multiple factors to verify a user’s identity, including a password or pin, with a special code sent to your smartphone or a fingerprint or facial recognition technology.

8.  Reduce your digital footprint by deactivating/deleting old shopping, social media, and email accounts as well as unsubscribing from mailing lists that are no longer of interest.

You can reduce the odds that you will become a victim of fraud and identity theft by maintaining your cybersecurity awareness.


Source:   Sorady, Karen.  Protect Your Identity This Cybersecurity Awareness Month. ABA newsletter, October 2022.