October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the theme for 2021 is:
“Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”
The theme pushes persons and organizations to take responsibility in protecting their part of cyberspace, focusing on personal accountability and being proactive to enhance their cybersecurity.
Here are some tips on how you can ensure that you are doing your part to #BeCyberSmart.
- Keep all software on your computer, including the OS (Windows, Mac, Linux) up to date with the latest security patches. Most hackers tend to look for vulnerabilities in outdated software that they can take advantage of and this can lead to ransomware attacks.
- Use a reputable and reliable Anti-Virus and Firewall solutions. There are many reputable sites that give the best reviews, use these as a guide to see which solution fits your needs and your budget.
- Use strong passwords – Keep these at least eight characters long, ensure they contain at least one lower case letter, one upper case letter and a symbol. Choose something that is easy to remember and make it a bit more difficult to guess. For e.g.: ‘orange car’ can now become 0r@nge(@r!
Also – never leave passwords or password hints out in the open on your desk etc. Persons looking to gain access to your information will most likely be sure to check your immediate surroundings for clues.
- Learn about Phishing Scams – Phishing can be defined as ‘the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information’. In recent years, Phishing attacks have increased exponentially and it helps if you can identify such attacks by learning how to spot fake emails and malicious links. There are numerous blogs online that can help with this and remember, when in doubt – contact your IT department!
- Backup your data, often! – This is probably the one action that most persons often neglect. It may sound like a tedious task, but if you stick to simple rules such as the 3-2-1 rule, you and your data would be much better protected – Keep 3 copies of your data, on 2 different types of media (local and external) and 1 copy at an offsite location – preferably in the cloud via services such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive