October of 2023 marks 20 years of recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness about the significance of cybersecurity and promote safe online practices.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Each day, we entrust our personal and sensitive information to the vast expanse of the internet, making it vital to safeguard our data from potential threats. National Cybersecurity Month serves as a timely reminder of the need to protect ourselves and our digital identities. We've outlined a few strategies on how to protect your data.
Protecting Your Data:
Strong Passwords: One of the most effective ways to fortify your online defenses is by using strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. A strong password typically includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to provide a second form of verification, such as a fingerprint scan or a one-time code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.
Regular Software Updates: Keep your operating system, applications, and antivirus software up to date. Cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software. Regular updates patch these vulnerabilities, making it harder for attackers to gain access to your system.
Beware of Phishing: Be cautious of unsolicited emails, messages, or calls requesting personal information or urging you to click on suspicious links. Verify the sender's identity before sharing any sensitive data.
Secure Wi-Fi Networks: Ensure your home Wi-Fi network is password-protected and uses strong encryption. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive transactions and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for added security when accessing public networks.
Privacy Settings: Review and adjust privacy settings on social media platforms and other online accounts. Limit the amount of personal information you share publicly.
By following these tips and maintaining vigilance in your online activities, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to cyber threats. Remember, cybersecurity is not just for one month; it's a year-round commitment to safeguarding your digital presence in an increasingly interconnected world.
Ileana van der Linde, J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, Covenant Wealth Strategies and LPL Financial are separate entities and do not represent each other.