- Author: Bruce Lidl
With Halloween around the corner, October is a pretty scary time of year. But there is another reason October can spook even the bravest.
This month is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and as we have all learned recently, the online world can be full of terrors lurking, ready to pounce on the unwary. Phishing scams, viruses, malvertising, ransomware, just to name a few, have made it harder to be safe digitally.
Fortunately, there are methods and resources we can use to defend ourselves, or at least make it harder for the bad guys to wreak their havoc on us and our workplaces. And while no one can be 100% secure, a short list of basic cybersecurity recommendations from UCnet can go a long way to protect us and our privacy.
- Use different passwords for different accounts, including for UC and non-UC logins.
- Your password is the key to your private information, so make it strong. Use a mix of letters, numbers and special characters.
- Never share your passwords with anyone.
- Protect your phone and other portable devices. Use complex passwords and automatic screen locking. Don't leave your phone lying around where someone can steal it — even just for a second.
- Avoid phishing scams and ransomware. Never click on unknown links or files in emails, text messages, websites or pop-ups.
- Back it up. Back up everything on your phone or portable device that you don't want to lose.
- Keep your private information private. Remember that once you share something online, it lives forever.
Crucially, the above tips depend on strong and unique passwords. Most of us, though, have an understandably difficult time remembering complicated passphrases, especially if we avoid re-using them.
A great solution to the password problem is a password manager application. Instead of creating and then memorizing dozens of passwords, programs such as LastPass and KeePass reduce the burden significantly. And since they operate on all the major OS and mobile platforms, a password manager increases both security and convenience at the same time.
So enjoy your trick or treating this month, but always remember to protect yourself and your data with healthy password practices!