National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October has arrived and with it comes Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In an everything-digital world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Maintaining vigilance is important, and this month is a perfect opportunity to revisit the latest best practices in cybersecurity. Here are six tips to help keep you safer.
- Change Your Passwords. Use robust and complex passwords for each account. Don’t use the same password for everything. If a criminal gets hold of one, they may get access to multiple accounts with shared passwords.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication. If any account or platform you use that requires a login gives you the option of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), you should opt in and use it. 2FA may use a code texted to your phone or a separate app you must install on your smartphone. Either way, using an out-of-channel secondary method to log in will help make sure the person trying to log in is really you.
- Update Your Software. Software that makers release usually produces patches for security vulnerabilities that they may discover. These patches are often contained in software updates. If your phone uses iOS or Android, make sure you’re using the latest version. If you have a PC or laptop, update your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.) to the latest version. It could behoove you to turn on automatic updates. Make sure you check all the apps you frequently use on your smartphone in the App Store or Google Play to see if you’re using the latest version. Update when available.
- Public Wi-Fi Hotspots. The safest route is to completely avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots at stores, airports, restaurants, etc. If you have unlimited data, staying off Wi-Fi and using your mobile carrier’s data is safer. If you have a mobile hotspot as part of your data plan, you might be better off connecting a computer or tablet to your phone hotspot rather than a public Wi-Fi hotspot if you need to connect. But be sure of your carrier’s policies so you don’t get charged an arm and a leg for data.
- Home Wi-Fi. Remember the tip about keeping your software updated? When was the last time you checked your home router’s firmware for updates? If the answer is never, it might be time to do that. Consider updating your home Wi-Fi password as well for additional safety.
- Monitor Your Financial Accounts: Make a habit of logging in to check your bank accounts and credit card accounts and looking over the recent activity at least once per day. Look for any suspicious activity. The earlier you catch fraud, the easier it is to lessen the damage done.
A friendly reminder: Cadence bank will never call you to ask for personal information. If you get phone calls from people claiming to be from Cadence Bank, Microsoft or your credit card company wanting personal information - it’s usually best to hang up.
To learn more about how to deal with fraud and identity theft, visit the Cadence Fraud & Security Center.
Sources: Federal Trade Commission, US-CERT, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.