(KXNET) — In 2004, the President and Congress designated October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month — but during this year’s campaign, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is focusing on the people in front of the screen.
The 2022 ‘See Yourself in Cyber’ initiative aims to demonstrate that although cybersecurity is mainly thought of as digital, it’s also important to consider the users of the internet. Educating the public through more methods than experience — particularly through education and information — is crucial to helping people make smart decisions at home, school, or work to protect their data.
The organization has already released multiple guides to help increase the public’s awareness of personal cybersecurity, including hosting presentations, offering public tool kits, and kicking off Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week from October 17-22. Supporting resources for this program include career pathway tools, workforce training guides, operator training, safety videos, and more. These free online resources (accessible on this page) have been offered with the intention of bringing skilled workers into the workforce quickly — especially those in underserved communities who may not be able to get the information otherwise.
It’s imperative that businesses, individuals, and families alike all learn the best ways to protect their data. Below is a list of suggestions for three groups who need to be careful when it comes to protecting their information when using the internet:
Individuals and Families
Individuals and family heads need to ‘See Themselves’ taking action to keep safe online. This primarily focuses on enabling basic ‘cyber hygiene’ practices- such as updating systems, keeping strong passwords, and thinking before going to sites and clicking links that may be harmful.
Those curious about the Cyber Community
Anyone interested in cybersecurity should ‘See Themselves’ joining the cyber workforce and give the information about careers in cyber security on the website a look. It’s best to learn about the industry as much as possible before making a decision to commit to it.
Partners in the Cyber industry
Those in the industry are encouraged to ‘See Themselves’ as part of the solution. This means putting more collaboration into progress and working with others in the industry to continuously share information. This helps groups not only make connections but also to reduce risks and build the resilience of cybersecurity.
In addition to this advice for specific groups, the CISA and NCA would also like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that there are four key steps anyone can take to help protect their own personal data.
#1- Think Before You Click- Recognize and Report Phishing
Always double-check information online before clicking a link. Strange links could be attempts to get sensitive information or install Malware on your computer. If you are contacted regarding a bill, call your provider before clicking anything.
#2- Always Update Your Software
Never delay a software update. If you see the notification, install it as soon as you are able to. Many electronics will also have the option to automatically install updates. Turning this feature on is recommended.
#3- Use Strong Passwords
Use passwords that are unique, long, or randomly generated. Password manager systems will help you remember longer ones, and even encrypt them for you. If you don’t want to use one or can’t remember those passwords, writing them down is always great too.
#4- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Enabling MFA- usually in the form of an email or text message confirming any login- is a great way to help protect accounts, and makes it significantly more difficult for hackers to get into accounts without being noticed.