October is cybersecurity awareness month, a dedicated effort to alert the public and private sectors to work together to increase awareness for the need to enhance cybersecurity awareness. By working together to reduce online risks to the public, we can work to keep each other and ourselves safe. Some common but often overlooked ways to increase our security online are:
1. Using strong passwords: Tips to have strong passwords are to make them long, complex with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols, and unique.
2. Turning on multi-factor authentication: Use it on accounts with professional or financial information, apps with access to personal data like social media, and and healthcare apps. These applications often use biometric data such as facial recognition or fingerprints to verify your identity.
3. Recognizing and reporting phishing scams: Learn the signs such as misspellings, suspicious attachments, unknown senders, or urgent requests.
4. Updating your software: Although this can feel time consuming, staying up to date means any known issues that have been patched by the developers will be at your defense.
Further ways to get involved:
- Have a “tech talk” with your family! Discuss and share strategies on how you can take everyday steps to stay safe
- Take our online senior safety quiz! It covers a variety of topics, and touches on cyber security as well: https://enwatch.ca/online-senior-safety-quiz/
- Consider using a VPN (virtual private network) or anti-virus software
- Read up on the Government of Canada’s resources on cyber security: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/en/cyber-security-awareness-month
- Use a password manager! We recommend: https://www.passwordmanager.com/