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Stop. Think. Connect.

03 October 2017  
You’ll probably be seeing and hearing these words a lot this month, because October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

Stop. Think. Connect.

You might think that security is only something government agencies and big companies need to worry about. But that’s not true. Anyone can be a victim. Everyone is potentially a victim. 

Not all security breaches are from viruses. Many can breaches can be caused by a link in an email that you click on. Or downloading something that you haven’t researched and verified. 

Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re secure:

1. Use strong passwords. It’s hard to remember them, sigh, but it’s worth doing. The best thing is a long password. Frequently a password of at least 16 characters is recommended, but 24 characters is even better. 

Here’s a suggestion from CNET:

"Create a phrase like "I hope the Giants will win the World Series in 2016!" Then, take the initials of each word and all numbers and symbols to create your password. So, that phrase would result in this: IhtGwwtWSi2016!”

Obviously, that’s wrong - it should be, “I hope the Diamondbacks will win the World Series in 2017!” But that aside, the idea of a passphrase turned into a password can make it easier to remember. 

Things like birthdays, social security numbers and addresses should probably be avoided. 

More Information:

7 Password Experts on How to Lock Down Your Online Security

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: Simple Steps for Internet Safety

2. Use 2-Factor authentication if it’s offered. It can also be called 2 Step Verification. The way it works is like this: 

You put in your password.

The app or site sends a code to your phone, tablet or another device or computer. 

You type in the code and voilá! You’re in. 

By doing this, a hacker can’t access your information unless they have your phone or your computer. 

3. Get a password manager. Some browsers and operating systems can provide password management. Here are some password managers you can choose from:

Dashlane.com - Never forget another password

Enterprise Password Management Vault and Credential Manager | BOMGAR

Best Password Manager & Secure Digital Vault - Keeper

Best Password Manager & Form Filler | RoboForm

The Best Password Managers of 2017 | PCMag.com

The Five Best Password Managers

You Need a Password Manager. Here Are Some Good Free Ones | WIRED

4. Beware of “free” gifts or prizes and email that you don’t recognize (especially if it has attachments). 

5. Be careful of what you publish in social media - once it’s online, it’s forever online. 

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Lynne LaMaster