The Security Division within the Department of Homeland Security and the nonprofit, National Cyber Security Alliance, encourages everyone to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve our Nation's cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is not just the responsibility of governments, companies, groups, or individuals. Everyone shares the responsibility for cybersecurity- from the average smartphone user to a corporate CEO.
To that end, the following recommended tips will help to keep would-be hackers from gaining access to your accounts:
- The first and most obvious step to protecting your information is to increase the complexity of your password or passphrase making it nearly impossible for hackers to breach by computation or algorithms. Passwords should be a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. A passphrase is a seven to a ten-word phrase, including spaces in between words such as this: "The road to success is always under construction!"
- Keep security software current by having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
- Turn on automatic updates if that's an available option. Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks.
- Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time, no matter how short, lock it up so no one can use it while you're gone. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock it up as well.
- Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often the way cyber-criminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it's best to delete or, if appropriate, mark as junk email. Double-check the URL of the website the link takes you to bad actors will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain.