Take Steps Now to Secure Cybersafety
March 07, 2022
Recent world events involving Russia have raised concerns about cybersecurity. While the sense of urgency may have changed, how cyberattackers target institutions and individuals has not. Focusing on the fundamentals is key to protecting yourself at home and at work. Key points are phishing, passwords, updating devices and awareness of misinformation.
Phishing: Phishing and related scams are when cyberattackers attempt to trick or fool you into doing something you should not. Often these scams are sent as emails, but they can also come via text messaging, phone calls or social media. Anytime someone is creating a tremendous sense of urgency and rushing you to take an action, or someone is promoting an offer that is too good to be true, this is most likely an attack.
Passwords: Strong passwords are the key to protecting your digital life. Make sure each of your accounts is protected by a unique, long password. The longer your password, the better. Keep it simple by using passphrases, a type of password made up multiple words, like “honey-butter-happy.” It is difficult to remember all the passwords of online life, which is why it is recommended that you store passwords with a Password Manager. Finally, whenever possible, enable multi-factor authentication on your important accounts, especially your email accounts.
Updating: Keep your computers, devices and apps current by enabling automatic updating on your devices. Cyberattackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities in devices and software. Keeping them automatically updated ensures known weaknesses are fixed and devices are equipped with the latest security features. IT managed devices should automatically receive updates.
Misinformation: A tremendous amount of false information is expected to be spread on the Internet. This is being done on purpose to confuse people. Do not trust or rely on information from new, unknown or random social media accounts on any platform. Many of these accounts were created for the sole purpose of putting out fake information. Instead, follow only well-known news sources that verify the authenticity of information before it is broadcasted.
Finally, if you wish to donate to any causes in support of recent events, once again make sure you are donating to a trusted charity. There will be many scams attempting to trick people into donating to fake charities run by cybercriminals.
Continue to focus on the fundamentals and you will go a long way to protecting yourself, no matter who the cyberattacker is.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu