It’s been a couple of weeks since October’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) came to a close. (If you're not familiar with NCSAM, check it out here.) NCSAM is an important month, but cybersecurity shouldn’t just be a priority in October, it should really be a priority every day. With the constant threat of hackers trying to steal your identity, information, and countless other things, staying safe online can be a daunting task. To help with that here’s a quick recap of the top tips from NCSAM to help you in staying safe online!

Image credit to The State of Security

1.       Passwords: We preach a lot on passwords and say this a lot, but it’s worth repeating: Change your passwords frequently! Not only that, but use plenty of characters, upper and lowercase, numbers and symbols within your password to keep it secure. Longer is stronger.

Top password tip from NCSAM: Use an enemy and any choice keywords or clever symbols to come up with a unique password that no one ever needs to know about.

2.       Emails: Email seem phishy? Is it asking for personal information? Hover over any embedded links in the email, if the address looks weird don’t click it! Delete it immediately and remember to never give out personal information over email.

Top email tip from NCSAM: If you suspect deceit, hit delete!

3.       Wi-Fi & Bluetooth: Disable these features on your device when you’re not using them. Leaving them on can allow cybercriminals to pair with your devices open connection and steal personal information. Remember that a 3G/4G connection is safer than an unsecured Wi-Fi connection when shopping, online banking, and using other websites that access personal information.

Top Wi-Fi/Bluetooth tip from NCSAM: Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on your mobile device when not in use. Remember “Disable when done.”

4.       Two-Factor Authentication: Set up two-factor authentication on your accounts to maintain security. Two-Factor authentication provides an added layer of security beyond just your password. For example, two-factor authentication may use your mobile phone and password together for enhanced security.

Top Two-Factor Authentication tip from NCSAM: Use two-factor authentication on everything, including personal email and social media.  

5.       Lock your Mobile Devices: Make sure your mobile device has a password on it. Without a password, if someone gets your device they can have immediate access to your data. Don’t use a common “1234” or “2580”combo either, make it unique.

Top Mobile Device tip from NCSAM: Always lock your mobile device when not using it, don’t wait for it to lock automatically.


Additional Resources:

How to Stay Safe Online – Twitter Tips from the Security Pros:

Two Steps Ahead Campaign – Two-Factor Authentication:

Tips & Advice for Staying Safe Online:

Mobile Device Password Tips:

RIT Information Security Multi-Factor Authentication:

RIT Information Security Passwords for Mobile Device: