Posted on June 22, 2023

CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS: A MEMBERS’ GUIDE

Cyber security is the means by which individuals and organizations reduce the risk of being affected by cybercrime. Cybersecurity awareness involves being mindful of cybersecurity in day-to-day situations. Being aware of the dangers of browsing the web, vishing, phishing, and one’s interaction online.

With an ever-rising number of cyberattacks each year, the risk of not educating oneself on cybersecurity awareness only continues to grow. Cybersecurity incidents can come with a hefty price tag. Cyber security’s core function is to protect the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets, and computers), and the services we access online – both at home and work – from theft or damage. It’s also about preventing unauthorized access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices, and online.

Cyber security is important because smartphones, computers and the internet are now such a fundamental part of modern life, that it’s difficult to imagine how we’d function without them. From online banking and shopping, to email and social media, it’s more important than ever to take steps that can prevent cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices.

The Internet has become easy to access. Consequently, the number of Internet users has increased enormously. However, most users are not aware of how important it is to protect their data privacy on the Internet, especially as technology is constantly evolving.

To be cyber aware as an individual, follow these key practices:

Use strong, unique passwords: Create complex passwords for each online account and use a password manager to securely store them.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Set up 2FA whenever available, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone.

Be cautious of phishing attempts: Be skeptical of emails, messages, or calls asking for personal information or urging immediate action. Verify the authenticity of requests before sharing sensitive data.

Keep software up to date: Regularly update your operating system, web browsers, and other software to ensure they have the latest security patches.

Use reputable security software: Install and maintain reliable antivirus or antimalware software on your devices to protect against threats.

Be mindful of public Wi-Fi: Avoid accessing sensitive information when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. If necessary, use a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.

Practice safe browsing: Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unfamiliar websites or suspicious sources. Stick to reputable websites and avoid risky online behavior.

Be mindful of social media: Adjust privacy settings on social media platforms, limit the personal information you share publicly, and be cautious of friend requests or messages from unknown individuals.

Regularly back up your data: Create backups of important files and store them in a secure location to prevent data loss in case of cyberattacks or hardware failures.

Stay informed: Stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats, trends, and best practices. Follow reputable sources and organizations that provide cybersecurity guidance.

Educate yourself and others: Continuously learn about cybersecurity best practices and share this knowledge with friends, family, and colleagues to create a safer online environment for everyone.

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