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As consumers, we are spending more time online than ever before. We use the internet for shopping, banking, financial management and socializing, and in doing so we expose our activities and information to increased cyber risks. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the College of Information Technology is delivering the third in a series of blogs to help keep you and your information safe and secure.

As we’ve stated before, cybersecurity starts with you, and you must take responsibility for it. As you use your device, consider the following online safety tips from the Department of Homeland Security “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

If you’ve been following our blog series, you’re already aware of the importance of using unique and complex passwords for each of your online accounts. We recommend you take that one step further by employing multi-factor authentication. Enabling stronger authentication adds an extra layer of security beyond the password, and it’s a feature available on the majority of online accounts you use every day. Multi-factor authentication uses a one-time code that is texted to your mobile device to check that you are authorizing access to your account. Learn more about authentication with the Lock Down Your Login campaign.

Change Your Default Wi-Fi Password

Don’t let your home become a haven for cybercriminals to find each of your devices with an unsecured wireless router. Your Wi-Fi network came with a default name and password that you need to change to keep your devices safe.

Think Before You Click

Cybercriminals’ primary methods of access are links in online posts and emails. If a link appears different from what a person you know would normally post or comes from an unknown source, never click it. Mark the suspicious email as spam and report it if possible. One way to limit these suspicious emails is to limit where you share your email address and other personal information. Avoid sharing your personal information online when the information is not necessary to provide a service.

Stay alert, stay informed…stay digitally safe! For more tips to keep your information safe during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and every month, head to the Information Technology Department’s Security page and the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber security page. You can also read the previous blog in this series, “Keeping Your Social Media Safe.”

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