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.
Dr. Richard Bush is the Dean of the College of Information Technology for Baker College of Michigan. He has over 40 years in the information technology industry in positions in government, academics, military, manufacturing, retail and more. His research interests are focused on the acceptance and use of emerging technologies by end users, and trends and impact of the connected world on individuals and groups.