October is recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and is a time for all government agencies, businesses, community groups, schools and families to increase awareness and understanding of how to be “cyber smart.”
“At a time when we are more connected than ever, cybersecurity awareness is critically important to protecting your data, your finances, your privacy and your safety,” said Technology Services Director Amy Lawson. “With cyberattacks becoming more and more sophisticated, we all have a shared responsibility to maintain the security of cyberspace. Being aware of the threats, taking preventive measures and making a habit of practicing online safety can significantly reduce the risk to yourself and others.”
Anyone using internet-connected devices are encouraged to learn about and use cybersecurity best practices, including these tips from the National Cybersecurity Alliance:
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds a second step to verify your identity when logging into one of your accounts. Requiring multiple methods of authentication makes it more difficult for attackers to break into your account, even if your password is compromised.
- Use strong passwords and a password manager. Using long, complex and unique passwords is a good way to keep your account from being hacked and a password manager is an easy, secure way to keep track of your passwords.
- Perform software updates. Software updates can seem like a nuisance, but installing the latest updates for your software, web browsers and operating systems is one of the best defenses against cyber threats. Don’t wait – update!
- Do your research. Before downloading any new app on your device, make sure it’s safe by checking who created the app, what the user reviews say and if there are any articles published online about the app’s privacy and security features.
- Check your settings. Be diligent about checking your privacy and security settings and be aware of who can access your information. This extends from online file sharing, to Zoom calls, to social media and beyond.
Citizens are also encouraged to visit the Calvert County Government website to learn how to protect against and report cyber scams at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov/CyberScams.