Staying Cyber Secure Year Round

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Learn some important steps for staying safer online throughout the year.


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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. During each October, the public and private sectors work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Here are some important steps for staying safer online throughout the year.

Enabling two-factor authentication for logins on all websites that offer the choice is a great way to secure your personal information. When you sign into the website where this is enabled, you are provided a one-time passcode by text, email or phone, to complete your sign in.

It is also important to understand the risk of clicking on links – any links. Many cyber-attacks start with a phishing email or text containing a malicious link. It is also important to use strong and unique passwords for each website you access and store those passwords securely.

"The internet is everywhere. When we think about cybersecurity we may think about computers and smart phones. But the reality is everything from our TVs to thermostats to appliances are potentially vulnerable to hackers. In this new normal, online safety is a must so remember - smart devices need smart security."

When setting up a new web-enabled device, be sure to review the privacy and security settings to minimize who you are sharing your data with. If your new device is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, but they don’t need to be, turn off those settings. When your connect a new device make sure you change the password on your internet router when you first set it up, and regularly thereafter, using a strong and unique password each time.

Lastly, make sure your protective software and operating systems – on all your internet connected devices – remain updated. The reminders may seem like inconveniences but the updates fix security gaps so they are critically important. You can even set updates to happen automatically as they become available.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

And make sure to tune into AARP Live on RFD-TV the third Thursday of every month for “Rural America Live – With AARP.”