5 minutes reading time
OCT 3 2022

What Cybersecurity Month 2022 Has in Store For You

If you are like me and not really knowing what Cybersecurity Month is or consists of, then maybe this article is for you. I recently became aware of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and realized many of the bad practices and habits I had picked up recently. While I was somewhat lazy and reluctant to really change how I approached my online information, researching this topic and getting familiar with Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2022 opened my eyes to the dangers of my ways and why caring about cybersecurity should be a common practice by all. I want to share with you the things that I learned and hopefully provide you with some easy-to-chew information that may just help you stay protected online.

Cybersecurity is a problem we all have, yet some of us (myself included) just aren’t aware of the complications that could be around the corner. I will show you some of the measures you can take, like securing your passwords and enabling two-factor authentication to prevent hackers from accessing your sensitive information.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the measures individuals and organizations can use to prevent theft, damage to devices and unauthorized access to personal information. This article will help you detect and ultimately help prevent falling for phishing (to be explained later), among other things . Cybersecurity Awareness Month draws attention to these issues with government and business joining forces to empower individuals to learn good practices when it comes to life online. The theme for 2022 is "See yourself in cyber,” and it couldn’t be more fitting. Our lives are more online every year, but do our everyday practices also become more advanced? I know my everyday practices did not, and for a long time, I didn't even know some of these preventive measures even existed.

What is multi-factor authentication?

An authentication factor is a way of confirming your identity when signing into an account. You may be familiar with usernames and passwords. These are examples of one factor. Traditionally, a username and password have protected your online information. These security measures fail to offer you excellent protection against criminals and hackers seeking your information.

Simply, MFA or two-factor authentication enables the user to identify themselves in several ways, making it more difficult for criminals to access your information. A username can be pretty easy to guess; sometimes, it is just your email address. When it comes to passwords, we often use simple passwords that are easy to remember and/or the same password for multiple different logins. If a hacker gets a hold of this information, they have the keys to the kingdom.

The extra verification checks are a safety measure that is simple to set up. Examples of factors include:

  • An extra PIN.
  • The answer to a security question.
  • An additional code is emailed to an account or texted to a linked mobile number.
  • A unique number generated by an Authenticator App.

A golden number padlock placed on a white keyboard with two gold credit cards on the right, slightly out of shot.

Why is it smart to have a secure password?

Speaking of passwords, why should I even be concerned about creating a secure password, you may ask? Well, it really is you who benefits from it. As your first line of defense against hackers, it's a wall that you don’t want them to breach. You wouldn’t hand the keys of your house to a burglar, so why do it with cybercriminals with easy-to-use passwords? According to the Data Breach Investigations Report, 63% of data breaches used compromised credentials. To avoid your credentials being compromised, you want your password to be ironclad. With little effort, you can be proactive and simply create stronger, unique passwords for all of your accounts.

Even people who often change their password and think they are practicing good cyber hygiene are, in fact, not. Contrary to some cybersecurity experts and popular belief, the National Institute of Standards and Technology recommends that we should not change our passwords regularly. If you want some tips on how to create a strong password, we have got you covered!

How do password managers work?

How will I remember all these different passwords, I hear you ask? Well, that’s what password managers are here for and they will be your new best friend. It is just a piece of software that automatically stores your passwords and acts as your very own password vault. Downloading a password manager usually comes as an app or a browser plug-in, with the download process taking a few minutes. Once completed, you can begin to secure your private information online. Wondering which password manager to use, why not check out these recommendations for password managers? The National Security Alliance has compiled a list of free-to-use/paid password managers that you can choose from. Many of the paid password manager services offer trial periods, so why not grab one and see just how safe and easy to use they are?

3 different colored credit cards on a keyboard are being hooked away by a fishing hook.

How to recognize and report phishing

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails, pretending to be from reputable companies, to nudge individuals to reveal personal information. While phishing can be subtle, recognizing it will help prevent you from falling for it. Some common phishing signs are emails with;

  • Misspellings or grammar mistakes.
  • Language that’s urgent, alarming or threatening.
  • Unusual formatting.
  • Requests to send personal information.
  • Sent by a public email domain address, such as @gmail.com or @hotmail.com.

If you notice any of these, DELETE the email. Want to take your protection further, block the sending address. More information on recognizing and reporting phishing can prevent you from serious security breaches down the road.

Why we help you to be #BeCyberSmart

As a trusted seller of digital gift cards, we are committed to helping you be safer online. That is why Dundle aligns with the National Cybersecurity Alliance as a Champion Organization dedicated to promoting a more secure and trusted internet. Each year, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and comes with highly recommended tips and publications that will help you to improve your digital security. Just follow the hashtag #becybersmart here on socials, or regularly check out their website to stay informed about this year’s topics enabling multi-factor authentication, passwords and password managers, updating software, and recognizing phishing.

Ryan Kinlough
Written by Ryan Kinlough