By 2025, the cost of cybercrime is predicted to reach $10.5 trillion according to Cisco and Cybersecurity Venture’s “2022 Cybersecurity Almanac.” Small businesses and homeowners are especially at risk for cyber-attacks as security is generally weaker than what is in place at larger companies and government agencies. To raise awareness against this online danger, the Cybersecurity, and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is recognizing the month of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This month is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise cybersecurity awareness nationwide and help ensure all Americans have the resources they need to be both safe and secure online.

In an effort to help Americans stay safe online this month and all year long, CISA has outlined some action steps they encourage everyone to implement to increase online security.

Step 1: Think before you click: recognize and report phishing 

If a link looks off, take a minute to think before you click on it because it could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware. Some signs of a potentially dangerous link or attachment are if the link is not secure, asks you to download something, is a jumble of unrecognizable characters, or comes from someone or an address that you don’t recognize. 

Step 2: Update your software

Don’t put off updating your software. If you see a software update notification, act promptly or turn on automatic updates to keep your security systems up to date.

Step 3: Use strong passwords

Don’t use obvious passwords like “123,” your home address, and your name and especially don’t use the same password for all of your accounts. These types of passwords can be easily guessed by people that know you or people who just have access to google. Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. Use password managers to securely encrypt and generate and remember different and complex passwords for each of your different accounts.

Step 4: Enable multi-factor authentication

It’s best to use more than a password to protect your information online. You can do this by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) to make you significantly less likely to get hacked by requiring a push notification, or one-time password inputs to access your accounts.

To learn more about protecting yourself and your business online, please visit:

DII is your partner in online safety and cybersecurity. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to recognize phishing and protect yourself against hackers. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #CyberSecurity #CISA

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