The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things about our lives, and the changes hit us at warp speed. Suddenly and practically overnight, we had to shift our entire lives online, from shopping and entertainment to working and studying, and cybercriminals began taking advantage of our increased online presence.
This National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is a great time for everyone to resolve to #BeCyberSmart and take simple, proactive steps to protect themselves from being victimized by cybercrime. Here are five tips to take charge of your cybersecurity in 2021 and beyond.
1- Use credit cards, not debit cards, when shopping online
Laws limit consumers’ liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but debit cards may not offer the same levels of protection. Additionally, debit cards take funds directly from your bank account. This means that fraudulent debits could clean you out, leaving you with no cash to pay your household bills. With the shopping season approaching fast, make a note to use your credit cards when shopping online. Use Keeper to securely scan and store your identity, address, and credit card information in your vault to quickly auto-fill forms online.
2- Don’t click on unknown links or attachments
Phishing has evolved in recent years. In addition to email, cybercriminals frequently target victims through social media messages or SMS, and COVID-19-themed phishing schemes have been hitting consumers and businesses alike. Never click on any unsolicited links or file attachments, even if it appears to have come from a legitimate company or government agency. Instead, visit the organization’s website directly by manually typing their URL into your browser.
3- Use a strong, unique password for all of your accounts and apps
Since 80% of all successful data breaches can be traced back to weak or stolen passwords, exercising good password hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself online. Make sure to use a strong password for all of your accounts and apps:
- At least eight characters long, and preferably longer
- A random mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols
- No dictionary words, birthdates, or keyboard patterns (like qwerty or asdfghjkl)
Never reuse passwords across accounts. Using a unique password for every account limits the potential damage if one of your passwords is compromised.
4- Enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible
Enabling multi-factor authentication (2FA) on all accounts that support it gives you enhanced protection in the event that one of your passwords is compromised. Even if a cybercriminal has your password, they’ll be unable to access your account without the other authentication factor.
5- Use a password manager like Keeper
A robust password manager, such as Keeper’s solutions for individuals and families, makes it easy to practice good password habits. Keeper generates strong, unique passwords for all your sites and apps and stores them for you in a personal, encrypted digital vault that you can access from any device. You’ll never lose or forget another password again, and you’ll enjoy these additional benefits:
- Put more than just passwords in your encrypted digital vault; Keeper can protect your sensitive files, documents, photos, and videos, too. It even lets you securely scan and store your payment cards for faster checkout on websites and apps.
- Supports all two-factor authentication methods, including TOTP, SMS, Fingerprint (e.g. Touch ID), Face ID, and U2F security keys (e.g. YubiKey).
- Protect the entire family with Keeper Family! Secure and easily share passwords, insurance forms, medical records, estate planning documents, tax documents, photos, videos, and more.
Save big with special NCSAM 2020 discounts from Keeper
All month long, individuals and families can save 30% on Keeper’s award-winning password manager.
Get Keeper today and #BeCyberSmart!