Be Cyber Smart! Tips from Cybersecurity Awareness Month

You visit Facebook and type in your password. Red letters tell you your information is not recognized. You attempt to reset your password but notice your account has a new and unfamiliar email address.

It dawns on you all at once: your account has been hacked.

Having your online accounts and private data hacked is scary. But a few good habits can help both individuals and companies stay safe online, according to the experts at The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). These experts will share tips and information all October as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, created in 2004 by NCSA and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

• Passwords are out, passphrases are in, according to NCSA. They recommend that you keep each account safe with a unique passphrase at least 12 characters long — a longer phrase is much safer than a short string of random characters.

• Savvy computer users should also back up any data they aren’t willing to lose. If you have a copy and your device falls victim to ransomware or other cyber threats, you will be able to restore the data, according to NCSA.

The first week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will focus on useful tips like these and many more. Their goal is to help people “#BeCyberSmart,” which is also the catchphrase and hashtag for Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

The second week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will help “Fight the Phish.” Smart computer users are especially careful to avoid “phishing” attacks, in which deceptive emails or texts often lure victims to reveal passwords or download malware or ransomware. These attacks cause 80 percent of cyber security incidents.

NCSA will also provide information on careers in cyber security in week three and the new risks of working remotely in week four.

If all this isn’t enough, you can find even more useful tips and resources online to help you and your business prevent data breaches.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Need extra protection? In addition to these tips from the NCSA, cyber liability insurance will help mitigate potential cost in the event of a cyber incident. Distinguished offers cyber liability insurance through its Restaurant and Hotel programs.