October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month—and Bloomer Telephone Company wants to help you stay safer online.

Cybersecurity threats have increased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some sources say cybercrime is up some 600% since 2020! Cybercrime can affect everyone—large corporations, small businesses and individuals. Scammers are looking to gain information they can sell—or gain access to business or individual financial accounts for immediate monetary gains.

One of the first lines of defense against cybercriminals is to have a strong password or passphrase. The more complex, unique and high in character count you can make your password, the better. Here are a few tips for making your password rock solid:

  • Create a passphrase that contains several words that are meaningful to you, but not easy for others to guess—or could give away personal information that would make you vulnerable to identity theft. For example, “iwasbornon051578,” probably isn’t the best passphrase. Go for something like, “halloweenismyfavorite.” Including numbers, capitalization and symbols are also ways to strengthen your password.
  • Use multifactor authentication (MFA) which requires an additional layer of security, such as a one-time use code from an authentication app or sent to your phone or email.
  • Choose security questions with answers can’t be easily found on social media or via other online sources.
  • Use a unique password for each account and change your passwords periodically. This way, if one password is comprised, the damage is limited to that one account versus many.
  • Consider using a password manager to store all our passwords rather than writing them down. A password manager is safer and easier to update than a hand-written list.

For other tips on how to stay safe online, check out the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s website.

 

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Do you have any questions? Call us at 715-568-4830