October is Cyber Security Awareness Month all around the globe. This annual event is to keep the public aware and informed about the importance of cybersecurity. Want to see how cybersmart you are? Check out this cyber safe checkup published by the Government of Canada. By taking this checkup, you will better understand areas you may want to brush up on to keep your data out of cyber thugs’ hands. The quiz will take just minutes with only ten questions but provides immediate feedback on your answers and includes tips to increase online awareness.
Cybersecurity continually grows in importance with over 91% of Canadians over the age of 15 use the internet to send emails, banking, social media, checking the news, shopping, or just watching a movie.
And it is not just our phones, laptops, or PCs that are connect us to the internet. Bluetooth speakers and headphones, smart appliances, voice-controlled devices, smart security, HVAC systems, routers, game consoles and wearable devices connect to the internet as well. Many of these products or devices need our attention to cybersecurity measures, but we tend to overlook the importance.
Now more than ever it is vital we need to worry about the multitude of cyber equipment that needs updating and monitoring.
It is not uncommon to lose track of the connectable devices we now own. Maybe it is an old laptop you have sitting in your home office. Or an old phone you’ve long since replaced. Do you have an old MP3 player sitting in a drawer somewhere? Looking at all the ways we have connected to the internet in the past is just the start of our awareness.
One great way to keep up with all the devices you own is to keep a diary of each of them. List all the devices you can think of, even items such as printers or thermostats—anything that can be run on wireless connectivity. Once you start that list, not only will you be surprised at how much we rely on our internet-connected devices, but you will also be able to understand better why cybersecurity is so critical.
Each of those devices is a way for a hacker to access your personal life or work.
Updating the devices you can, factory resetting those you no longer need or use, or better yet, ensuring they are entirely overwritten or securely erasing the information on it is a great way to be cyber safe. While this may seem excessive now, it won’t be if it saves you from a cyber thief obtaining data from one of these devices that could potentially lead to information being compromised.
Being cyber safe may take a few extra steps, but it will be worth it in the end. No one method can keep those out that are not welcome, but a layered approach is the most helpful. You are a part of that layered approach.