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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 8, 2020

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the City of Garden Grove would like to share five simple tips to protect your internet-connected devices, mobile applications, and websites at home.

  1. Secure your WiFi Network - Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and digital devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.

  2. Double your Login Protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that you are the only person who has access to your account. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token, which is a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring.

  3. If you Connect, you Must Protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, your best defense is to update to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems. Enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks. And, if you’re connecting something into your device, such as a USB for an external hard drive, make sure your device’s security software scans for viruses and malware. Finally, protect your devices with antivirus software and be sure to periodically back up any important data that cannot be re-created.

  4. Keep Tabs on your Apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you unknowingly approved, gathering your personal information while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you no longer need or use. Say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. And, only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.

  5. Never Click and Tell. Limit your information on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to get coffee. These seemingly random details are all that criminals need to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings, online and in the real world. Keep social security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, or even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are and where you aren’t.

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