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Cybersecurity Awareness Month

It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and NCU’s cybersecurity experts are here with a few tips for safe activities online and on your phone. Special thanks to Frank Appunn, Program Lead - Master of Science Cybersecurity.

Much better passwords that you can remember.

Tough passwords for computers can be easier for people. Example: bicyclenailhousebaby

  • Use random words not associated with you specifically that can represent an image that you can remember for each required password.
  • If required, sprinkle in any capitals, numbers, or symbols; however, that can be a regular pattern: ^9Fbicyclenailhousebaby

Too many passwords?

Never reuse passwords and make them difficult for computers and hackers. However, you might have too many to remember them properly.

  1. Do not trust your browser to store important passwords.
  2. Use a password app that supports your computers and other devices.
  3. For personal use, many are free.
  4. Search for “password manager” and select one with a good rating that covers all of your devices and has an acceptable price (many are free).
  5. Use an extra-difficult password for computers to protect your password manager, it is the only one you will need! (See our “better passwords that you can remember” tip above.)

Nothing is free.

Anything that is free cannot afford to remain good because maintaining apps is very expensive.

  1. Free things will sell your information or make use of your information.
  2. Many apps sell your data or run services for others to get access to you.
  3. Most of the biggest free apps not linked to your purchases make money by advertising to you, using your data for selection.
  4. Yes, the password manager is free – they hope to sell premium products to you or your company.

Are you happy to be sold? If not, go elsewhere.

All of your data will disappear soon

Computer data on your devices should be safe for 2 to 6 years. In the cloud it may take a little longer before you or someone else makes a mistake.

  • Keep a backup that is not connected to your computer. Example: An external drive not on connected to your network.
  • Store it on a specialize cloud service but (a) understand how it works and (b) follow the directions without the smallest mistake or omission.