Stay safe online with these Cybersecurity Awareness Month tips

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.


The pandemic has changed the way we work, go to school and socialize. Now, more than ever, we're communicating online. That's why this year's National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is so important.

“Our use of technology is increasing day by day, especially as many of us are learning and working remotely," said Madison College Information Security Architect Jesse La Grew. "Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a good reminder to all of us to follow good cyber hygiene practices that will help to keep our data private and our technology working." 

Here are some FBI cyber safety tips:

  • Keep software systems up to date and use a good anti-virus program.
  • Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
  • If an unsolicited text message, email, or phone call asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
  • Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
  • Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.

A recent Clark School study found that hacker attacks occur every 39 seconds. That's why experts say cybersecurity is something that needs to be practiced year-round.