It’s not uncommon in our highly technological day-to-day activities to hear stories about the risks associated with modern business and personal online interactions. From spam email to swiping our debit cards to fill our gas tanks, the best way to prevent those risks is to be aware and alert to them.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, but in any month, the most important key to preventing risks is Awareness. Ethan Kobos, one of our 2020 Dakota West Scholarship recipients, is studying Cyber Security and we asked him about basic precautions he’s learned during his studies.
“The easiest way to improve your security is twofold. One, make every password something different from other websites. If one of your passwords is somehow found, then whoever has that information could easily find any account associated with it and take that too.
“Two, make strong passwords. The best passwords are not a long list of numbers that you won’t remember unless you write them down, it is a sentence, a movie quote, a saying, anything that you can remember while still being secure.”
Think about the ways you can enhance your prevention skills. Even Ethan, who studies cyber security preparations every day, recognizes the importance of staying aware of new risks.
“The biggest change in my awareness has been the realization that security is not simply software that can invade your computer, but the physical side of security. While finding the password to your wifi may be hard, it would be rather easy to walk up to a router and plug in, no need for a password. It is important to not just focus on one side of security, as they both can lead to an opportunity on the other.”
Dakota West always keeps your security top of mind, but taking an active role in your own security provides an important tool in your overall online safety. Commit time to learn more about how you can be more aware, and even more proactive, in protecting yourself at cisecurity.org or the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website. Together, we will work with you and for you to keep your finances safe.