02-08-2021

Resolve To Be Cybersecure

For many people, New Year’s resolutions bring a fresh perspective and an opportunity to create positive changes. Many resolutions relate to diet and fitness—and after the pandemic began, we adjusted our resolutions to simply get through 2020 in the healthiest way possible. Although diet and fitness resolutions are wonderful, resolutions to improve your online safety are just as important. Improving your cybersecurity habits in 2021 will help you stay protected online and give you peace of mind.

Let’s compare three essential resolutions, 2020 style vs. 2021 New Year’s style:

Old Resolution: I promise to unmute myself before speaking on a call or meeting.

New Resolution: I promise to UPDATE and CHANGE all of my passwords on a regular basis.

Cyber Blog

Are you using the name of your favorite sports team or the name of your child, pet, or even yourself as a password for your online accounts? Are you using the same handful of passwords for all your online accounts?

Using the same passwords for all your online accounts is simple and easy to remember. However, what might start as hackers accessing your easy-to-remember Netflix account login could become a far more serious concern when those hackers use the same login for your Amazon Prime or PayPal account. Changing your passwords frequently and using different passwords for each account will improve your online safety.

Old Resolution: I promise to use UberEats only ONCE a week.

New Resolution: I promise I will STOP oversharing on social media.

Do you post pictures while on vacation? Do you Check In on Facebook or the ‘Gram at the restaurant when posting a picture of your meal before indulging?

Social media outlets are not secure forums. When you announce you are leaving for a trip (and include a countdown) or post a picture of you hanging poolside during your vacation, you are practically inviting burglars to your house. If you would like to post a picture of your Drunken Rib Eye from Mike’s American, consider posting after your dinner, when you are home and able to protect it from intruders. In addition, think twice before sharing a video of yourself dancing on the bar. Although it is very funny and could go viral, it will not go well career-wise. Remember that employers check social media profiles before considering a candidate.

Old Resolution: I promise to wash my face, brush my hair and teeth, and change out of PJs before logging on for the day.

New Resolution: I promise I will RUN software updates on a regular basis.

Why do the software or application updates always pop-up at the most inconvenient time? So annoying, right? Have you ever ignored an update until something does not work correctly on your phone?

These software and application updates contain security patches that protect your phone, computer, and any other system from THREATS. Although the pop-ups are inconvenient and time consuming (all of 10 minutes), they are protecting you from open vulnerabilities.

Now is the time to make a positive impact on your life—like cybersecurity. Let’s get to it!

About The Author

Tiffany “TJ” Jackson is a Project Manager for the Combatant Command Cyber Mission Support (CCMS) Task Order under the Alliant IDIQ GWAC. She is responsible for planning, executing, and delivering all contract performance requirements for six Technical Direction Letters. Prior to her project management work, TJ served as a cybersecurity (CS) subject matter expert. She enjoys keeping informed on all things CS so that she stays at the forefront of the cyber fight.

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