October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month, a time for U.S. citizens to educate themselves on current cybersecurity issues. As citizens read about different types of common security threats, they may be encouraged to update their devices and respective security systems.
Here are three common areas that are overlooked in cybersecurity preparation:
- Device passcodes
- One of the most common ways unverified users gain access to devices is not through hacking a network, but by physically using a device. Passcodes may seem unnecessary or tedious, but if a device is lost or stolen, anyone can gain access to the information it holds. Using passcodes on smartphones, tablets and laptops is the first line of defense in cybersecurity and prevents any physical attacks. Along with passwords, many devices now have the option to set up biometric controls, such as a thumbprint, to grant access to a device.
- A common way for hackers to gain access to various accounts is by obtaining the username and password. It’s common to use the same username and password combination to multiple accounts, so they are not forgotten, but this can result in multiple accounts being hacked at once. For this reason, users are encouraged to use different name and password combinations for different social media networks and applications, especially accounts containing sensitive financial, health and other personal information.
- Network access
- Lastly, one overlooked area of cybersecurity is monitoring which networks devices access. Free WiFi, especially while traveling, is seen as a pleasant surprise, but can result in device vulnerabilities and malicious users gaining access. If traveling, users may way to invest in a personal hotspot, or use password protected networks. When using public networks, users should avoid accessing any accounts that contain sensitive information.
National Cybersecurity Awareness month continues until the end of October. Check into the HOBI blog to read more tips on both IT and mobile data security.