As October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a good time to dust off your passwords and reinvigorate them to protect your data and identity both on and offline. The following is sage advice from our cybersecurity team.
When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email and online posts are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious—even if you know the source—it is best to delete or, if appropriate, mark it as “junk email.” Contact the company directly (via phone) to be sure the email is legitimate.
Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.
Use stronger authentication: Always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account. For example, it could be a one-time PIN texted to a mobile device, providing an added layer of security beyond the password and username. Visit for more information on stronger authentication.
Make passwords long: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. Length beats complexity. Websites like can help you generate an easy-to-remember, yet very secure password.
Consider using a password manager! A password manager is a secure application that allows you to create, store and manage your passwords across all of your devices and services. They differ, but in general, most offer the following features:
Avoid falling prey to data hackers. Reinforce your weakest links, so you, your information and those around you stay safe all year long.
View this resource for more tips:
About the Author
Ron Rabena is Chief Administrative Officer, East Division, for Allied Universal.