Cybersecurity Tips for Any Workspace
October marks Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaboration between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safe and secure online. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans, including utility workers and utility customers, continue to work from a variety of locations. Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, follow these tips for working online in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Use Multi-Factor Identification
Multi-factor authentication is a security process that requires users to provide two or more pieces of information to verify their identity. The extra step may seem like an inconvenience but protecting your personal information and sensitive professional information is worth it. Use it for any website that requires logging in, including:
- Social media
You can enable multi-factor identification by using a trusted mobile device, an authenticator app, or a secure token — a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency for more information.
Spot the Phish
Cybercriminals will use phishing attacks to try to convince users to click on a link or open an attachment that infects their computers with malware and viruses to steal personal and financial information. Keep these tips in mind for identifying phishing emails:
- From Address: Always check the ‘From’ email address. For example, you could receive a message that looks like it’s from Microsoft. But upon closer inspection, the “From” name is actually “Micrasoft”. While similar, ‘Micrasoft’ is most definitely not the same as ‘Microsoft’ and could be an indicator of a phishing email.
- Consistent Grammatical Errors: Make sure to read through emails fully and watch for consistent grammatical errors.
- Urgent messaging: Phishing emails aim to have you give access to personal information, click on a link, or something similar by using urgent calls to action. Be mindful of calls to action that sound urgent and of clicking on links you don’t recognize.
When it’s available, use the ‘report phish’ option for emails to help your email provider and/or employer block other similar messages in the future.
Stay Protected Away from Home
If you’re working away from your home, be cautious when connecting to public WiFi. If you do use an unsecured network, try to avoid activities that require your personal information like passwords or credit cards. Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking.
Be Mindful of Oversharing
Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. Be especially careful of sharing where you’re working if it’s away from your home or office. Cybercriminals can use these details to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings—online and in the real world. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are – and where you aren’t – at any given time. Read the Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information.
Use these tips to #BeCyberSmart to protect yourself online and improve the security of your devices, and check back in as we share more cybersecurity resources throughout the month.