Staying in touch while staying safe online

Staying in touch while staying safe online | Staying Safe Online | GroupHealth

Staying connected with friends, family, and coworkers has been challenging, especially over the last year. Through the internet and social media, we’ve been able to stay present in each other’s lives – whether it be to attend a loved one’s wedding, work on projects, or participate in games nights. However, increasing the time we spend online has made us more vulnerable to cyber threats and scams. With October being Cybersecurity Awareness month, here are some ways you can protect yourself online while remaining in touch.

  • Be mindful of what you share
    Part of the fun of social media is sharing our lives with others, but sharing too much can make you a target for someone to steal your identity or hack your account. To keep yourself safe, customize the security settings on your social media accounts, limit the personal information you post or have in your profile (such as phone numbers or addresses), and be cautious about accepting requests and invites from people you don’t know in real life.
  • Recognize phishing scams so you’re not the bait

    Phishing is the act of acquiring sensitive information (such as usernames, passwords, or even credit card numbers) by pretending to be someone you know or trust. If you receive a questionable email, text, or even direct message on social media promising you a grand prize (for a contest you never entered), using threatening language, asking for personal information, or containing typos or bizarre language, ignore it and do not click on any suspicious links or downloads.

  • Keep it complicated

    One of the best ways to keep your information safe is to use unique, complex passwords or passphrases for your online accounts. A strong password is at least 12 characters (letters, numbers, or symbols) while a strong passphrase should be at least 15 characters and 4 or more random words. Consider using a password manager to protect your passwords and keep them in a secure place so you don’t have to memorize or write them down (only to lose it soon after).

    For an added layer of protection, use two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication whenever available. Doing so adds an extra step to your login process (by receiving a PIN to your phone or email, for example), but helps prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your account without confirming the PIN, thumbprint, or facial recognition.
    For more information on Cybersecurity Awareness Month and ways to stay safe online, use the resources below.

For more information on Cybersecurity Awareness Month and ways to stay safe online, use the resources below.


Government of Canada | Get Cyber Safe 

Microsoft | Why is Cybersecurity Awareness Month important?

Government of Canada | Password managers

KnowBe4 | Phishing blog

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