What and when is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and what do I need to know?

What is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and when does it take place?

20 Years ago, the United States Government and Congress met to declare that every October, we will communicate Cybersecurity, and make it a reminder for everyone on this planet how important it is to practice Cybersecurity.

This was a great choice and a great start from 20 years ago, as bad actors have immensely increased since then, making hacking a big business for bad actors and hackers as we all should already know.

We don't need to wait until October to start with securing our devices and accounts! This should be ongoing every month to ensure we're keeping up with security updates, and making sure we're making good choices to stay ahead of the bad actors.

The historical statistics for Cybercrime have grown every year and the trend is always increasing the wrong direction. 

A few mind-blowing statistics:

  • eSentire stated in a Cybercrime report that the world total cost per year of Cybercrime is predicted to reach $8 trillion this year, and $10.5 trillion by 2025.
  • Crowdstrike stated they have seen a 583% increase year over year in identity based types of attacks.

Maybe the above statistics for Cyberattacks are enough to grab your attention and think about keeping your online accounts and personal devices safe?

There is more than enough evidence and reasons for everyone to be more vigilante and keep their private technology Cybersecurity life safe. Let's get started early before October, start communicating this, and share with friends and family as they need to be safe as well and not get hacked.

Who else communicates Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

All organizations around the world, states, and nations have focused their efforts and campaign for Cybersecurity Awareness for every October and every year going forward. Organizations such as the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), and the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), just to name a few. 

What makes Cybersecurity Awareness Month so special in 2023?

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Cybersecurity Awareness! Let's do another 20 more years as it has only become much more important than 20 years ago.

Become Aware and Reduce your Risk

Every October for the last 20 years, Cybersecurity Awareness is promoted and communicated throughout the world.

This is a reminder to make sure you stay Cybersecurity smart, not just for October but for all-time going forward for the rest of your life. Why? because Cybersecurity becomes more complicated every year and Cybersecurity is a big business for hackers and bad actors as mentioned earlier. What else can we do? Well for example, make sure your'e keeping your passwords safe and complicated. 

What else can I do to keep my devices and accounts safe?

For starters don't create easy short passwords that can be guessed really easy. These days companies are forcing customers to create longer passwords that are more complex, including uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. 

Besides password upgrades, here are a few other things you should do as well:

  • Install a reputable antivirus software on all devices: I recommend Bitdefender to secure all your devices. There are other anti-virus vendors, however I have tested Bitdefender against all other brands and they came out on top for performance, also here for more options.
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all your online accounts: This is offered even on your email accounts, and you should enable this so you can get a text in case someone who is un-authorized, tries to sign into your account without proper verification and authorized access.
  • Recognize Phishing emails and don't be a clicker: Look at every email more carefully even if email is part of your everyday job. You still need to know how to recognize phishing email because 90% of the time that is how people get hacked.
  • Update your software on devices: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and all other operating systems need to be patched for newly discovered holes. The great news is that vendors have teams on constant lookout to fix their systems for customers. If companies and customers never updated their devices and systems every month... then they would all be vulnerable, un-safe, exploitable, and hacked.

I hope all this was helpful and made you more Cybersecurity smart. It's good to be aware and Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind everyone to start being more safe and secure online. By taking these steps above you can help make sure that your personal technology life will be more secure and safe from hackers.