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It’s Easy to Stay Safe Online

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone protect sensitive information when using technology whenever and however you connect. The theme for the month is "It’s easy to stay safe online" and the University of Colorado is proud to be a champion of this online safety and education initiative once again.

Cybersecurity has become one of the hottest topics both inside and outside of technology circles over the last two years. From securing learning devices due to a rise in digital learning to coping with the fallout of high-profile breaches. Some people have a misperception that cybersecurity is beyond the skills of everyday people and that it should be left to the professionals. Some people believe that breaches are simply a fact of life and that we should just learn to deal with them.

But this isn’t true. There are steps we can take every day to ensure the privacy of ourselves and our data. Below are some key topics the average internet user should know about.


The practice of phishing — when a cybercriminal poses as a legitimate party in hopes of getting individuals to engage with malicious content or links — remains one of the most popular tactics among cybercriminals today. However, while phishing has gotten more sophisticated, being skeptical of unsolicited communications as well as keeping an eye out for typos, poor graphics, convoluted email addresses and other suspicious characteristics can be a telltale sign that the content is potentially coming from a phishing scam.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) — which prompts you to provide a second set of verifying information, such as a secure code sent to a mobile device — is a hugely effective measure that anyone can use to drastically reduce the chances of a cybersecurity breach.

Review previous Tech Tips for more information on MFA.

Passwords & Password Manager

Having unique, lengthy and complex passwords is one of the best ways to immediately improve your cybersecurity. Cracking passwords is one of the go-to tactics that cybercriminals use to access value information. If you use the same password on multiple accounts, a cybercriminal only has to compromise one of your accounts to gain access to other accounts.

It can be difficult to not only create unique passwords but to recall them later, especially on platforms you only occasionally access. Using a secure password manager to generate random passwords and store them for future logins can significantly improve the security of your information as well as your ability to access your own accounts.

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