Cyber security, also known as information technology security, is the way of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, networks, and data from malicious attacks. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the goal of the month-long initiative is to focus attention on the efforts required to safeguard individual computers and secure and protect critical data and infrastructure.

Here at Erb, we have an amazing team of I.T. professionals to safeguard our systems. They are constantly monitoring our online infrastructure for threats and ensuring our employees are informed about cyber attacks and online security issues. It is important that we take precautions to ensure our confidential information stays safe while at home and at work. This is an on-going issue that affects all of us, not just organizations. Everyone’s personal profiles can be at risk if proper precautions are not taken.


Use a variety of usernames and passwords: Most websites and applications now require usernames and passwords and keeping them all the same seems practical, however this is not best practice. Always use unique usernames and passwords for each site you log into. Using the same login credentials for all your profiles can allow attackers to easily access all of your accounts. Make sure your password is strong by using special characters and numbers to safeguard your information.

Secure your devices: Make sure you install and update antivirus software on your systems, including your mobile devices. Antivirus software helps protect against malware and cybercriminals. It searches for data and known threats and monitors programs, flagging suspicious behaviours and removing malware as quickly as possible. This software is a vital component to your overall online security strategy. To find a good antivirus software, click here.

Avoid public WiFi: Did you know connecting to public WiFi opens you up to online threats? While public Wi-Fi may seem like one of the greatest conveniences and it’s tempting to connect to save some data, in reality, it can be quite dangerous. There are numerous risks when connecting to a public network. To find out more, click here:

Beware of phishing: Don’t take the bait! Phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised email as a weapon. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need, such as a request from their bank, or a note from someone in their company and to click a link or download an attachment. Beware that one of your friends or family members may have had their account attacked and the attacker could be reaching out to you for personal information, to send money or purchase them online gift cards.

Monitor your accounts: Make sure you are checking your account activity regularly and ensure your credits cards and bank accounts don’t have any suspicious activity going on. Contact your financial institution immediately if you see purchases that you didn’t make.

Be suspicious: Never let your guard down. If you get an email that looks suspicious, don’t open it until you are sure it is safe. If you aren’t sure, delete it immediately.

The global cyber threat continues to evolve at a rapid pace and there are a rising number of breaches each year as cyber criminals have become quite creative. The best tip to prevent cyber attacks is to be informed and to keep educating yourself about cyber security. Elders and children can be more vulnerable to attacks, so make sure you share the knowledge you have with them to help keep them safe. This Halloween don’t be tricked by treating your cyber attackers to your personal information!


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