On World Password Day, Protect Your Digital Identity!

Cybersecurity Tips

By Becca Gregg Sansom, Corporate Communications Specialist

May 5, 2022

Spring has finally sprung! But you don’t have to wait until the flowers bloom to do a clean
sweep of your cyber security processes. Any time of the year is an optimal one to take a
hard eye to the security practices you have in place.

The massive shift to remote work over the past two years has exposed increasing vulnerabilities, with criminals waiting in the wings to steal your peace of mind, and much more.

According to statistics cited by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA):

Cybersecurity Blog

Often, the vulnerability that gives cybercriminals access to systems is a preventable one – human error, such as employees failing to install software patches or clicking on malicious links.

Here, Donegal’s Vice President & Information Security Officer, Jay Martin, shares his tips to stay one step ahead of criminals and reduce the likelihood of your agency or yourself falling victim to cyberattack.

1. Never use a correctly-spelled word in your passwords.
Words are the first things hackers try. “Coww-bois99” is a much stronger, hard-to-crack password than “Cowboys-99”, even though both are easy to remember.

2. Avoid storing your passwords in your Internet browser.
While this might be very convenient, you should avoid doing so with sensitive or critical accounts, as they can quite easily be exposed if a virus or malware gets on your computer.

3. Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
In addition to your password, this added layer of security sends a one-time security “token” to your phone or email address. Important to remember: Never give that extra token to someone on the phone that claims to be a representative from that website/business. If they really work for that company, they won’t need your token to access your account.

4. Be vigilant and wary of unexpected emails with links or attachments:
In 2022, phishing email is still the #1 method that hackers use to plant viruses, ransomware, and to take over your email account or take over your company. When in doubt, call the person who sent you the email first to confirm that it’s a valid email.

5. Keep your software and devices up to date.
Keep your computer updated by installing patches and security updates as they are offered by Microsoft, Adobe, etc. After phishing, missing patches is the #2 way hackers can target companies.

6. Be suspicious of unexpected text messages containing a link.
Text messaging is surging in popularity as a way for hackers to “phish” users. Most businesses will never send you a text with a link directing you to their site.

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