Cyberscams are nothing new, and it seems that we hear about a new one every week in North Dakota.

According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, there are some things you need to know and some steps to take to make sure your cybersecurity is up-to-date.
The amount in your bank account does not matter to hackers; they just want to access it. Your financial information, identification, and email content are all highly valuable. In order to reach as many people as they can, cybercriminals will also cast as wide a net as they can. They are depending on you believing that you are uninvited.

How, therefore, can you lessen the likelihood that you will fall for the con games? Recognize the signals!

Let's begin by going over the fundamentals of "cyber hygiene," or simple, common sense methods to keep oneself safe online.

The first thing you should do is enable multifactor authentication

It is known by several names: Authentication with two factors. Dual-factor verification. Verification takes two steps. MFA, 2FA. All of these refer to taking an additional step to verify your identity when reputable websites and applications urge you to do so.

Your employer, bank, school, social media, and other institutions usually ask for confirmation that you are the one accessing your data.

By requesting two pieces of information, like a text message, passcode, pin, authenticator key, or biometric measure like your face or fingerprint, they may confirm that it is you.

You'll notice prompts for multifactor authentication everywhere now that you know what it is. Thus, choose to participate. Prioritize your financial services, social networking accounts, email accounts, and online retailers, and don't forget about your gaming and streaming entertainment services!

Make a software update.

In fact, it is advised that you should enable automatic software upgrades.

Evildoers will take advantage of holes in the system. Network defenders are putting a lot of effort into fixing them as quickly as they can, but our collective upgrading of our software with the most recent fixes is what keeps them working.

Update the laptops, tablets, and cell phones' operating systems. Additionally, update all of your devices' apps, particularly their online browsers.

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Prior to clicking, consider

Ever notice a link that doesn't seem quite right? Although it appears to be something you've seen before, a password or change has to be entered.  Scammers might pose as your bank, your friend, your boss, your email provider, etc.

It's probably a phishing scheme, where shady characters use a link or website that appears legitimate but is actually a scam to obtain private information from you, such as credit card information, passwords, or social security numbers.

If you're not familiar with the link, go with your gut don't click.

Create secure passwords.

We tend to pick passwords that mean something to us, like maybe with a high school mascot or the street you group on. Some even go more simple than that, with the most common password being "password123456".

It's not much better to use your child's name and birthday together.

Here are some tips for creating a stronger password.

Make sure it’s at least 16 characters long

Use a password manager; they’re better than humans at being random.

Make sure you’re not recycling the same password across all your apps and websites.

You can also use a password manager to store all of your passwords so you don’t have to remember them all.

If you go this route, make sure your master password is strong and memorable, and secure your password manager account with MFA.

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