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October 14, 2021 ▫️ Security

Cybersecurity Awareness Month:
Tips to Protect Yourself Online

Everyone plays a part in creating a safe digital environment, and the 2021 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort of government and industry, focuses on the role of each individual in maintaining cybersecurity at home and in the workplace.

Whether using mobile devices, browsing e-commerce websites, or performing routine transactions, the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month theme ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart’ is helping to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.

Here are top tips to help combat cyber-related crimes.


Do not open attachments in emails from people who you do not personally recognize or if the message makes you suspicious.

Remember to pause before you act. Scammers operate based on fear and immediacy. They want you to act fast and not to think first.


When it comes to protecting your accounts, multi-factor authentication is vital. It makes stealing your information harder for the average criminal.

The less enticing your data, the more likely that thieves will choose someone else to target.


Back your files up to a server that’s in a different location. Or consider cloud backup, also known as online backup. It’s a strategy for sending a copy of a physical or virtual file or database to a secondary, off-site location for preservation in case of equipment failure or catastrophe.


When you see those little pesky pop-ups telling you to update, don’t ignore those. Most people do miss them, and the problem is that often they’re security updates.

Outdated software is vulnerable to malware. And many attacks target software that most people use including computer operating systems and internet browsers.

Should a malware attack successfully compromise your software, you risk exposing sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, and so on.

By updating your software, you can ensure that your systems and the information they contain are as protected as possible from these threats.


There are many free resources online from the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the ID Theft Resource Center.

From online banking and shopping to controlling our home’s thermostat, we live in a world that has become reliant on the devices we carry or that sit on our desks.

And with hybrid and remote work and school having become the new norm for many, it’s important to not only ensure our devices are secure but to make sure everyone is using safe practices.


  • Make sure to understand all the places where your information can live on the internet and how easily hackers can steal it for malicious purposes.

  • Educate yourself and others on how to identify and not fall victim to phishing and vishing scams and what to do if you think you’ve become a victim. Here’s information on two common scams, such as U.S. tax season scams or Microsoft impersonation scams.

  • Avoid unnecessary software downloads, and only download software from reputable sources. Although free games may be fun, they can contain malware or viruses that can steal information off the device.

  • Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is properly secured. Educate yourself on the risks of connecting to public Wi-Fi in places like airports or coffee shops. See tips on securing your home Wi-Fi network and public Wi-Fi best practices.

  • Educate yourself on the characteristics of a strong password and how to enable multi-factor authentication when possible. Make sure you create a new password on every device own. See password strength best practices.

While many of the tips on the list may seem basic — we should all take time to step up our game in keeping ourselves and information safe from scammers.

To learn more about how to protect yourself online, visit: staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month for more resources.  

The material shown is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as accounting, legal, or tax advice. Hilltop Wealth Solutions is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission; registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. While efforts are made to ensure information contained herein is accurate, Hilltop Wealth Solutions cannot guarantee the accuracy of all such information presented.

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