Skip to main content

WNC Business

Concerned About Cybersecurity? 4 Easy Steps to Stay Secure

Oct 04, 2022 09:52AM ● By Joe Jakubielski

Cybersecurity has become one of the most significant topics inside and outside technology circles over the last two years. From securing learning devices due to a rise in digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic to coping with the fallout of high-profile breaches of national infrastructure such as the Colonial Pipeline, there is a seemingly endless news cycle dedicated to cybersecurity mishaps and concerns. 

With this onslaught of negative news, it can be easy for people to become overwhelmed and feel powerless in the face of the “insurmountable” threats posed by cybersecurity. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Surrounding all of the jargon typically thrown around in relation to cybersecurity, there is a longstanding misperception that cybersecurity should be left to professionals. Moreover, there is a prevailing sense among the public that breaches are simply a fact of life and that we should learn to deal with them. But this isn’t true.

Everyone has a huge role in cybersecurity threat prevention, detection, and remediation. For example, according to IBM, 95 percent of breaches have human error as a main cause. Therefore, technology users are very much the first line of defense when thwarting cybercrime. 

Here are some key best practices that are easy to use and can be implemented today to enhance cybersecurity and create a more secure world for every business, government, and nonprofit.

Watch Out for Phishing

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. Eighty percent of cybersecurity incidents stem from a phishing attempt. However, while phishing has gotten more sophisticated, keeping an eye out for typos, poor graphics, and other suspicious characteristics can be a telltale sign that the content is potentially coming from a “phish.” In addition, if you think you have spotted a phishing attempt, report the incident so that internal information technology teams and service providers can remediate the situation and possibly prevent others from becoming victims.

Update Your Passwords and Use a Password Manager

Password cracking is one of the go-to tactics that cybercriminals employ to access sensitive information. Having unique, long, and complex passwords is one of the best ways to boost your cybersecurity immediately, yet only 43 percent of the public say that they “always” or “very often” use strong passwords. Also, if you are a “password repeater,” once a cybercriminal has hacked one of your accounts, they can easily do the same across all your accounts.

One of the biggest reasons that individuals repeat passwords is that it can be tough to remember them all. Fortunately, by using a password manager, it is possible to securely store all unique passwords in one place – meaning, people only have to remember one password. In addition, password managers are incredibly easy to use and can automatically plug in stored passwords when you visit a site.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Enabling multi-factor authentication prompts a user to input a second set of verifying information such as a secure code sent to a mobile device or a sign-in link via an authenticator app. This is a hugely effective measure that anyone can use to drastically reduce the chances of a cybersecurity breach. In fact, according to Microsoft, MFA is 99.9 percent effective in preventing breaches. Therefore, it is a must for any individual that is looking to secure their devices and accounts.

Activate Automatic Updates

Making sure devices are always up-to-date with the most recent versions is essential to preventing cybersecurity issues from cropping up. Cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and updates are hugely important in helping to address vulnerabilities that have been uncovered as well as in providing ongoing maintenance. Therefore, instead of trying to remember to check for updates or closing out of update notifications, enable automatic update installations whenever possible.


Now in its 19th year, Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues to build momentum and impact co-led by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). Find more resources at

For help or more information, email [email protected] or call Joe Jakubielski, Cyber Defense Analyst / Security Awareness, at 828-335-3553.