Undoubtedly, you have heard about the recent Yahoo security breach. Yahoo estimates that 500 million accounts were stolen, “in what may be the largest cybersecurity breach ever.” (CNN Money) The information stolen include email addresses, phone numbers, passwords and unencrypted security questions and answers. There is a measure of comfort in that financial data and information linked to bank accounts were not breached.

That fact, however, still does not diminish that the breaches are still happening worldwide through a wide array of cybercrimes and scams. There is an important lesson to learn, it is important for everyone to be vigilant in reviewing all accounts, whether they are banking accounts, social media or email accounts. It is especially important to change passwords and security questions often. It can sometimes become a daunting task to keep passwords updated frequently, but the small investment of time can pay off in the future.

One thing to always keep in mind is that cybercriminals do not care who they are targeting. You can be an active targeting victim and not know it. We live in a society that is fast-paced. In this way, we must be more active in dealing with the cyber threats. Cyber criminals are becoming more and more creative in their techniques. Keeping online accounts safe and secure is a good protective measure, do not share your logins, and ensure that passwords are changed frequently.

In a Fidelity article, Kevin Wood details important safeguards to keep in mind. “1. Use two-factor authentication and strong passwords. 2. Install industry-standard systems and software, keep them up to date, and perform regular backups. 3. Use caution when linking to financial accounts or e-commerce sites through email. 4. Always access your accounts from a secure Wi-Fi location. 5. Consider using a dedicated device for online banking. 6. Understand your computing environment and consider whether you need help.” While some of these may appear rudimentary in process, they help protect us from cyber threats.

October marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Higher security measures will provide a better measure of security for you and your family. We live in an ever-increasing connected world. As such, the need to be secure is at an all-time high. Anytime we log in to a device or check our email, we are prone to cyber attacks.

Stay safe online and take the necessary safeguards. It might take a little more time on your end, but it will be worth it to keep you safe.