Every October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Penn Manor is proud to participate in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) campaign to increase awareness of cybersecurity threats.

Join us in taking these four steps to protect our community from cyber crime.

1. Enable Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security for your accounts. MFA can prevent hackers from accessing your sensitive information, even if they get your username and password. Start by enabling MFA on your most important accounts, such as banking websites and apps, email, and social media accounts. Then, enable MFA where ever else you can.

MFA is also sometimes referred to as “Two Factor Authentication” or “Two Step Authentication.”

Click here for instructions to enable MFA on your Google account.

Watch the CISA video to learn more about MFA.

2. Use Unique and Complex Passwords

One of the leading causes of unauthorized access to accounts is the reuse of login credentials. Be sure to use a unique password on each website you visit.

The longer and more complicated a password is, the harder it will be for someone to access your accounts. Eleven characters, or more, is suggested. You could use a short sentence, or a mix
of letters, symbols and numbers.

Password manager tools make it much easier to create and store unique and complex passwords. With one master password, a password manager can generate and retrieve passwords for every account that you have. The PM IT team recommends 1Password.

Watch the CISA video for strong passwords tips.

3. Recognize and Report Phishing

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization. An attacker may send an email that appears to be from a reputable credit card company or financial institution requesting account information to resolve a problem. When users respond with the requested information, attackers can gain access to their accounts.

If you’re unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Don’t use contact information or links from the suspicious email or website. Watch the CISA video for tips for identifying phishing.

Penn Manor students and staff should report suspected phishing attacks to the district IT department as soon as possible.

4. Update Your Software

Enable automatic software updates on all of your devices and restart them as soon as an update is available. These patches usually only take a couple of minutes and ensures that vulnerabilities are removed before an attacker can take advantage of them.

Watch the CISA video for software updates tips.