4.9 min readBy Published On: May 16, 2024Categories: Cybersecurity News

We are living in an era dominated by digital connectivity. You can’t overstate the importance of cybersecurity. As technology advances, so do the threats that lurk in the online world.

Often, it’s our own actions that leave us most at risk of a cyberattack or online scam. Risky behaviors include weak passwords and lax security policies. As well as thinking “This won’t happen to me.” This is why human error is the cause of approximately 88% of data breaches.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance and CybSafe are working to correct poor cyber hygiene. Each year, the duo publishes a report on cybersecurity attitudes and behaviours, with the goal of educating both people and businesses on how to better secure their digital landscapes.

This year’s study surveyed over 6,000 people in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, and New Zealand. The survey asked about several things, including knowledge of cybersecurity risks, security best practices, and challenges faced.

The report reveals some eye-opening insights. These include how people perceive and respond to cyber threats and what they can do to improve their cybersecurity posture. Here are some of the key findings from the report.


We Are Online… a Lot

Unsurprisingly, 93% of the study participants are online daily. The logins we create continue to expand, as well as those considered “sensitive.” Sensitive accounts hold personal information that could be harmful if stolen.

Nearly half (47%) of the study’s respondents have ten or more sensitive online accounts. This amplifies risk especially if people use the same password for two or more accounts.

Source: The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023


Online Security Makes People Frustrated

Most people (84%) feel that online security is a priority, but as many as 39% feel frustrated and nearly the same amount intimidated. It can seem that you just can’t get ahead of the hackers. Just over half of people thought digital security was under their control, leaving a whole lot who don’t think so.

But that is no reason to let down your defences and become an easy target. There are best practices you can put in place to safeguard your online accounts that work.

These include:

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication on your accounts
  • Using an email spam filter to catch phishing emails
  • Adding a DNS filter to block malicious websites
  • Using strong password best practices


People Need More Access to Cybersecurity Training

One way to reduce human errors associated with cybersecurity is to train people. The survey found that just 26% of respondents had access to cybersecurity training.

It also broke this down by employment status. We see that those not actively employed are most lacking, but even those employed can use more training access and encouragement. Just 53% report having access to cybersecurity awareness training and using it.

Source: The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023

Employers can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to a data breach by beefing up their security awareness training. There is also a large opportunity to provide more training, particularly to those retired or not actively employed.


Cybercrime Reporting Is Increasing

Over a quarter (27%) of survey participants said they had been a victim of cybercrime. The types of cybercrimes reported include:

  • Phishing (47%)
  • Online dating scams (27%)
  • Identity theft (26%)

Which generation reported the most cybercrime incidents? Millennials. In fact, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation reported the fewest.

Source: The Annual Cybersecurity Attitudes and Behaviors Report 2023


Adopting security best practices is important regardless of your generation – we’ll go through some of these next.


Online Security Best Practices to Reduce Your Cybersecurity Risk

1. Strong, Unique Passwords:

  • Start with the basics. Create strong, unique passwords for each online account using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.


2. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):

  • Enhance your account security with multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra barrier to unauthorized access, even for compromised passwords. You should activate the MFA option on every application you log into.
  • If the application doesn’t have MFA, it would be wise to reassess what other security features they have or your use of that application.


3. Regular Software Updates:

  • Keep all your software, including operating systems and mobile apps, up to date to avoid ransomware and phishing attacks.


4. Beware of Phishing Attacks:

  • Exercise caution when clicking on links or opening attachments, especially in emails from unknown sources.
  • Verify the legitimacy of emails and websites. You can check for subtle signs like misspelled URLs or unfamiliar sender addresses.


5. Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks:

  • Ensure you connect to a secure and password-protected Wi-Fi network. Avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions unless using a virtual private network (VPN).


6. Data Backup:

  • Regularly back up important data to an external device or a secure cloud service.


7. Use Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software:

  • Install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software on all devices and regularly scan your systems for potential threats.


8. Be Mindful of Social Media Settings:

  • Review and adjust your privacy settings on social media platforms. Limit the amount of personal information visible to the public.


9. Secure Your Personal Devices:

  • Lock your devices with strong passwords or biometric authentication such as FaceID or fingerprint access.


10. Educate and Stay Informed:

  • Educate yourself and your team through cybersecurity awareness programs. This will help foster a culture of vigilance and preparedness.


Schedule Cybersecurity Awareness Training Today

A little education on cybersecurity goes a long way toward protecting your data. Our experts can provide security training at the level you need.

We can help you fortify your defences against phishing, scams, and cyberattacks.

Contact us today to schedule a chat!



Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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