October 19, 2021
Each October, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency of the United States (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) join forces to promote cybersecurity awareness and safety during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The purpose of the month is to ensure that all Americans have access to the proper resources to use the internet safely. All individuals who utilize the internet through their phones, tablets, or other devices are at risk to fall victim to a cybersecurity scam, and so it is important to remain vigilant to protect yourself, your household, and, where applicable, your business.
Among those who are the most vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks are Social Security benefit recipients. Over the past several years, there has been an increase in the number of fraudulent communications directed toward the disabled, retired, or surviving beneficiaries receiving payments from the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA continues its robust campaign to protect its beneficiaries from scammers, including being on the lookout for fraudulent communications that threaten arrest or other legal action unless there is payment of a fine or fee; require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or mailing cash; or, promise of a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
This year’s theme for Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” There are many actions that can keep you safe, but CISA recommends these four essential steps for anyone using online technology:
- Utilize multifactor authentication: Opt-in to an extra step when trusted websites and applications ask you to confirm you really who you say you are.
- Update your software: Turn on automatic software updates if they are available.
- Think before you click: If it is a link you don’t recognize, trust your instincts, and pause before you click.
- Use strong passwords: Make it long, unique, and, when possible, randomly generated.
At The Advocator Group, now operating as Brown & Brown Absence Services Group, we remain committed to our actions to protect our customers and clients, as well as our teammates. We recognize our responsibility at Brown & Brown Absence Services Group to utilize the guidance provided by the CISA to protect those with whom we work, by using industry leading software, encryption technologies, secure portals, and client identification protocols, and more.
To learn more about the efforts CISA and NSCA have put forth during this and every month, as well as to obtain resources to help remain cyber safe, check out CISA’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month website for more information.