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The Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Institute at Northern Michigan University promotes online safety for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The institute urges folks to use strong passwords, avoid the same password for multiple accounts and update their software.
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) -

With so much of our lives managed online, it can be hard to ensure that personal information remains secure across multiple sites.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute is warning of dangers an unsecured person could face on the web.

“Losing your identity, losing money out of your bank account, losing your intellectual property are all things that, you know, every citizen really needs to be aware of and help defend against,” Doug Miller, Director of the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute at N.M.U., said.

Miller encourages folks to follow two basic steps to greatly improve their protection from internet hackers.

“Using strong passwords, not using the same passwords for multiple accounts,” Miller said.

“When some big company is breached and they get your password and username, if you’re using that on multiple accounts then its an easy step to go find those other accounts and break into them. Updating your software. Every time a vulnerability is found in the operating system software or other software you’re running on your computer, the manufacturers put out a patch or an update to that software to help prevent someone from exploiting that vulnerability.

Not only should individuals take caution online, it is also important for businesses to protect themselves in the cyberspace.

“Do a little bit of planning, know what your assets are,” Miller said.

“When employees leave, make sure you change accounts and passwords.”

If you already have what it takes to combat online crime, there are roughly 7,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in Michigan currently.

“Cybersecurity is a team sport, right, its not just about the technical aspects,” Miller said. It needs a broad, diverse range of talent out there to solve the problems.”

For more information on how the U.P.C.I. engages with students and the community, visit their homepage online.

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