COLORADO SPRINGS — October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the experts at the National Cybersecurity Center want to help people better protect their information, online accounts, and the devices they use on a daily basis. News5 explains how you can take advantage of this free service.
The experts at the National Cybersecurity Center say every 39 seconds hackers launch an attack. It's why they say it's more important than ever to have good cyber-hygiene on the devices we use every day and they're offering a free opportunity to coach you through it.
Forrest Senti is one of the cybersecurity experts prepared to meet one-on-one to help anyone who wants to take steps to improve the safety of their devices.
"So we said, you know what, let's be one of the first if not the first in the nation to do something like this where we basically bring in the public and say bring a device, bring an iPad, a PC, bring your phone, any of that kind of stuff and bring your brain and let's just spend 20 minutes and talk cybersecurity a little bit," said Senti.
Mackenzie Tamayo works with the small business development center. She experienced the cybersecurity crash-course for herself.
"One of the most interesting things I just learned is just passwords, your phone password and moving it from 4 to 8 (pin numbers). It can make a massive difference. So, simple steps that are easy and applicable and they don't require a lot of time," said Tamayo.
Even in 20 minutes cybersecurity experts can cover a lot of ground and multiple devices. It's a lot of information, but Tomayo says they make it easy to understand.
"So to come in and say I don't know anything. I feel fresh, I feel vulnerable, but getting the resources and the practical training I think is really critical and maybe you can walk away with something you didn't have before," said Tamayo.
Rodney Gullate Jr. is a certified ethical hacker who says cybersecurity steps do make a difference and there are some you can take right now.
"I can tell you to go change all your passwords to all your online accounts to something different, 12 to 15 characters, uppercase, lowercase, letters, numbers, and symbols. And turn on the two factor authentication. Good grief! That right there is the biggest thing that will stop a lot of the hijacks of these accounts," said Gullatte Jr..
The biggest goal of inviting the public in for this coaching is to show people they don't have to be intimidated by cybersecurity.
"We have to start making it a little more obtainable and help you with the first step. A lot of people are scared of that first step and I think this event will be a way for us to get there," said Senti.
If you're interested in one of these free 20 minute one-on-one cybersecurity sessions visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/colorado-springs-cybersecurity-day-tickets-179531422317
If you have questions or want to learn more, you can contact the National Cybersecurity Center at 719-255-5225 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org