From financial institutions and water utilities to hospitals and schools, we rely on technology for nearly every aspect of our modern society. These technologies are so ubiquitous in our daily lives that we take their presence – and our reliance on them – for granted.

Enabling multifactor authentication on our most important accounts – email, social media and banking – is a behavioral change that prevents unauthorized users from accessing these accounts, even when the password has been stolen. tsingha25/Shutterstock

That reliance makes us vulnerable. The number of cyberattacks, including ransomware incidents, on critical systems across the country continues to grow. We must do something to secure our world. To do so, we need an enduring effort to drive behavior change. That is why at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, we collaboratively work with Americans – individuals, parents, business owners, small to medium-sized businesses and manufacturers – to help address the things we can all do to improve our online safety and security. This year, we are launching an awareness program, Secure Our World, to help educate people on how they can better secure themselves in cyber hygiene.

We need to make cyber hygiene a lifelong activity and empower individuals to make informed decisions about their cyber habits. We can all secure our world by equipping individuals, families and businesses with the knowledge and resources needed to protect themselves and their digital assets.

Our goal is to drive behavioral change in four key areas of cyber hygiene:

• Use strong passwords, meaning long, random and unique to each account, and use a password manager to generate them and to save them.

• Enable multifactor authentication on all accounts that offer it. We need more than a password on our most important accounts, like email, social media and financial accounts.


• Recognize and report phishing; as we like to say, think before you click. Be cautious of unsolicited emails or texts or calls asking you for personal information. Resist the urge to click on these links, and don’t click on links or open attachments from unknown sources.

• Update software. In fact, enable automatic updates on software so the latest security patches keep devices we are connected to continuously up to date.

For individuals, securing our world means securing personal accounts, offering guidance on personal device safety, safe internet browsing practices, social media usage and protecting personal information online.

Recognizing the significance of protecting children online, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency offers support and resources for families. We provide guidance on implementing parental controls, fostering safe digital habits and ensuring a secure online environment for children.

If you run a small or medium-sized business, you face unique information technology challenges. We want to help you secure our world by offering tools and resources that can help boost your cybersecurity defenses and minimize the risk of data breaches or cyberattacks, making not only your businesses, but also customers, employees, their supply chain and, ultimately, our communities safer.

Tech providers can secure our world by implementing security features built in by design. Default settings should have the highest security measures implemented, and individuals can manually bypass security features if they don’t want them. Users should not have to opt in to necessary security measures to make their products safe to use. Products should be safe for end users right out of the box.

Visit to access our free cybersecurity resources and tips. Together, we can build a more secure digital world.

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