National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 21, 2022 (Sacramento, CA) – Each year, October is designated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. During this month, countless articles are written, and many television news stories are featured, warning all of us to be wary of sharing our personal data online. Unfortunately, many of us ignore these warnings, and assume the hackers will not find us.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  According to Enterprise Apps Today,

  • More than 3 billion passwords and other credentials are compromised or stolen each year
  • Every 39 seconds one cyber-attack takes place worldwide
  • Every 14 seconds a ransomware attack takes place worldwide
  • More than 75 percent of targeted cybercrimes begin with a malicious email
  • Cybersecurity statistics show that around 95 people have their user credentials stolen each second
  • Spam emails accounted for 65.7 percent of online threats linked to the COVID19 pandemic.

To avoid becoming a victim of a cyberattack follow these simple tips:

#1 Change your passwords regularly. Use strong passwords that contain letters and numerals which are difficult to crack. Avoid using overly complicated passwords that you would tend to forget and do not use the same password twice. Avoid using or change the most frequently used passwords such as 123456, to minimize risk and security concerns.

#2 Avoid opening emails from unknown senders. Scrutinize the emails you receive for loopholes and significant errors, such as spelling errors or unusual sentence structures.

#3 Avoid shopping online or accessing bank account information using public internet sites.

#4 Regularly back up your data. Doing so will allow you to erase your system’s data and restore it with a recently performed backup even during a cyber-attack.

#5 Use Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication. With two-factor authentication, you will need to provide two different authentication factors to access your devices.

#6 Secure your Wi-Fi networks and avoid using public Wi-Fi without using a VPN.

#7 Devices such as smart TVs, cars, speakers, baby monitors, and thermostats are not as safe as we think. These devices can be compromised just minutes after they are connected to the internet and are the easiest entry spots for cybercriminals.

#8 Freeze Your Credit – One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to contact each of the major credit reporting agencies listed below by phone or via their websites and activate a security freeze.

Credit Reporting Agencies

TransUnion           800-680-7289    

Equifax                 800-525-6285    

Experian                888-397-3742    

Best Advice – Knowing how to protect your data from hackers and unscrupulous marketers is your best protection against identity theft. Learning how to confirm the identity of a party who emails, texts or calls you is equally important. Not all unknown people who seek to reach you are marketing a product or seeking to compromise your data. For example, debt collectors are frequently hired by creditors and hospitals to request payment on an outstanding balance. Many people who receive calls and texts or even emails from a debt collection firm may be leery about responding electronically or clicking on a link embedded in the communication if they do not recognize the name or number of the party seeking to reach them.

Consumers who are reluctant to respond to an unknown party can visit the websites of the trade associations representing debt collection and debt buying companies to determine if they are legitimate organizations. For example, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is one of the leading trade associations representing debt buyers, debt collection agencies, debt collection law firms and creditors. Consumers are encouraged to visit RMAI’s website and check out the membership roster to identify members of the association and the consumer page for valuable tips about managing a debt that is past due.


About Receivables Management Association International:

Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is a nonprofit trade association representing more than 590 companies that purchase or support the purchase of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. The Receivables Management Certification Program and Code of Ethics set the global standard within the receivables industry due to its rigorous uniform industry standards of best practice which focuses on the protection of the consumer. More information about RMAI is available at