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Your Guide to Cyber Security Awareness Month 2020

A self-guided educational presentation on cyber safety. Download your copy of this presentation below!






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  • Transcript

    Your Guide to Cyber Security Awareness Month 2020

    What is Get Cyber Safe?

    Get Cyber Safe is a campaign led by the Government of Canada's Communications Security Establishment to inform Canadians about the simple steps they can take to stay safe online.

    Sticker image: Let's take the day off and update my OS.

    What is Cyber Security Awareness Month?

    Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) is an internationally recognized campaign held each October October to inform the public of the importance of cyber security.

    This year, Cyber Security Awareness Month is a time to appreciate our devices. It is our chance to say thanks for all our devices do for us by giving them the care they deserve. Each week highlights a different type of device and focuses on the different ways we can appreciate it through acts of cyber security.

    Sticker image: Cyber Security Awareness Month

    Lock image: Update your device

    Week 1: Taking Stock

    October 1-3

    Devices have become an integral part of our lives, to the point where it’s hard to remember all of the connected devices we use daily. The first few days of CSAM focus on taking stock of all of the devices in your life and bidding farewell to those devices that have served you well, but that you might not use anymore.

    Plus-sign image: Take stock

    Sticker image: Week 1

    Week 2: Phone Week

    October 4-10

    Whether you want to connect with your loved ones, knock some things off your work ‘to-do’ list, or just kill time, your phone is there when you need it. It’s time to repay your phone for all it has done for you by making sure it’s properly secured.

    This week focuses on key tips you can use to keep your phone safe, including:

    • Software updates
    • Smishing scams
    • Multi-factor authentication

    Sticker image: Our screen time is amazing

    Software and OS updates

    Updating your software might be annoying, but it’s one of the easiest ways to keep your devices safe. Plus, updates can give you access to new features and bug fixes to make your devices work even better than before. Turn automatic updates on whenever you can to make sure your phone is as safe and up-to-date as possible!

    Learn more about updates

    46% of Canadians have automatic updates enabled

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020


    Smishing scams are fraudulent text messages pretending to be from reputable sources that try to trick you into giving up personal information or sending money.

    Never send personal information over text unless you’re 100% sure you know who is receiving it.

    Learn more about smishing

    13% of Canadians have fallen for smishing scams on their phones

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020

    Multi-factor authentication

    Multi-factor authentication (MFA) gives your devices an extra layer of protection by using two or more security measures verify your identity and that you should have access to your accounts or devices.

    The three types of authentication factors are:

    • Something you know, like a password
    • Something you own, like a USB key
    • Something you are, like a fingerprint

    Learn more about MFA

    1 in 3 Canadians use multi-factor authentication

    Survey of Internet Users Regarding Cyber Security, Public Safety Canada, 2018

    Week 3: Computer Week

    October 11-17

    Phones are great, but there still are some things they can’t do as well as a good old-fashioned laptop or desktop, like video games, responding to emails, or work. Let’s reward these important devices with some well-deserved caring.

    This week, we’ll talk about everything you can do to keep your computer safe, including:

    • Passphrases and complex passwords
    • Malware protection
    • Phishing scams

    Laptop image: Best friends forever

    Passwords and Passphrases

    It might seem simple, but a strong password can make all the difference when it comes to account security. As a general rule, strong passwords have:

    • 8 to 12 characters
    • Upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols
    • No personal information

    If you want to play it even safer, try using a passphrase: a series of four or more random words that is 15 characters or longer.

    1 in 3 Canadians change their passwords at least a few times a year

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020


    Malware is malicious software that infects your computer so cyber criminals can infiltrate or damage your device.

    You can avoid getting infected by not clicking suspicious links, downloading only from legitimate sources and having an up-to-date antivirus software installed on your system.

    Learn more about malware

    2 in 5 Canadians have had malware on their computer

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020


    Like smishing, phishing is when a cyber criminal pretends to be a legitimate organization or someone you know in order to extort information or money from you.

    Phishing scams can be subtle, but you can avoid falling for them if you know what to look for.

    Learn more about phishing scams

    1 in 10 Canadians say they’ve replied to a phishing message unknowingly

    Survey of Internet Users Regarding Cyber Security, Public Safety Canada, 2018

    Week 4: Network Week

    October 18-24

    Let’s face it: nobody is waiting in line for the latest router. Network devices may not be as flashy as phones or computers, but they serve an important function — connecting us to everything. Let’s give these unsung heroes their due by securing them against cyber threats.

    This week, you’ll learn all about how to:

    • Set up a secure Wi-Fi network
    • Use Wi-Fi safely
    • Protect your business network

    In celebration of Small Business Week, we will also feature advice and guidance on cyber security for small- to medium-sized businesses.

    Setting up secure networks

    Your Wi-Fi network connects all your devices to each other — so if it gets compromised, any of your devices could be at risk.

    Make sure your router is set up with a unique and complex password, and consider creating a separate guest network to prevent any unwanted users from logging in.

    Learn more about private networks

    • Private networks
    • Three ways to stay cyber secure (while working from home)
    • COVID-19: How to set up a cyber secure home office in the midst of a pandemic

    68% of Canadians don’t use their router’s default password

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020

    Using Wi-Fi safely

    If you're not careful, Wi-Fi networks – especially public ones – can leave your devices vulnerable to attacks.

    If you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, avoid accessing sensitive information and use a VPN if possible.

    Learn how to connect carefully

    87% of consumers put their information at risk while using public Wi-Fi

    2017 Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report, Norton by Symantec, 2017

    Protecting your business

    Cyber threats don’t just affect people. Businesses are often victims of phishing, malware and other cyber threats.

    To stay protected, businesses should consider creating a cyber security plan for their employees, including internet and social media usage guidelines and rules for email safety.

    Learn to to keep your business safe

    Week 5: Smart Device Week

    October 25-31

    If computers are your childhood BFF, then the smart devices around your house are that quirky but lovable friend you make as an adult — a little weird, but once you work together, you won’t know how you ever lived without them.

    This week, we’ll teach you to take care of your TVs, doorbells and other smart devices by:

    • Setting up your networks for smart devices
    • Changing your privacy settings
    • Using IoT at home or your business

    Setting up networks for smart devices

    Your smart devices know a lot about you — like your schedule, your credit card information, and more.

    To make sure none of that data makes it into the wrong hands, set up a separate network for your smart devices. That way, no matter who connects to your Wi-Fi, your own connected devices won’t be compromised.

    Learn how to protect your smart device

    17% of Canadians use a guest network for their smart devices and/or visitors

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020

    Securing your smart devices

    Smart devices might be smart, but they still need you to do the thinking to keep them safe.

    Luckily for you, it’s not too complicated — the same tactics used to keep your phone, computer and tablet safe (like multi-factor authentication, software updates and strong passwords) will work on your smart home devices, too.

    Learn more about smart home privacy

    25% of Canadians have researched steps they can take to secure their smart devices

    Get Cyber Safe Awareness Tracking Survey, EKOS Research Associates Inc., 2020

    IoT for business

    IoT (also called the Internet of Things) is just the more “business” way to say smart devices. It can include anything from a smart speaker that helps you manage your calendar to tools you need for your specific industry.

    Unfortunately, like everything that’s connected to the internet, IoT devices can become the target of cybercriminals, so businesses need a plan in place to protect it.

    Learn more about IoT

    Get more CSAM resources

    Want more information about how to protect your devices? Check out our CSAM campaign resources, including how-to guides, checklists and more!

    Want to get involved?

    The more Canadians learn about staying safe online, the better off we'll all be. And the best way to grow the conversation about cyber security is to have more people involved.

    Anyone can be part of Cyber Security Awareness Month. We're making it easy for you to get started right away -- like getting an A+ in kindergarten, all you have to do is share.

    Laptop image: Best friends forever

    Follow us on social for more sharable content






    Reach Get Cyber Safe through the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s contact centre:

    Sticker image: Always there for you :)

    Thank you for helping Canadians Get Cyber Safe!

    Sticker image: Let's take the day off and update my OS.

    Sticker image: Update your device


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