How the government is addressing cybersecurity during COVID-19

You might think that government is solely focused on addressing the pandemic, but over the last few months new legislation has been proposed for more than 280 bills or resolutions just dealing with cybersecurity. With the chaos that COVID-19 is causing, lawmakers are working to keep criminals from running amok online.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico introduced or considered more than 280 bills or resolutions that deal significantly with cybersecurity. Some of the areas seeing the most legislative activity include measures:

  • Requiring government agencies to implement training or specific types of security policies and practices and improving incidence response and preparedness.
  • Increasing penalties for computer crime or addressing specific crimes, e.g., ransomware.
  • Regulating cybersecurity within the insurance industry or addressing cybersecurity insurance.
  • Creating task forces, councils or commissions to study or advise on cybersecurity issues.
  • Supporting programs or incentives for cybersecurity training and education.

While our government legislators are putting their heads together to create, pass, and put into action new laws to protect security online, there is still much we can do to protect our finances, social media activity, and privacy online.

Use Strong Passwords: Strong password practices mean better security. Do not use the same passwords for all your accounts and change your passwords regularly, at least once or twice a year. If you have trouble remembering all your passwords (and who doesn’t?!), use a secure tool to manage passwords, such as LastPass or 1Password.

Double Your Protection: Use multi-factor authentication for online accounts with sensitive information such as financial or business related. Most financial institutions as well as other types of companies offer this service for their online accounts. You can usually opt-in for 2-step verification in your account or privacy settings. This means that any change prompts a notification or special code to be sent to your personal phone or email account to verify it really is you.

Shop Online Safely: Never save credit card information online and other online shopping tips. Even if you are a loyal customer and always shop on certain sites, if they are the victim of a hacker in the future, your information will be there for the taking.

Beware of Phishing: Cybercriminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment. See this article, “How to tell if you’re a victim of a phishing scam,” to learn more and know what to do.

Protect Your Home Wireless Network: See the article “How to Protect Your Home Wireless Networks” for some quick and easy tips to keep your home wireless connections secure.

Unfortunately, criminals are taking advantage of the chaos COVID-19 is leaving in its wake online and ramping up their efforts to steal identities, money, and your privacy. While politicians are working on this, the best action you can take right now is to be as vigilant during this quarantine period as you were during normal work, school, and home routines. If you have suspicions or questions about Softcom routers, Softcom wireless home networks, or account security give us a call at (800) 982-7675 or 1 (888) 4-SOFTCOM, we’re here to help.

Kristy CooperHow the government is addressing cybersecurity during COVID-19