October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 17, 2023

Our lives are increasingly conducted online putting us in danger of one potential cyber attack after another. You hear it on the news regularly now – identity theft, phishing attempts, online threats – it’s likely you or someone you know has been the victim of at least one cyber attack.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month so what better time to make sure you’re staying safe online and all your online activity is secure. Since 2004, October has been designated as the month dedicated to educating and helping raise awareness to both the public and private sectors about the increasing occurrence of cyber threats and the ever-growing importance of cybersecurity.

Be Proactive


Government agencies and businesses have put forth a collaborative effort to increase cybersecurity awareness. Hackers have become proficient in how they acquire sensitive information. In fact, it is estimated the 560,000 new pieces of malware are detected every day. According to the Annual Data Breach Report by The Identity Theft Research Center, in 2022, at least 422 million individuals in the United States had their data compromised.

Here are some recommendations to keep you and your family protected:

  • Only use trusted internet sources
  • Use strong passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple sites
  • Use password managers
  • Use multi-factor authentication
  • Sign up for automatic updates to ensure you have the most up to date security and performance improvements for your software
  • Be aware of scams and do not give out sensitive information to anyone contacting you requesting it
  • Freeze Your Credit

Taking these proactive measures is an important first step, but there are other things you should consider to make sure a cyber attack does leave you in financial ruins.

A Growing Need for Protection


With the emergence of new technologies like AI, ChatGPT, 5G, IoT and quantum, we are more exposed to threats than ever. While it’s important to be proactive, you should also plan for the eventuality of a cyber attack. Cyber insurance both for businesses and individuals alike, is a worthwhile consideration.

A cyber policy for an individual is often sold as an add-on to a homeowners policy and can include a range of coverages including cyber attack coverage, cyberbullying coverage, data breach coverage, cyber extortion coverage and online fraud coverage to name a few.

A cyber policy for businesses can offer both first-party coverage – for losses that directly affect the company – and third-party coverage – for losses from a cyber attack suffered by others with a relationship to the business. Cyber insurance can help cover financial loses after an attack and help with remediation, legal assistance, investigators, crisis communicators and customer credits, among other things.


In response to the increasing number of cyber attacks, many organizations have created resources to help keep consumers secure online and informed of emerging threats, scams and vulnerabilities.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – an operational component of the Department of Homeland security – was established in 2018 and started the CISA Cybersecurity Awareness Program, a national public awareness campaign to increase public awareness and empower the American public to be more secure online. The program is a unique public-private partnership between federal and state governments, industry, and non-profit organizations dedicated to national cyber security awareness. This program provides Americans access to resources and tools to help make more informed decisions when online. For more info visit www.cisa.gov.

Contact a Brooks, Todd & McNeil Agent Today!

Cyber threats are not something to take lightly. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a great time to speak with one of our agents about what you can be doing to make sure you, your family and your business are protected from emerging online threats. For more information contact us today at (800) 448-4567.