As many of you know, it's fiesta time here in San Antonio, so I thought I'd kick off today with a wine glass and some festive multicolor lights on the bottom. Many of you may not know it, but Fiesta originally started back in 1891 as a way to honor the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. It has now evolved into the 11 day celebration that we experienced today. It's filled with parades and parties and plenty of food and lots to drink. Now, why am I talking about having lots of fun? And how does it relate to cybersecurity? You might ask? Well, it's because Fiesta creates an environment that causes huge distractions from following cybersecurity guidelines that we might normally observe. It puts our smartphones right in the crosshairs of cybercriminals. Now when you're in the middle of huge crowds of people eating and drinking and generally having a great time, it's very easy for your cell phone to get lost or stolen. And since a huge number of users don't even safeguard their phones with at least a PIN number, it can be very easy for a thief to get into it and into all of the data that are often kept on cell phones, like credit card account information.

Here are three things that can dramatically decrease your chances of having critical data stolen from your phone. First, put at least a six-digit pin number on your phone and put passwords on any app that keeps your credit card or any other important account information. Next, never connect to a public unencrypted Wi-Fi. It can open up your home to bad actors hanging out on the network where they can easily get into all of your data. Sometimes many of us also forget to uninstall applications that we don't use and regularly update those that we do.