National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The Internet now touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We are able to shop, bank, connect with family and friends, and handle our medical records all online. These activities require you to provide sensitive personal information. Sharing this personal information online presents a huge opportunity for cybercriminals to steal your information to commit crimes. Cyber criminals do not discriminate. They target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a large corporation, a small business, or simply a home user.

To better protect yourself, you should secure your home networks and mobile devices and take the time to learn how to use the internet more safely, securely and responsibly. Here are our tips for protecting yourself online.

  • Use strong passwords
  • Do not use the same passwords for each login
  • Always log out of password protected websites (example: bank website)
  • Do not use a public computer or public Wi-Fi to login to password protected websites
  • Do not enter personal identifiable information into untrusted websites
  • Do not store passwords on your cell phone
  • Always use a password to protect your cell phone (smart phones)
  • Do not buy security software in response to unexpected calls or messages, especially if the seller states your computer was scanned and they found malware
  • Do not use any part of your email address for your username or passwords
  • Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password
  • Do not write down your passwords or share them with anyone
  • Avoid downloading any programs or documents from unknown sources
  • Social media is increasingly popular, but it is a good idea to keep certain personal information private.
  • Avoid sharing personal details that are used by financial institutions to identify you, such as your birth date, home address, mother’s maiden name, schools attended/mascots and pet’s name. Fraudsters may use this type of information to help gain access to an account since they are common answers to security questions.
  • Carefully review the privacy options for any social network you join. The privacy options and tools for social networks can be complex and should be reviewed carefully so that there is no disclosure of information you prefer to have private.

Taking a few minutes to follow these tips could save you from a cyber criminal attack. Enjoy your time online, but be smart and safe while you do!