Cyber criminals are coming up with more and more sophisticated ways to steal your personal information, your identity, and your money. As large-scale cyber incidents continue to make headlines, it is more important than ever to join together with a common message to help individuals of all ages and all segments of the community understand how to guard against increasing cyber threats.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Crime Prevention Council is joining with the Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the country to share tips on how we can protect our information and our identities online.
Common Internet frauds include imposter and “you’ve won” scams, identity theft, and phishing attacks. Avoid these cyber threats by following and sharing these online safety tips:
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark it as ‘junk email’ so you no longer receive emails from this sender.
- Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
- Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you to verify who you are before you conduct business on that site, including two-factor authentication.
- Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create more secure passwords.
- Unique account, unique password: Keeping separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
For more information on Internet fraud and tips on how to protect yourself, visit the Stop.Think.Connect.TM Campaign website and the Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts website. To learn more about how to respond to crimes conducted through the Internet, visit the International Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Cyber Center.