There aren’t too many things more frightening than cybercrime. It comes in many forms, including identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, online bullying, hacking and more.
At best, cybercrime is a big inconvenience. At worst, it can have major financial impact or even threaten a victim’s personal safety.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has named October National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Since 2004, the annual campaign has been educating consumers about safe connected device practices to reduce the impact of cybercrime.
In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, take note of the following tips for staying safe online.
- Enable a Firewall. A firewall is a security device that monitors Internet traffic and determines whether or not to block certain sites based on predetermined rules.
- Keep a clean machine. Keeping the operating system and software on your computer and mobile device up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities. Antispyware and antivirus software protects against malicious hackers. Allow the software to automatically perform updates and scans of your devices, and be sure to renew the software if it is subscription based.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Stop and think before you open attachments or click links. Links in emails, instant messages and online posts are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks at all suspicious, it’s best to delete it.
- Use stronger authentication. Enable multifactor authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information such as your email or bank accounts. Visit lockdownyourlogin.com for more information on stronger authentication.
- Avoid websites that are not secured. You will be able to tell if a website uses safe programming if the website address begins with https://. Never give personal information on websites that use http://.
This October, enjoy fewer cybercrime tricks (and more treats) by following safe connected device practices. To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop. Think. Connect. website.