Last year cyber criminals stole $525 million from victims, and SecurityCoverage is proud to partner with National Cyber Security Awareness Month to help stamp out this ongoing threat. By being a good digital citizen – and taking steps to protect yourself – you prevent the spread of cyber threats to others.
Here are some cybercrime prevention tips that will earn you good digital citizen status:
Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
Secure your accounts: Use a password with at least 8 characters and a password generator that creates completely random passwords. With advanced algorithm tools, it doesn’t take long for hackers to try every word in the dictionary.
Unique account, unique password: Do not use “password,” “qwerty,” “dragon” or “12345678” as your password and do not reuse the same password over and over again. Hackers will crack one account password and then try to use it on more profitable accounts like online banking.
Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing.
When in doubt, throw it out: Be careful about clicking on links in emails, social posts and advertisements to keep you safe from embedded malware. Check links to make sure they go to a known URL and make sure you trust the source of files you download.
Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information.
Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
Help the authorities fight cyber crime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.
Most importantly, stay current on new ways to stay safe online. Follow SecurityCoverage on Facebook or Twitter for the latest information, and share with others and encourage them to be web wise. What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community. For more tips, visit http://staysafeonline.org/.