Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH– Emphasizing How to Protect Your Information

October has been declared Cyber Security Awareness Month. With our increasing dependence on computer and internet technology, your information has become increasingly vulnerable to attack from criminals. Malware, phishing, and computer breaches all are geared to steal your money or to take our identity for the profit of crooks.

The Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, and other national organizations are educating the public about the dangers to our computer information and how you can protect that information.

The threat to your information can come through your desktop PC, laptop, tablet or your smartphone. Key information that criminals want includes your credit card and bank account numbers. Other information including your date of birth, home address, Social Security Number, and family information can also be used to take your identity, charging your accounts, making you pay for goods and services that crooks have purchased.

Part of the education campaign is STOP, THINK, CONNECT. This campaign emphasizes the following points:

·         Protect your personal information. Use “strong” passwords on all of your accounts. Also, consider using two-factor authentication if available.

·         Connect with caution. Be wary of unsolicited emails or messages on social media sites. Never use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions or for online purchases.

·         Share with care. Share as little as possible on social media sites. Check your privacy settings on social media to ensure that they are as private as possible.

·         Secure your smartphone and your tablet. Use a password to control access to your mobile device. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you are not actively using your mobile device.  Download apps only from trusted sources.

You can help reduce cybercrime by instituting measures to protect your information, keeping up on the latest trends in cybercrime, and talking to your family, neighbors and friends about the measures they can take to protect their personal information and identity.

Some resources for information on cybercrime include:

Federal Trade Commission:

Better Business Bureau:

Stop, Think, Connect:

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Identity Theft Resource Center:

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions:








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