Top Tips to Stay Safe Online
June Is National Internet Safety Month
Cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more common. According to the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 143 million U.S. consumers – more than half of the country's adult online population – were victims of cybercrime in 2017, with losses topping $19 billion.
To draw attention to the importance of online safety, especially among children and teens, June has been designated National Internet Safety Month – the perfect time to review these eight tips to help protect your information online:
Keep Your Computers and Mobile Devices Up to Date
Having the latest security software, Web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
Establish Strong Passwords
A strong password is at least eight to 12 characters and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using passwords based on personal or easily accessible information, such as names, birthdays and common phrases (such as "1234" or "Password") and never share passwords with coworkers, family or friends. Use different passwords for each account and change them regularly.
Watch Out for 'Phishing' Scams
Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Also, look for common red flags such as misspellings, grammatical errors, requests marked as "Urgent!" or "sensitive," and/or emails from personal email addresses rather than a business email account.
Recognize and Avoid Bogus Website Links
Cybercriminals embed malicious links to download malware onto devices and/or route users to bogus websites. Hover over suspicious links to view the actual URL that you are being routed to. Fraudulent links are often disguised by simple changes in the URL, for example: www.ABC-Bank.com vs. ABC_Bank.com.
Keep Personal Information Personal
Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting information such as birthdays, addresses, mother's maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
Secure Your Internet Connection
Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the Web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
Read the Site's Privacy Policies
This content first appeared on the American Bankers Association website, and is used with permission.