Everyday tasks like opening an email attachment, following a link in a text message, making an online purchase, can open you up for potential scammers to harm your systems or steal from you. Be aware and prevent a cyber scam from happening to you.
If a link looks a little off, think before you click. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware. What’s the most common way for cybercriminals to get your sensitive information? It’s when you click on something you shouldn’t have. Malicious links in email, tweets, texts, posts, social media messages and malicious online advertising (known as malvertising) are a direct way for hackers to get your sensitive information. Don’t make it easy for them. Be wary of clicking on links or downloading anything that comes from a stranger or that you were not expecting. Whenever you get an email or message, count to five – usually that’s all the time you need to determine if the missive seems authentic or not. Even if you have Antivirus protection it will not block you from clicking on an infected email or link.
You need more than a password to protect your online accounts, and enabling MFA makes you significantly less likely to get hacked.
Don't delay -- If you see a software update notification, act promptly. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
Use passwords that are long, unique, and randomly generated. Use password managers to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts. A passwords manager will encrypt passwords securing them for you!
Public wireless networks and hotspots are unsecured, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while you are connected to them. Limit what you do on public WiFi. Especially avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot if you need a more secure connection.
A computer can be damaged or the information it contains harmed by malicious code (also known as malware). A malicious program can be a virus, a worm, or a Trojan horse. Hackers, intruders, and attackers are in it to make money off these software flaws.
Phishing attacks use emails, texts, and malicious websites that appear to be trusted organizations, such as charity organizations or online stores, to obtain user personal information.
Identity theft and scams are crimes of opportunity, and even those who never use computers can be victims. There are several ways criminals can access your information, including stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone call, looking through your trash, or picking up a receipt that contains your account number.
Companies generally don’t contact you to ask for your username or password. If contacted go directly to the website in another browser and enter your user and password.
Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited email or text message, don’t use the one a potential scammer is providing, call the company to ask if the request is legitimate.
Carefully examine the email address, URL, and spelling used in any correspondence. Scammers use slight differences to trick your eye and gain your trust.
Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.
Set up two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication on any account that allows it, and never disable it.
Be careful with what information you share online or on social media. By openly sharing things like pet names, schools you attended, family members, and your birthday, you can give a scammer all the information they need to guess your password or answer your security questions.
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