Cyber Security Awareness Month: Keeping Your Identity Safe

By now, all or most of us have heard about cyber breaches, the stealing of data via the internet. Massive breaches of large corporations have put the personal information of millions of consumers at risk. Therefore, it is vitally important to know how to protect yourself against identity theft as well as other cyber crimes.

Cybercrime is a crime that targets consumers and/or businesses online. It attracts criminals that enjoy the convenience, speed and most importantly, the anonymity it provides them. There are many forms of cybercrime. Some examples are: online identity theft, hacking, financial fraud, intellectual property crime and information forgery.

In recognition of Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Better Business Bureau has a few security tips to protect yourself against these cyber crimes.

Keep a clean machine.

Whether it is a PC, mobile device or laptop, make sure security software is current and up-to-date. Having the latest software on all devices can be one of the best defenses against viruses, malware and other online threats.

Protect personal information.

Shred all statements and applications you get in the mail that you don’t want to keep, including credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, and billing statements for utilities.

Change passwords for all online accounts regularly.

When changing your password, make it long, strong and unique, with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. By keeping various passwords on your accounts you lessen the risk of multiple accounts being compromised.

Connect with care.

Use caution when logging on to public Wi-Fi networks and send personal information only to websites that are fully encrypted.

Stay informed.

Keep up with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share it with family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to be web-wise.

Steer clear of suspicious texts, emails and links.

Unsolicited emails and pop-up ads can be full of computer viruses designed to steal usernames and passwords from your computer. Don’t give in to curiosity. Close or delete the message.

Report it.

If your identity has been stolen or compromised, contact one of the three credit bureaus to report the crime: (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion). Request that the credit bureau place a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent any further fraudulent activity from occurring. As soon as one of the bureaus issues a fraud alert, the other two bureaus are automatically notified.

Following these recommendations will greatly lessen your risk of falling victim to a cyber crime.

For information on how Cino Ltd. can help secure your system and sensitive information, click here.