10 Tips for Cyber Safety:
In a world where technology is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, the threat of securing our digital engagements and information becomes more crucial. Cyber threats are increasing in both volume and sophistication every day. It can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing digital world of apps, emails, e-banking, and beyond, but we hope these 10 tips give you a great starting place to ensure the safety and security of your most important information.
1. Use Passphrases
A passphrase is an unpredictable password in the form of a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. Don’t share your passphrases or passwords with others.
2. Approach email messages with caution
Phishing emails can look a lot like messages from a trusted source including friends, financial institutions, companies or services you use regularly. Do not open messages that appear suspicious. Do not click on links in messages that appear suspicious or ask for personal information. If you are unsure of an email that appears to be from a trusted source, contact them using contact info you have in your files, not what is listed in the email, in case it is fraudulent.
3. Don’t share critical data via email
Do not provide your personal information to anyone via email including account numbers, social security information, user names or passwords. When sharing critical data on websites, make sure that you’re on an authentic and secure website. Look for the “S” in HTTPS and a lock symbol in your browser address bar. The “S” stands for secure.
4. Strong authentication
A 2-step verification process provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password to protect against hijacking. Many online services offer this extra security protection as an option.
5. Beware of Hotspots
Stick to secure Wi-Fi networks that use encryption. It is secure if you’re asked to provide a WPA or WPA2 password. Hotspots in public spaces are often not secure. It is best practice to use your smartphone as a hotspot.
6. Backups Important Files
Protect your data by making copies of all of your important files including photos and music to medical and financial information. Be sure to store the device that holds your copied files in a secure location – or you can use a cloud backup service.
7. Keep your software, apps and security programs updated
Download and install updates whenever they are available immediately. Updates often resolve known security glitches.
8. Keep it all in the Family
Ensure that your family members, including children, understand the importance of cyber security. Help kids learn to create strong passphrases that are unique and suitable for their ages. Some things need to be kept in the family including passwords! Remind your kids to always log out of an account when they are done with a website.
9. Check your credit report and statements regularly
You can check each of the 3 credit bureaus once per year at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Be sure no one has opened accounts in your name and check for other suspicious activity. Monitor activity on your checking, credit card and financial accounts for unknown transactions. If you locate any suspicious transactions report them to the institution immediately.
10. If you become a victim report it
If you experience a Cybercrime contact your local law enforcement right away. You will also want to reach out to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission. Remember to document, document, document! It is crucial to keep any evidence you may have related to your complaint.
A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to successfully managing your finances. When you are confidently in control of your money, you can start enjoying your life instead of just saving for it.
Make sure your money is working as hard as you are.