Every year, millions of consumers fall victim to cybercrime. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center consumers lost more than $1 billion from scams initiated through the web since 2015. In recognition of Safer Internet Day, which is on February 7, Grundy Bank is highlighting seven tips to help consumers guard against online threats and maintain a safe and secure web environment.
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.
Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
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. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect with 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.
Shop safely. 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.