When online, keep this in mind: Stop. Think. Connect.
Although not all cyberattacks can be prevented, your behavior and vigilance can reduce personal and professional exposure to threats.
Choose strong passwords that are not easy to guess and change them regularly. Avoid your address, favorite pet, or child’s name. Think of creating a password by using the first letter of each word of a favorite saying. Substituting capital letters and/or numbers for some of those letters will strengthen the passwords even further.
Use extreme caution when connecting a USB drive to your computer since malware and viruses are easily transferred this way.
Regularly save your files to a cloud storage service (e.g., OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.) That way, if you lose your laptop or have any other type of data loss, your files will be safely stored and accessible.
Do not disable the antivirus/anti-malware software on your business computer. If you are using a personal computer, make sure to install this type of software and keep current with any updates.
Don’t open…or click! Phishing uses email or malicious websites to solicit personal or financial information. When users respond with the requested information, fraudsters can use it to gain access to accounts. Do not open messages or attachments from unknown sources, and if an email looks suspicious, do not click on links. Just delete it!
Don’t fall for social engineering in common phishing messages, such as one from an HR department about your resume, an undelivered package from the post office, or resetting a password. If you receive an unexpected message regarding any of your accounts, go directly to the business' website to verify they sent the message.
Always use spam filters to prevent unwanted and dangerous emails. Unfortunately, some emails are created to grab information or install malware on the machine regardless of where you click.
Social media can also create an opportunity for information leakage or even compromise personal identity and safety. Be sure to review and use privacy settings, keep all tagged photos private, and do not share information that can help people steal your personal identity.
Believe it or not, some cyber scams come by call or text. If you receive a suspicious phone call, do not provide personal information and hang up immediately. You might be surprised to learn what an attacker can gain while they have you on the phone. Additionally, do not respond to or click on a link in text messages from unknown sources.