National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Most of us have a very close relationship with our mobile devices. We carry them around with us throughout the day, check them frequently and even sleep with them close by. These devices allow us to instantly check in with friends and family, get directions and make purchases. But, with this added convenience comes more risk to us the users of identity theft and internet scams.

Did you know that according to Homeland Security, roughly half of American adults (110 million) had their personal information exposed by cybercriminals in 2015 alone?!

As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month here are some simple steps from the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the security of your personal information online.

Keep your private information private. Avoid sharing your full name, address, and other personal information online.

Don’t broadcast your location. Location, or geo-tagging features on social networks can alert stalkers where you are or a burglar that you are on vacation and not home.

When in doubt, throw it out.  Links in emails, tweets, posts, and online advertisements are often how cybercriminals compromise your computer or mobile device. If it looks suspicious, it’s best to delete it, even if you know the source.

Set strong passwords.  Setting passwords that are long, unique, and hard to guess is one of the most important things you can do to protect your online accounts. Changing passwords regularly and using different passwords for different accounts goes a long way to protecting your online information.

Secure your accounts.  Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many websites now offer additional ways for you verify your identity are before you conduct business on their sites, such as two-factor authentication.

Secure your mobile device.  In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, use a passcode to lock your mobile device and always lock it when it’s not in use. Never leave your mobile device unattended in a public place.

Check your accounts regularly. Review your banking, credit card, or payment service statements regularly to ensure there are no unauthorized charges or withdrawals.

Secure your network.  Properly secure your wireless network and be cautious when using public Wi-Fi. Avoid conducting sensitive activities through public networks, such as online shopping, banking or anything that requires passwords or credit card information.