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It’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month — What Does That Mean?

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month is observed every October, but what does that mean? Cyber security can range from smart online shopping to protecting confidential information from being hacked.

Last year, consumers filed more than 47,000 reports to BBB Scam Tracker about a wide variety of scams, and we found the riskiest are online scams. Better Business Bureau (BBB) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) have teamed up to remind all consumers to clear digital clutter and offer tips to protect their online lives.

Check the URL. If you are logging into banking sites, making a purchase, or entering any personal information you should always validate that you are on a secure website. Make sure the site’s URL begins with https, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. Some browsers also include green lock symbols for secure websites.

Don’t click on unfamiliar links. Whether at home or at work, don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources or unexpected correspondence. One false click can infect a whole computer … or a whole business.

Protect your passwords. Never keep your passwords or login credentials on your computer or your phone in case you get hacked. Keep a paper list of your passwords in a safe place, not on or near your computer. Also try using full sentences as your password.

Personal information is like money. Value and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Review the privacy and security settings on websites you use to be sure that they remain set to your comfort level for sharing. Be especially wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information.

Declutter your mobile life. Most of us have apps we no longer use or need updating. Delete unused apps and keep others current, including the operating system on your mobile device. Review files on your computer and also tend to online cloud storage services like Google Drive and purge any files you no longer need.

Actively manage your location services, Bluetooth, microphone and camera to make sure apps use them appropriately.

Do a digital file purge: Perform a good, thorough review of your online files. Tend to your digital records, PCs and phones just as you do for paper files. Start removing digital clutter by doing the following:

Clean up your emails! Only save emails you really need, and unsubscribe to emails you no longer need/want to receive.

For more information from BBB on data privacy you can click here
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