The Cyber bad guys are out there to get you!! As the holidays fast approach and we are online constantly ordering gifts for the season we need to be very, very careful of Cyber Criminals pushing out Malware, Phishing and Spam. Be careful of online offers that sound to good to be true. If it sounds to good to be true it may be a scam or phishing attack to steal your personal information. Also be careful of emails that appear to be from FedEx, UPS or USPS with attachments. The attachments could be malware to infect your systems. Here are a few tips to help you to be safe and smart online:
1. Update your systems defenses.
Make sure you have your systems security (firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware) installed and updated with the most current updates. Also, keep your operating system and web browser up-to-date with the latest versions and security updates.
2. Never give out Personal Information in Emails.
If you receive an email asking for personal information it is probably a scam. Phishing emails sometimes look like they come from a legitimate souce like the Bank, IRS, etc. Don’t trust them. Legitimate companies will never ask you to verify information like your ID or passwords through email. Also, never, ever give out personal or credit card information on web sites you are not sure of. Think before you “Click”.
3. Make sure the site is legitimate.
Before you enter your personal and financial information to make an online transaction, look for signs that the site is secure. This includes a closed padlock on your Web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase site is encrypted or secured.
Finally, Never use unsecured wireless networks like the ones in hotels, airports, cyber cafes, etc. to make an online purchase or do any financial transactions. Think before you “Click“.
4. Use Good Passwords.
Don?t use the same passwords for email, social networking and online accounts. Use special Passwords for Online banking and other financial transactions. Never, ever give out your ID and Password to anyone. Create passwords that are at least 8 Characters long or more (the longer the better) that are made up of Upper and lower characters, numbers and special characters. Don’t use any dictionary words for passwords. Finally change your password at a minimum every 180 days.
5. Be Careful of Unsolicited Emails.
Don?t trust emails from unsolicited users or sources. The emails may have links or attachments designed to steal your personal information or infect your system with Malware. When in doubt don’t click. Think before you click.