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Help Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks and Fraud

Help Protect Yourself Against Cyber Attacks and Fraud

March 10, 2022

We take security seriously and consider it a partnership. We follow rigorous protocols to help protect your information. You can do the same by following these cybersecurity tips and best practices.

  • Keep software up to date: Software companies typically provide software updates for 3 reasons: to add new features, fix known bugs, and upgrade security. Always update to the latest version of your software to protect yourself from new or existing security vulnerabilities.
  • Avoid opening suspicious emails: If an email looks suspicious, don’t open it because it might be a phishing scam. Someone might be impersonating another individual or company to gain access to your personal information. Sometimes the emails may also include attachments or links that can infect your devices.
  • Keep hardware up to date: Outdated computer hardware may not support the most recent software security upgrades. Additionally, old hardware makes it slower to respond to cyber-attacks if they happen. Make sure to use computer hardware that’s more up-to-date.
  • Send files using secure tools: Adopt a secure file sharing solution to encrypt your files that contain personally identifiable information to prevent unauthorized access to your personal information. Don’t send personally identifiable information thru unsecured email.
  • Use anti-virus and anti-malware: You can significantly reduce your vulnerability by ensuring you have anti-virus and anti-malware installed on your devices.
  • Check links before you click: Links can easily be disguised as something they’re not so it’s best to double-check before you click on a hyperlink. On most browsers, you can see the target URL by hovering over the link. Do this to check links before you click on them.
  • Use strong passwords: Create strong passwords and change them frequently. The longer the password the stronger it is. Generally accepted standard length of a strong password is at least 14 characters and includes at least one number and special character. Review your existing passwords and ensure they are updated to strong and unique passwords if they have not been updated or changed for a long period of time.
  • Disable Bluetooth when you don’t need it: Devices can be hacked via Bluetooth and subsequently your private information can be stolen. If there isn’t a reason to have your Bluetooth on, turn it off!
  • Avoid using public networks: When you connect to a public network, you’re sharing the network with everyone who is also connected. Any information you send or retrieve on the network is vulnerable. Avoid using public networks such as coffee shops, hotels, and any network which isn’t secure without using a virtual private network (VPN).

Fraud: Be aware of suspicious urgent-sounding messages and automated phone calls which may be fraudulent. Fraudsters have increased using automatic calls as a method for gaining access to accounts. These calls appear to be from a financial institution or another company in which they inform individuals that their account has potentially been compromised. These calls can be an attempt to have you reveal passwords or other personal information. One example of how the fraudster gets you to reveal your password is by directing you to a website that looks like the company’s website and instructs the person to input their password. The website isn’t the company website and once you input your password you have shared your password with the fraudster. These are just a few tips out of many to help keep you protected. There are many websites and resources available to find out additional information related to cyber security and protection against fraud. One resource is the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure  Security Agency. Additional resources can be found on their WEBSITE

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