Last year, more than 143 million Americans were victims of cybercrime.1 Use these tips to help make sure you’re practicing the most up-to-date cyber habits. Make sure you’re following the best practices when it comes to online security to minimize, manage and monitor your sensitive data against threats.
- Shop securely. Stick to websites with addresses that begin with “https” and that display a green padlock in the browser bar.
- Avoid quizzes and surveys. Many seemingly innocuous quizzes are actually scams that will download malware onto your computer once you click on them.
- Vary your passwords. Create a new username, and a strong, unique password for each site that you visit, especially bank accounts and online retailers. That way, if a hacker gets into one of your accounts, they won’t be able to access the rest.
- Don’t fall for phishers. Hackers may send you instant messages, text messages or emails that look and feel like an official communication from your bank or a social media website in order to get your personal information. Rather than clicking through on such messages, go to the website itself to follow up.
- Disable mobile check-ins. If criminals know that you’re not home, they could gain access to your home—and the valuables and important documents that you keep there.
- Watch out for strangers. It’s easy for criminals to misrepresent their motives and identities online. Be careful about sharing too much information or agreeing to an in-person meeting with someone you don’t know offline. Just say no to friend requests from people you’ve never met.
- Trust your gut. If a site feels weird, or it doesn’t appear to be what it claims, leave it right away, and don’t click on any content or run any software.
- Stay off public WiFi. While logging on in public can be tempting, it’s also an opportunity for criminals to intercept your login information or view your online transactions.
- Don’t overshare. The more personal information (such as your birthday, employer, or family members’ names) that you share online, the easier you’re making it for identity thieves to impersonate you.