2013-10-11 / Community Events

Are you cyber ready? Stop.Think.Connect. gives Americans tools to stay safe

Department of Homeland Security

Think about this - what would you do if you received a suspicious email from a friend that only included a link? Would you click on it? What would your spouse, children, friends, or colleagues do? Phishing attacks are only one of the many complex cyber threats we face every time we go online regardless of whether we are at home, at work, or on the go. As technology advances, so do the techniques cybercriminals use to gain access to our computer networks.

To commemorate National Preparedness Month, Americans all over the country are preparing for the unexpected fire, hurricane, tornado or man-made disasters. While the devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities caused from a natural or man-made disaster are easy to see, it is much more difficult to understand the impact of a sluggish computer infected with malware or viruses.

Unlike physical threats that prompt immediate action – like stop, drop, and roll in the event of a fire – cyber threats are often difficult to identify and comprehend. However, they can be just as dangerous. Cyber preparedness can be as simple as setting up the proper controls such as the ones listed below to increase your chances of avoiding cyber risks:

• Only connect to the Internet over secure, password protected networks.

• Do not respond to online requests for personal information; most organizations – banks, universities, companies, etc. – do not ask for your personal information over the Internet.

• Limit who you are sharing information with by reviewing the privacy settings on your social media accounts.

• Trust your gut; if you think an offer is too good to be true, then it probably is.

• Do not use the same password twice; choose a password that means something to you and you only; change your passwords on a regular basis.

For more tips and guidance, visit www.Ready. gov on how to prepare in the event of a cyberattack.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of a malware attack, phishing scheme, or another cybercrime, contact your local law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc. gov/complaint.

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