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Cyber Security Awareness

 

 

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Protect Yourself from Cybercrime

Now more than ever, the Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. From online shopping, paying monthly bills , or planning family vacations, the World Wide Web has created unprecedented convenience for online users, but yet, has also opened the door to extraordinary potential for fraudulent activity and identity theft for consumers.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we at Fort Sill Federal Credit Union would like to offer our members some helpful tips and advice to aid in protecting your personal and financial information from potential cybercrime or identity theft.

Cybercrime is a growing concern for financial institutions and consumers alike. The Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Internet Crime Complaint Center received 289,874 consumer complaints of internet fraud and other cybercrimes in 2012. These crimes resulted in an estimated adjusted dollar loss of approximately $525 million.

Identity theft is the fraudulent use of a person's personal identifying information. Often, identity thieves will use another person's personal information, such as a Social Security number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, or account number to open fraudulent new credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, write share drafts, open share accounts, or obtain new loans.

By adhering to the following cybersecurity safety tips, you and your family can help reduce your risk of potential cybercrime and identity theft.

Your Personal Information

  • Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you to verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
  • Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
  • Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
  • Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
  • Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s okay to limit who you share information with.

Your Home Computer

  • Keep a clean machine by making sure your security software, operating system and web browser are up to date.
  • When in doubt throw it out. Don’t click on any links or open attachments unless you trust the source.
  • Make your passwords long and strong and unique. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password. Use a different password for each account.
  • Set your browser security high enough to detect unauthorized downloads.
  • Use a pop-up blocker (the links in pop-up ads are notorious sources of malware).
  • Back up your data regularly (just in case your computer crashes).
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet. Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from malware.
  • Make sure all members of your family follow these safety tips (one infected computer on a home network can infect other computers).

Your Credit Report

  • Review your credit report regularly to protect yourself from identity theft. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don't pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.
  • Report any stolen finances or personal identities to your local law enforcement and financial institution as soon as possible.

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