October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. This year’s theme “our Shared Responsibility”, aims to strengthen the importance for internet users to do their part in making the internet safer. The tactics of cyber criminals are becoming more and more advanced all the time, making your personal data increasingly vulnerable. The Consumer Sentinel database, maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, contains over 3.5 million consumer fraud and identity theft complaints that have been filed with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private organizations. During 2011 they reported on the most common types of identity theft/fraud.
HOW VICTIM’S INFORMATION IS MISUSED 2011
|Type of identity theft fraud||Percent|
|Government documents or benefits fraud||27%|
|Credit card fraud||14%|
|Phone or utilities fraud||13%|
|Attempted identity theft||7%|
|Other identity theft||23%|
The goal of the “Shared Responsibility” campaign is to help you avoid getting hacked and your personal data ending up in the wrong hands. It’s also important to remember that close to half of identity theft cases are the result of a lost or stolen wallet or purse, checkbook, credit card or other physical document. It’s important to always be aware and on guard.
TIPS For Protecting Your Personal Information
- Keep the amount of personal information you carry in your purse of wallet to the bare minimum. Avoid carrying your social security card or passport unless absolutely necessary.
- Always take your credit card or ATM receipts. Don’t throw them into public trash containers or in your shopping bags where they can easily fall out or get stolen.
- Proceed with caution when shopping online. Check to be sure the site is security enable. Look for web addresses with https:// or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. Http:// is not secure.
- Use long and strong passwords. Combine lowercase and capital letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
- When I doubt throw it out. Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often the way cybercriminal compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or mark as junk mail.
- Be Savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots. Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
For more detailed information check out the information available at StaySafeOnline.org. http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/