As school, socializing, and many aspects of life have moved online this year, it’s more important than ever that you protect your digital devices and steer clear of cybercriminals. So during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), observed each October, the FBI and partner agencies remind you to do your part and #BeCyberSmart all year long.
Now in its 17th year, NCSAM is a government and private sector partnership that raises awareness about cybersecurity and stresses the collective effort required to stop cyber crimes, online thefts, and scams.
As the premier cyber investigative agency, the FBI works to keep you safe online, but you should follow the cyber safety tips below to help protect yourself and your family. If you do become a victim, contact us to report online crime.
Cyber Safety Tips
- Keep software systems up to date and use a good anti-virus program.
- Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
- If an unsolicited text message, email, or phone call asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
- Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
- Scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
- Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
- Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.
Learn More and Know How to Report a Crime
- Visit the FBI’s Cyber page, list of common scams, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to learn about current online risks.
- Help keep your kids safe online with the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing program.
- Use the IC3 complaint form to report online crimes when they occur.
Keep Yourself and Your Systems Safe
- Visit the National Cyber Security Alliance website for technical tips and guidance on how to stay safe online. Among the most important tips is to create a strong, unique passphrase for each of your accounts and institute a multi-factor authentication process for all account changes.