Protecting your personal information is crucial, especially when internet crimes are becoming more sophisticated and harder to recognize. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).
Now in its 16th year, NCSAM is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. The goal – ensure all Americans have the resources they need to be safe and secure online.
This year’s motto – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect It. – focuses on citizen privacy,
consumer devices and e-commerce security.
“It’s no longer enough to be on the lookout for something in your inbox that appears suspicious,” said FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Matt Gorham. “As criminals have grown savvier and their efforts more targeted, individuals and organizations need to scrutinize messages and requests that appear legitimate.”
Cyber thieves are always upping their game. If given the chance, they will steal every bit of your personal information, from your social security number to your mother’s maiden name. Armed with this information, they can steal your identity, swiping credit card numbers, bank account information and tax forms. They can hack into your computer system, spread misinformation, conduct cyber stalking, steal medical and other personal information and much more.
Oftentimes, the emotional toll of cybercrime is devastating. Not to mention the financial cost, which is skyrocketing across the U.S.. In 2018 alone, the cost of cybercrimes reported to the FBI was $2.7 billion.
Am I a target?
Anyone who has personal information online is at risk. This year, the emphasis of NCSAM is on personal accountability. It is important that everyone be proactive and take steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a NCSAM 2019 Toolkit available on their website. This comprehensive guide can provide you with resources to help you build good cybersecurity habits.
While nothing is fool-proof, there are some simple steps everyone can take to fight cyber-crime:
- Keep the security software on your computer, laptop and smartphones up- to-date.
- Use passwords that are long and strong with a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Always opt-in to two-step authentication process when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information, such as bank accounts.
- Use different passwords for every online account. Keep any written list in a safe place – away from your computer.
- Password protect your home Wi-Fi. Don’t use personal identification while using a public Wi-Fi network.
- Think before you click on a link or attachments in emails – even from people you know.
- Back-up your data regularly and monitor your credit report. Signs of fraud are often detected there first.
An additional resource can be found on the FBI’s website. There you can find a Cyber Crime page which lists common scams as well as an Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which can give you information about current online risks.
You can use the IC3 complaint form to report crimes if they occur.
Be proactive. Protect yourself and your business from cyber criminals. Take steps to fight back against cybercrime.
If you have any questions about residential or commercial alarm systems, call Delco Alarm Systems at 610-459-9100. Delco Alarm is based out of Aston, PA. We service the tri-state area, including West Chester, Aston, Media, Chadds Ford, Chester, Kennett Square, Newtown Square, Glen Mills, Malvern, Exton, Downingtown, Philadelphia, Wilmington, DE and New Jersey.