7 Tips for Protecting Yourself Online

Fri, 04 Oct 2013

Though the internet has many advantages, it can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams. According to a Norton Cybercrime Report, 556 million adults worldwide were victims of cybercrime in 2012. And since it's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we would like to pass along these seven tips for protecting yourself online from the American Banker AssociationThis is a third party link. Please review the third party content guidelines for more details by clicking here.


1. Keep Your Computers and Mobile Devices Up To Date

Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.  


2. Set Strong Passwords

A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.   Check out Larry Selnick's previous blog, I Know Your Password for additional tips on how to set a strong password.


3. Watch Out for Phishing Scams

Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with.  Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.


4. Keep Personal Information Personal

Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.  


5. Secure Your Internet Connection

Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.  


6. Shop Safely

Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.  


7. Read the Site’s Privacy Policies

Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere.   Let us know any questions on how to protect yourself online in the comments below.  


This information is being reprinted with permission from the American Bankers' Association in honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Webster Bank is not responsible for its content.