June is recognized as National Internet Safety Month in the U.S., created to raise awareness about online safety and promote responsible Internet use. According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, 47% of American adults have had their personal information exposed to cyber criminals, and 65% of Americans who went online received at least one online scam offer. Here are six tips to help protect you and your family from cybercriminals:
- Change and vary your passwords. As annoying as it can be, changing your password every month is good practice. There is a reason so many places of employment require their employees to follow this rule. Also, don’t use the same password for all your accounts. If cybercriminals get ahold of your password, they can access all your accounts.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication (MFA), or 2-factor authentication, adds another level of security to your accounts. MFA can include biometrics (facial scans or fingerprint access), security keys or apps that send unique, one-time codes.
- Use secure websites. One simple way to ensure your website is secure is to look at the URL. If the site starts with “https,” like https://www.nasb.com, then you are safe. This is just one way we work to protect your information.
- Beware of public WiFi. Many people use public WiFi in places like the airport or coffee shops to check their bank accounts, purchase merchandise or complete other tasks they’d prefer were private. But if you’re not careful a cybercriminal could walk away with your personal information. Be cautious about where and what Wi-Fi you use. It’s best to use a virtual private network when in public if possible.
- Keep your computer up to date. It can be difficult to pause your life and completely shut down your computer sometimes, but it is important to install system updates. Microsoft and Apple regularly roll out these updates to put important security patches in place so that your personal information is not compromised. Also, back up your data on at least two different storage medias, with one located offsite.
- Manage your social media settings. Social engineering is a way cybercriminals can get access to your personal information. These criminals troll social posts or accounts and gain information about you. This information could include everything from your birthday to your pet's name. The less you share publicly, the better.