12 Ways to Protect Yourself Online
A cyber security expert who spoke at Northampton Community College offers tips for protecting yourself from identify theft and other online dangers.
Kristina Dorville, director of cybersecurity awareness programs for the Department of Homeland Security, spoke at Northampton Community College recently.
One in five Americans has fallen victim to a cyber crime, she said. Read a detailed story about Dorville's presentation here.
Dorville's tips are:
- Set up privacy restrictions on all social media sites.
- Don't use the same password for more than one site, and choose one that means something to you only. In particular, don't use your online banking password for any other site.
- Change your passwords frequently.
- Lock your computer and cell phone.
- Don't open emails from strangers, and never click on links or open attachments for unfamiliar sites.
- Notify law enforcement if you think you've been a victim of identity theft at the FBI's Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
- Avoid using public wi-fi hotspots if at all possible, and never to access sensitive information like a bank account.
- Make sure your anti-virus software and web browser are the latest versions.
- Think twice about what you say, or what is being said about you, online. 53 percent of organizations use social media to screen job applicants.
- Monitor who your children talk to and what they're doing online.
- Keep personal information about yourself private—family members, school, telephone numbers, exact birthdate and address.
- Never confirm or update personal information requested in an email. This threat is called "phishing."
For more information about how to stay safe online, check out Homeland Security's site at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.