The growing amount of data, devices and connections we have could bring a potentially new set of online security threats. As a result, we all need to take steps to secure our digital lives. Start with these three tips to help you stay protected while connected.
Use strong, secure passwords
A strong password is one that can’t easily be guessed. Even better use a long strong passphrase that contains at least 10 characters. Put together a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. For instance, a phrase such as “I can eat eight tacos” becomes [email protected]@c0$.
Keep thieves at bay
In addition to a strong passphrase, two-factor authentication makes it even harder for thieves to access your account. This extra layer of security combines a username and password with a second factor only you have, such as a one-time passcode via text message; a push notification to a mobile device; or a code generator app. The second factor could also be something unique to you like a fingerprint or retinal scan.
Don’t be fooled
Thieves have turned old tricks into new email phishing scams. The message in your inbox looks like it’s from a friend or an organization you’re familiar with:
“Dear valued customer. We were unable to process your last payment with the information we have on file. Please use this link to log in to update your credit card and billing information to ensure your service is not interrupted.”
Criminals use official sounding messages to trick you into providing personal data like passwords, credit card numbers and login credentials. Then they commit crimes in your name. Clicking could also infect your machine with malware. So, think before you connect. If you’re unfamiliar with the sender or the request sounds odd, don’t click.
However, if the request seems legitimate, go to your bookmarked site or enter the URL directly into the search field. You can also call and speak to a company representative.
If you’re not using Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, remember, data fees may apply. Check with your service provider for additional details.
October is National Cyber Security Month. Start securing your digital life.
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.
Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.