Cybercrime prevention tips

Cybercrime prevention tips

• Use strong passwords
Use different user ID / password combinations for different accounts and avoid
writing them down. Make the passwords more complicated by combining letters,
numbers, special characters (minimum 10 characters in total) and change them on
a regular basis.

• Secure your computer

• Activate your firewall
Firewalls are the first line of cyber defense; they block connections to unknown
or bogus sites and will keep out some types of viruses and hackers.

• Use anti-virus/malware software
Prevent viruses from infecting your computer by installing and regularly updating
anti-virus software.

• Block spyware attacks
Prevent spyware from infiltrating your computer by installing and updating
anti-spyware software.

• Be social-media savvy
Make sure your social networking profiles (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+,
etc.) are set to private. Check your security settings. Be careful what information
you post online. Once it is on the Internet, it is there forever!

• Secure your mobile devices
Be aware that your mobile device is vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
Download applications from trusted sources.

• Install the latest operating system updates
Keep your applications and operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux) current
with the latest system updates. Turn on automatic updates to prevent potential
attacks on older software.

• Protect your data
Use encryption for your most sensitive files such as tax returns or financial records,
make regular back-ups of all your important data, and store it in another location.

• Secure your wireless network
Wi-Fi (wireless) networks at home are vulnerable to intrusion if they are not properly
secured. Review and modify default settings. Public Wi-Fi, a.k.a. “Hot Spots”, are also
vulnerable. Avoid conducting financial or corporate transactions on these networks.

• Protect your e-identity
Be cautious when giving out personal information such as your name, address,
phone number or financial information on the Internet. Make sure that websites are
secure (e.g. when making online purchases or online banking) or that you’ve enabled
privacy settings (e.g. when accessing/using social networking sites). A shopping,
banking, or any other website that requires your sensitive information should begin
with “https:” (i.e. The “s” stands for secure and should
appear when you are in an area requesting you to login or provide other sensitive
data. Another sign that you have a secure connection is the small lock icon in the
bottom of your Web browser (usually the right-hand corner).

• Avoid being scammed
Always think before you click on a link or file of unknown origin. Don’t click on the
links in these messages as they may take you to a fraudulent, malicious websites
and don’t feel pressured by any emails. Check the source of the message.
Legitimate companies will not use email messages to ask for your personal
information. When in doubt, verify the source (e.g. contact the company by phone).
Never reply to emails that ask you to verify your information or confirm your
user ID or password.

• Call the right person for help
Don’t panic! If you are a victim, if you encounter illegal Internet content (e.g. child
exploitation) or if you suspect a computer crime, identity theft or a commercial
scam, report this to your local police. If you need help with maintenance or software
installation on your computer, consult with your service provider or a certified
computer technician.