Though October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, cyber scams are still on the rise. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been getting spam texts or phishy emails—you’re not alone. In fact, an uptick of complaints to FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) were received. These include significant increase with both business and individual email compromise schemes or simply put, fraud perpetrated through email”, says Matt DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI office in Dallas.
With that being said, top cyber security experts share their top 5 tips to help you combat cyber-related crimes.
TIP #1: REGULARLY BACK UP YOUR DATA
Back your files up to the cloud or a server that’s in a different location than where your computer is. Taking your data and just copying it in a different folder on the same computer is not going to work.
TIP #2: ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE SOFTWARE ON YOUR DEVICE IS UP-TO-DATE
Don’t ignore the pop-ups or reminders telling you to update, they’re there for a reason. Most people ignore these notifications and don’t realize that most of them are security updates.
TIP 3: THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK
If you receive emails from people whom you do not personally recognize or if their message somehow makes you suspicious, don’t open them. Right now more than ever, it’s critical to first ponder before you act. Scammers operate based on immediacy and fear, whether in the form of a call, text or email. They want you to respond fast without thinking.
TIP #4: MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA) IS ESSENTIAL
When it comes to protecting your accounts, MFA is vital and is not just an option you can forego. More websites are being compromised and being able to prove that you’re you in more ways than one is frankly critical at this point. If you have banks or other financial institutions that don’t offer multifactor authentication, you should bring your business somewhere else safer.
TIP 5: EDUCATE YOURSELF
Be aware of what kinds of scams are out there. You can gather information from a lot of free online resources. Talk about it with your family and friends, especially grandparents and kids. Though kids are more likely to fall for scams, the elderly have more to lose because of their chance of being scammed for a higher amount. Loneliness is a big factor in being victimized too, as many elders fall into the trap of romance scams.
While these tips may seem basic, we should all take time to step up our game in keeping our information safe from scammers. #BeCyberSmart