#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Cybersecurity tips for protecting your information

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and agencies are warning consumers about protecting  their personal information.

Social media is a popular platform for scammers, 91 percent of people who were exposed to a scam through social media engaged with a scammer, and 53 percent of consumers lost money to a scammer, according to the BBB.

Surveys, job ads and games are common ways to lure people into sharing their private information on social sites because those answers are often our security passwords, Quincy Regional Director Mara Clingingsmith said.

“The same caution you would use, in talking to someone on the street that you don’t know very well, you want should apply those same security rules on social media, don’t share all the information about you,” she added.

The BBB adds do not follow links to random emails or websites asking you to verify or send personal information.

They say always call companies to check if there is an issue.

If you decide to shop online, use a credit card. You can dispute the charges and are you are more likely to get your money back if it is scammed.

More tips from the Better Business Bureau:

  • Secure your network and make sure software is updated
  • Be cautious about signing into to public WiFi and do not log onto websites with your personal information
  • Read a site’s privacy policy and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If a site doesn’t have a privacy policy, that’s a big red flag that it may be a scam
  • Check a site’s security settings. If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
  • Beware of phishing. Phishing emails can look like a message from a well-known brand, but clicking on unfamiliar links can place you at risk for malware and/or identity theft. One popular scam claims to be from a package-delivery company with links to “tracking information” on an order you don’t remember making.

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