BBB Tips on Cyber Security
By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | November 1, 2014
Each year, millions of individuals worldwide fall victim to cybercrimes, including identity theft, monetary loss and extortion as a result of computer viruses. Better Business Bureau, as part of its mission to educate and empower consumers and businesses, urges all internet users to “STOP. THINK. CONNECT,” this year’s theme for Cyber Security Awareness month.Computers and smart devices have become an integral part of life for most. Residents use the internet at work and home, for enjoyment and to stay connected to those close to us. But in doing so, consumers and businesses must make the effort to do so safely.Cyber security is a shared responsibility. Breaches in cyber security can have a disastrous effect on finances, identity and privacy.“STOP.THINK.CONNECT,” as the theme of the 2014 National Cyber Security Awareness Month, is designed to engage and educate both the public and private sectors. Its goal is raising awareness about cybersecurity and the importance of being ready to react quickly when there is a data breach involving a large national retailer.There are a number of very simple steps that individuals can take to keep themselves safe while online:• Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone• Keep your operating system, browser, other critical software optimized by installing updates.• Maintain an open dialogue with your family, and friends, about internet safety• Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy setting to keep the information shared to a minimum.• Be careful with the things you receive and read online. What sounds like an amazing offer may be just the opposite.• Learn more about scams with BBB’s Scam Stopper at http://www.bbb.org/council/bbb-scam-stopper/ .In short, keep computers and smart devices clean, protect your personal information, connect with care, be web wise when surfing, and be a good online citizen.If you are the victim of a computer scam, the FBI reminds consumers that the best way to report Internet-related crimes—which often involve false or fraudulent claims to consumers—is to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center .IC3, now in its 15th year of operation, is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. Submissions to this central hub for Internet-related crime complaints can not only lead to culprits getting caught but also help identify regional, national, or international trends to educate the public about constantly evolving cyber threats and scams.All complaints filed through IC3 are helpful in identifying trends—posted publicly on IC3’s website at www.ic3.gov and building statistical reports for law enforcement and regulatory agencies that substantiate criminal activity within those agencies’ area of jurisdiction.If you have more questions about computer security visit our website at bbb.org or call us 325-691-1533.