Learn About Cyber Security

To stay protected, it helps to understand some basics of what cybercrime is and how it puts you at risk. Click on the headings below to learn more.

The term cybercrime usually refers to any criminal offense committed against or with the use of a computer or computer network. A cybercrime incident can lead to loss of business and consumer confidence, financial loss, productivity loss, and even loss of intellectual property. The current era of cybercrime is dominated by criminals who want to use your computer for illegal activity or steal data for profit. Attackers exploit vulnerabilities in computer software to develop crimeware such as viruses, trojans or keyloggers in order for others to carry out criminal acts.

Large-scale fraud attacks and consumer data breaches are costing businesses billions of dollars a year. Much of the growth stems from the maturation of the criminal digital underground and its "industrial" approach to cybercrime. Criminals and their technology are increasingly sophisticated, and their reach is global. Rather than attempting to defraud accounts in small multiple transactions, they now boldly go after large sums of money.

  • Create strong passwords for your accounts and update your usernames and passwords regularly.
  • Always be sure to have the most up-to-date anti-virus software and anti-spyware installed on your home computer.
  • Don't respond to online solicitations from people you don't know.
  • Don't overshare your personal information, which would be used by banks or companies to verify your identity, on social media. Be sure to set your social networking profiles to private. Be careful what you post online.
  • Don't click on links, open attachments or provide sensitive information through an email or text message, even if the sender appears to be a reputable company or someone you know. Instead call that company or individual to inquire if they sent you an email or text message.
  • Shred documents that contain personal information before you discard them.
  • Be careful what you do on public Wi-Fi hotspots. While they can be great for convenience, avoid conducting financial transactions on them.
Man reviewing paperwork.

Personal Fraud Awareness, Prevention and Reporting Resources

Find out about agencies that provide fraud awareness, prevention tips and resources as well as fraud and identity theft reporting tools.

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