Cybersecurity Awareness month

‘Stop. Think. Connect.’ — and be wary of cyber threats while taking precautions to be safer and more secure online.

“Stop. Think. Connect.” is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Cyber threats affecting you, your family, and members of your community include:

Identity Theft

  • Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit.
  • Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country.
  • Take simple steps to protect your online identity by:
    • Locking and password protecting your computer and cellphone.
    • Not sharing specific personal information online, such as your full name or birthday.
    • Setting proper privacy settings on social networking websites.

Fraud and Phishing

  • Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.
  • Phishing is a scam by which an email user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information that the scammer can use illicitly or fraudulently.
  • Fraud and phishing attacks may take the form of an authentic-looking website or a personalized email.
  • Protect yourself from fraud and phishing attacks by:
    • Turning off the option to automatically download attachments.
    • Saving and scanning any attachments before opening them.
    • Before providing any kind of information, call and verify with the source that they are indeed the ones who sent the email.

Cyberbullying and Ethics

  • Cyberbullying is the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, often done anonymously.
  • Cyber ethics help internet users understand what type of online behavior is right and wrong.
  • Cyberbullying and poor cyber ethics are threats that many teens and young adults face not from strangers, but from their own peers.
  • Whatever anyone posts online about another person can be spread virally, resulting in serious, unwarranted damage to an individual’s reputation or personal well-being.
  • If you are being bullied, report it to a trusted adult — a parent, teacher, or neighbor. Avoid being a cyberbully and practice good cyber ethics by following tenets of the Golden Rule:
    • Be nice online and in real life.
    • Don't say or do anything online that you wouldn’t say or do in person.
    • Own and take responsibility for your actions online.

Cyber Predators

  • Cyber predators are people who search online for other people in order to use, control, or harm them in some way.
  • Cyber predators target teens and young adults — male and female — on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not the victims are 18 or above.
  • Social networking sites enhance a predator’s ability to target young Americans, especially if they share personal information in their profile.
  • To protect yourself from cyber predators:
    • Be aware — you never know who is behind the screen, so be protective of yourself and your personal information.
    • If you are being targeted or harassed online, notify your family or the proper authorities
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