What you can do to fend off hackers
Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
Your personal information is valuable. That’s why hackers try to steal it. This year, for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’ve got tips to help you keep your personal information from ending up in the hands of a hacker.
Protect your phone
Let’s start with
protecting the data on your phone. Set your phone to lock automatically and create a passcode to unlock it. Use at least a 6-digit passcode.
When you notice an update for your phone is available, run it promptly. Those updates could include critical security patches.
Back up your phone regularly. That way, if you lose it, you’ll still have access to your personal information.
Use an app that will help you find your phone if you lose it – or if someone steals it. If it’s the latter, you can use the app to remotely lock your phone or erase the data on it.
Protect your computer
To protect your computer from threats like
security software and update it regularly, or set it to update automatically.
Protect your accounts
To protect your accounts,
use strong passwords. Consider using
multi-factor authentication for accounts that offer it. (If you’re trying to enable multi-factor authentication on your account, it might be called two-factor authentication or two-step verification.)
Know what makes a wireless network secure. Start with your own
wireless network and router. Then find out
how to use public Wi-Fi safely.
Keep your info to yourself
Another way to protect your personal information is to recognize scammers’ attempts to steal it.
Phishing attacks by email or text may try to trick you into giving up your passwords, account numbers, or other personal information. Or callers might lie about
your Social Security number being suspended and urge you to contact them. (Listen to this
recording of a Social Security scam.)
Check out more tips about online security. If you want to get more consumer tips in your inbox, sign up for Consumer Alerts.