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 0112 Cyber Safety Tips   

Cyber Safety: Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

By Madison Police Department Technology Committee

Defend your computer against Internet threats:

Help protect your online transactions by using firewall, antivirus and antispyware software. Encrypt your wireless connection at home. Keep all software (including your web browser) current with automatic updates.

Create strong passwords:

Choose passwords that are easy for you to remember, at least 14 characters long and include numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Never share them in email, instant messages or over the phone. And avoid using the same password for everything.  

Find the web address yourself:

Links in email messages, text messages, instant messages, or pop-up ads can take you to websites that look legitimate but are not.

Look for signs that your information is safe:

Before you enter sensitive data on a web page, ensure that the site uses encryption, a security measure that helps protect your data as it travels the Internet. Signs of encryption include a web address with https (“s” stands for secure) and a closed padlock beside it or in the lower right corner of the page.

Save financial transactions for your home computer:

Never pay bills, bank, shop or do other financial business on a public or shared computer or on devices such as a laptop or mobile phones that are on public wireless networks. The security is unreliable.

Use common sense:

To protect yourself against fraud, watch out for scams. For example, be wary of deals that sound too good to be true, alerts from your “bank” that your account will be closed unless you take some immediate action, notices that you have won a lottery, or a refusal to meet in person for a local transaction. Whether sent by computer or phone, this kind of message is designed to entice you to visit a phony website where criminals collect your financial data.


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