What is Cyber Crime, and how can you protect yourself against it?

You’ve likely heard many stories about Cyber Crime in the news and perhaps you even know some people who have been affected by one of these crimes. If you’ve ever received a spoofed email (an email that falsely looks like it’s coming from someone or a business you know), or received a request to respond with your password, then cyber crime has been closer to you than you might realize.

Cyber crime is unfortunately on the rise and can include such practices as hacking, identity theft, stolen credit card numbers, or even viruses installed on a computer. While it may seem like there isn’t much you can do to prevent cyber crime, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your workplace from becoming victims of cyber crimes.

One of the best ways to ensure you don’t become a victim of cyber crimes is to protect yourself with cyber security measures. Much like a home security system will deter criminals from burglarizing a particular home, cyber security can work to prevent cyber criminals from invading your computer, network, and accounts.

According to cyber security giant Norton, there are several cyber security measures you can take to protect yourself. They suggest that you:

  • Always update your computer as these updates will often contain security patches that protect against cyber threats.
  • Choose strong passwords and make sure they are always stored safely
  • Use strong anti-virus and security software
  • Be careful about clicking on offers that are sent through the internet – especially if they seem fishy
  • Always review your credit card and bank statements[1]

As time goes on, cyber criminals are getting savvy and have started using different tactics to get information from unsuspecting victims, so it’s always good to be in the know when it comes to their latest methods. For instance, when you conduct business with a reputable company, they will never ask you to email in personal information or passwords. Often cyber criminals will trick their victims by using a spoofed email that looks like it has come from a source you trust, such as your bank. If you ever get an email from your bank or other financial institution requesting that you provide them with personal information, or if you receive an email requesting that you log in to your account right away through a link provided in the email, this is most likely a cyber crime waiting to happen. If you have doubts as to whether you have received a legit request, it is best to not click anything in the email and then call the number listed on your debit or credit card to speak with your bank directly.

Cyber protection for groups

If you have several people that will be using a particular computer, or network it is vitally important that everyone be brought up to date on the proper security measures and know what steps to take. For families, this means making sure that everyone has strong passwords and understands the importance of not giving out personal information through email.

In the workplace it’s important that everyone understand the policies in place regarding computer updates or security software that should be run on a regular basis. If passwords need to be stored, they should be in an encrypted program and never emailed. By putting some preventative measures in place, it can help to prevent a crime in the future.

If you have questions about cyber crime and how to prevent it, we’d like to invite you to attend our upcoming Cyber Security Breakfast Workshop on October 6th, 2016. David Bennett from Connections for Business will be sharing some practical tips on how to prevent cyber crime, and you’ll also receive an Action Guide with practical tips to help secure your information. If you’d like to attend please RSVP to Peggy by September 29th at info@tobiasfinancial.com.


[1] https://us.norton.com/cybercrime-prevention

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