BOISE, Idaho — October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to take stock of your online security measures.
Better Business Bureau and National Cyber Security Alliance are reminding everyone, including business owners, to closely examine their steps to secure technology, data and personal information. Cyber threats continue to increase with one of the most common being data breaches.
If you hear about a data breach that may impact you, the first step is to stay calm. You will not be liable for fraudulent charges on stolen account numbers. It's important to check with the website of the affected company for the latest information. The best way to access the website is to type it in yourself to ensure you don't get lured to a site that's been fabricated by scammers.
If your credit or debit cards have been compromised, you'll likely hear from the bank or the card issuer. You can also be proactive by checking the accounts yourself frequently to make sure no fraudulent charges are occurring. If you see fraudulent charges, report them immediately so they can be reversed and a new card can be issued.
Other ways to keep your information safe include owning your online presence. Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It's okay to limit how and with whom you share information. You can also get ahead by using two-step verification on accounts when available. This adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to know more than just a password. Two-step verification usually involves a code sent to you after accessing your password protected electronic device.
Remember to keep a clean machine. Tech companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, are constantly making safety updates. Keep all software on internet-connected devices, including PCs, smartphones, and tablets, up-to-date to reduce your risk of infection from malware.