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It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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October is spooky enough with its ghouls and goblins. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is here to remind us how to stay safe and secure from real (and maybe even scarier) threats – malware and scammers.

Help us celebrate by joining a Twitter chat we’ll be participating in on October 18th at 3pm EST. In this chat, you’ll hear how to create a more cyber secure workplace. Join the conversation by following @FTC and watching the #ChatSTC hashtag.

In the meantime, here are some quick tips for staying safe online:

  • Update your software. Outdated software makes it easier for criminals to break into your computer and other devices. Most software can update automatically, so make sure to set yours to do so.
  • Make your password long, strong and complex. That means at least twelve characters, with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words, phrases or information in your passwords.
  • Use multi-factor authentication, when available. For accounts that support it, multi-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in.The second piece could be a code generated by an app or a key that’s inserted into a computer. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.
  • Back up your files. No system is completely secure. Copy your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. If your computer is attacked by malware, you’ll still have access to your files.

Comments

Go get them why do we have these type people. To pray on the sheep pf the world. Jonnie bone#$!

In the past 12 months my email account has been hacked and I was the victim of an internet security scam that cost me $950. Thank you, FTC, for performing a valuable service to consumers. I deeply appreciate it and read your alerts.

I have received a bogus email purporting to be from Century Link, from "Marlie", email ctlbill@ centurylink. com, and they have my email, Century Link account etc., and they are telling me my accounts is past due ( its not ), and asking me to follow the link so she can help me make a payment, by credit card I presume.
I have contacted Century Link with this information, and am waiting for their response, but I thought I should notify you about a potential compomise to the Century Link customer base, How did they get my Information? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Thank ftc.

I have received two recorded calls today on my cell phone saying they were calling from the Social Security Office - mobile phone 800-772-1213. When I researched it gave the address as 5520 Gatlin Ave. #102, Orlando, FL 32812. The message was to press one now to connect to SSA, and that if I didn't my SSN would be blocked permanently. Although the address and phone number were correct, I believe this was really a bogus call.

Yes, these scammers spoof caller ID and will "scrape" real info to make them seem legit. Just remember- the Social Security Office will NOT call you (unless you have initiated the conversation with them), just like the IRS will NOT call you, federal agents and law enforcement will not give you a "head's up" that they are coming to arrest you. Publisher's Clearing House doesn't call you to tell you that you have won- you will never have to pay anything up front to claim a prize...etc, etc...

Great support and help. Keep up the good work in helping to combat this new wave of this crime spree.

Great advice. However, we (USA) needs much stronger rules with "TEETH" in them when malware and scammers are apprehended. If our FBI or other government department would make greater efforts to capture these crooks and provide the courts a law with "teeth" with mandatory sentencing, I believe the word would get out and it would diminish or even stop as the numbers of crooks became fewer.

Husband claims his "phone was hacked" and that's why there are inappropriate messages in his FB messenger. It was an entire dialogue, plans to meet up, pics, etc. His excuse sounds like BS to me. He insists he was hacked, and he is being set up. Is it even possible for this to happen?

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