PALM BEACH, FL –The Attorney General of the State of Florida, Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert in recognition of National Cyber-security Awareness Month. The video details some simple steps consumers can take to help avoid becoming a victim of various security threats and online scams such as those which target Internet users with tech support, malware, phishing and ransomware.
Today more than ever, our daily lives are dependent on the internet. While advances in technology and the internet have broken down barriers, changed lives and connected people worldwide, there are villainous people on the internet who aim to take advantage of the speed and ease with which we share information. I want all Floridians to be safe as they travel the internet’s superhighway, which is why I am issuing this Consumer Alert in recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.”Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
One of the most common ways users are targeted is through email and the use of phishing which is a process of fooling users by someone sending them, often through misleading redirects, to websites which are set up to look identical to an authentic site, but are designed to collect and steal a user’s username and password by getting them to sign-in to a fake website, then redirecting them to the correct site, often with the user assuming they mis-typed their email, username or password needing to try logging in again.
The release and accompanying video details some simple steps consumers can take to avoid these common email phishing or malware scams:
- Never open attachments in an email from an unknown source;
- Do not click on any links in an email that comes from an unknown source;
- Mark any suspicious emails as spam; and
- Keep security software installed and up-to-date.
In general, also following the these suggested good practice tips to protect financial information:
- Ensure the internet browser has a secure connection—a padlock should appear in the URL bar if the session is secure;
- Do not include personal financial information in an email;
- Use a credit card instead of a debit card when online shopping. While both credit and debit card sales can be disputed, it may take more time to have money returned to a debit card. Additionally, some credit card providers offer single-use numbers to be used online to further protect financial information;
- Create different passwords for different sites—do not use the same password everywhere, and ensure a strong password by using upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters;
- Never use public Wi-Fi to transmit or access private information;
- Always read privacy statements to determine how personal information will be used and whether it will be sold to third-parties;
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible; and
- Check your financial accounts regularly to ensure there are no duplicate or fraudulent charges.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®