September is National Preparedness Month. Preparedness comes in many forms, including protecting your identity and your account information on electronic devices. Cybersecurity is the best way to prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks.
Reduce cyber risks:
- Protect electronic devices with a password, PIN, or biometric scan, such as a fingerprint.
- Use strong passwords for apps and programs. Passwords should be at least 12 characters or longer. Use upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, consider using a password manager.
- Set up transaction/fraud alerts on your debit and credit cards.
- Check your account statements and credit reports regularly.
- Limit personal information shared online, especially via social media. Information specific to you (even your current location) may be used by digital thieves.
- Sign up for free scam alerts at ftc.gov/scams and get the latest updates sent to your inbox.
If you think you are a victim of a cyberattack:
- Contact financial institutions and credit card companies if you become aware of unauthorized charges on your accounts.
- Call the Social Security Administration at 1.800.269.0271 if you think someone is illegally using your Social Security Number.
- Report incidents that occur online or on the Internet to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov.