How to stay SAFE in cyberspace

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The internet is a beneficial place for connecting with others and accessing information. It allows you to read the news, check the weather, access your online banking, listen to music, send emails your friends and family, and so much more. With all of these useful tools right at your fingertips, it’s easy to forget that your personal information could be at risk. Because the internet has become increasingly important, it is equally as important to know how to stay SAFE when you’re out in cyberspace.

S – Secure your passwords

People often use simple words, such as a pet's name, or easy-to-remember dates such as a wedding anniversary. A hacker could try your name, children's names, birthdates and pets' names as passwords to get access to your computer. When they get lucky, your ID, privacy and financial security are all up for grabs.

Use different passwords on different accounts. Don't use the same password on more than one account. If a hacker discovers it, all of the information protected by that password could also be compromised.

A – Always login manually

Many malicious emails (phishing messages) gather personal information by tricking users to click on a URL that looks safe but ultimately points to a malicious website set up to steal information. A lot of these fake websites can look extremely real so make sure to always type login addresses manually.

F – Financial information should be shared on secure home Wi-Fi only

Do not type passwords on computers you do not control. When using your laptop in a Wi-Fi Hot Spot or a computer at an Internet café, you want to avoid any actions that require a username and password (such as online banking or shopping) because your data could be intercepted over the wireless network or with keystroke logging devices.

E – Enable and install all updates

Have up-to-date security software installed. Remember with thousands of new malware variants running every day, having a set of old virus definitions is almost as bad as having no protection.

In addition to your security software, make sure all the software on your system is up-to-date. This includes the operating system, the browser and all of the plug-ins that a modern browser typically uses. One of the most common infections is a malicious exploit that leverages software vulnerability. Updates remove vulnerabilities and keep your information and identity safe.

Your credit union cares about your online safety and should be contacted if you have any concerns about cybersecurity and your account.

For more information on staying SAFE, check out the video below: