FTC Tips: What you can do to fend off hackers
Your personal information is valuable. That’s why hackers try to steal it. This year, for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is offering these tips to help you keep your personal information from ending up in the hands of a hacker.
Protect your phone
Let’s start with protecting the data on your phone. Set your phone to lock automatically and create a passcode to unlock it. Use at least a 6-digit passcode.
When you notice an update for your phone is available, run it promptly. Those updates could include critical security patches.
Back up your phone regularly. That way, if you lose it, you’ll still have access to your personal information.
Use an app that will help you find your phone if you lose it – or if someone steals it. If it’s the latter, you can use the app to remotely lock your phone or erase the data on it.
Protect your computer
To protect your computer from threats like malware use security software and update it regularly, or set it to update automatically.
Protect your accounts
To protect your accounts, use strong passwords. Consider using multi-factor authentication for accounts that offer it. (If you’re trying to enable multi-factor authentication on your account, it might be called two-factor authentication or two-step verification.)
Keep your info to yourself
Another way to protect your personal information is to recognize scammers’ attempts to steal it. Phishing attacks by email or text may try to trick you into giving up your passwords, account numbers, or other personal information. Or callers might lie about your Social Security number being suspended and urge you to contact them. (Listen to this recording of a Social Security scam.)
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