TDCI Shares Consumer Tips for Cyber Security Awareness Month
NASHVILLE – In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs reminds Tennesseans to always keep security and safety in mind when enjoying the benefits of the internet.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month, observed every October, was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.
While cutting-edge technology can make our daily home, work, and leisure activities easier, TDCI urges Tennesseans to take security precautions and think about how your information is shared in order to connect to the internet with more peace of mind.
The TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs shares the following consumer tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance:
- Lock down your login. Use strong authentication — more than a username and password to access accounts — to protect your most valuable accounts including email, social media and financial. For more information, including links to sites that offer multi-factor or stronger authentication, visit https://www.lockdownyourlogin.org/
- Make better passwords. If passwords are the only option, change and make them better. Length and ability to remember passwords are the two most important factors. A phrase of multiple words you can remember makes a good password. Important accounts should have unique passwords not used to access any other accounts.
- Avoid phishing attempts. Attempts by cybercriminals to lure you into giving away personal information to gain access to accounts or to infect your machine are called “phishing.” Phishing attempts can often get through spam filters and security software that you may already have in place, so stay vigilant and trust your instincts. Keep an eye out for things like unexpected urgency or a wrong salutation. Think twice about clicking a link or opening a document that seems suspicious. Double-check that every URL where you enter your password looks legitimate. And if anything raises doubt, delete or report the communication.
- Keep all machines clean. Immediately update all software on every internet-connected device. All critical software – including PCs and mobile operating systems, security software
and other frequently used software and apps – should be running the most current versions. Delete all unused apps.
- Monitor activity on your financial and credit cards accounts. If appropriate, implement a fraud alert or credit freeze with one of the three credit bureaus (this is free and may be included if credit monitoring is provided post breach). For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website: identitytheft.gov.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Scammers and others have been known to use data breaches and other incidents to send out emails and posts related to the incident to lure people into providing their information. Delete any suspicious emails or posts and get information only from legitimate sources.
- Share with care. Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you or others.
For more consumer resources, contact the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-342-8385 or visit www.tn.gov/consumer.