As a result of the pandemic and its aftermath many Idahoans are relying on their phones, laptops and other devices more than ever for work, school, and to stay connected. This increase in online activity corresponds with greater consumer exposure to cyber-attacks and scammers seeking to exploit victims.
“There definitely have been more reports of it recently. I believe it is due to people spending more time online and doing more over the internet,” said Preston Police Chief Dan McCammon. “We have taken complaints that range from people being contacted through email, phone, and all the social media apps. There are scams where the suspect tries to get the victim to believe there is a warrant out for them, or they are talking to the IRS and need to make a payment that day, or they have a child or grandchild in jail and bail money is needed. Then there is the classic one where the victim is notified they won a jackpot to a lottery they have never played, or a rich person died and they are only last living heir to a fortune and you only need to send a few hundred dollars to get the money sent to you,” he said.
Consider these five tips to stay safe online.
Clear out cyber clutter
Think of this as spring cleaning for your digital space. A good digital spring cleaning can prevent cyber criminals from accessing old information that could help them figure out how to get to your new information. To clean up files stored on your devices, first back up important files and then delete unused or outdated files. Empty your desktop recycling bin to help permanently remove deleted files.
Update logins and passwords
Opting for the same password for multiple applications makes it easier for a scammer to access your information. Instead, choose a unique password, preferably eight characters or longer that does not contain personal information or common words. An easy way to double your login protection is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. Review the privacy and security options each platform provides to prevent granting access to unwanted visitors.
If you connect, you must protect
One of the best defenses…