Internet-enabled crimes and cyber intrusions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and preventing them requires each and every user of a connected device to be aware and on guard.
“It’s no longer enough to be on the lookout for something in your inbox that appears suspicious.”
Matt Gorham, assistant director, FBI Cyber Division
Now in its 16th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is hosted every October by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Multiple agencies and organizations, including the FBI, collaborate to raise awareness about cybersecurity and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and online thefts and scams.
“Today’s cyber threat is bigger than any one government agency—frankly, bigger than government itself,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a cybersecurity conference in March. “But I think no agency brings the same combination of scope and scale, experience, tools, and relationships that the FBI has.”
The FBI works in close coordination with the private sector as well as with state, local, and international partners to understand and anticipate cyber threats and pursue cyber criminals.
During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the FBI joins in asking every user of a connected device to Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.
Understand Your Digital Profile
Internet-based devices are present in every aspect of our lives: at home, school, work, and on the go. Constant connection provides opportunities for innovation and modernization, but also presents opportunities for potential cybersecurity threats that can compromise your most important personal information. Understand the devices and applications you use every day to help keep you and your information safe and secure.
Secure Your Digital Profile
Cyber criminals are very good at getting personal information from unsuspecting victims, and the methods are getting more sophisticated as technology evolves. Protect against cyber threats by learning about security features available on the equipment and software you use. Apply additional layers of security to your devices—like multi-factor authentication—to better protect your personal information.
Maintain Your Digital Profile
Every click, share, send, and post you make creates a digital trail that can be exploited by cybercriminals. To protect yourself from becoming a victim, you must understand, secure, and maintain your digital profile. Be familiar with and routinely check privacy settings to help protect your privacy and limit Internet-enabled crimes.
Cyber Safety Tips
All computer users should keep systems and software up to date and use a good anti-virus program. These programs are not foolproof, however, and computer users themselves often help cyber criminals get through these safeguards. To avoid inadvertently downloading malicious code that can harm your network or giving a criminal money or valuable information, the FBI recommends these tips:
- Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
- If an unsolicited text message or email asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
- Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
- Carefully scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
- Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
- Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.