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Cybersecurity Center: Keeping Your Information Safe

Technology has taken over the world one smartphone or laptop at a time. Every day, we send personal messages, upload our credit cards, or download confidential documents. Ultimately, our entire lives are in the palms of our hand – and it is up to us to keep our personal information safe by staying aware of scams, phishing and cybersecurity basics. According to an annual report by IBM, in 2021, large brands such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google were the most imitated brands. Additionally, phishing is three times more successful when a voice is added, also known as vishing.

What Is Phishing and Vishing:

Phishing is when a company or person sends a fraudulent message to another person to get them to share personal or confidential information or deploy a software that could potentially damage your system. Vishing is the same thing, except with a voice added so companies or people will call you for an issue where part of the solution is giving certain personal information, such as your credit card number. Phishing and Vishing are the scam text messages, phone calls, or e-mails you receive every day, but you must be very careful how you handle them.

Browser Notification Safety:

You may have never assumed that a browser notification could be cybercriminals at work, but it is possible. When you first visit a website, it will ask if you’d like to allow notifications for sales, updates, etc. These notifications can be displayed anytime, even when you are not on the website. Cybercriminals can use these notifications in two different ways, they can either take over a credible website and offer fake notifications or they can convince you to allow notifications on an unsafe website, such as a website used as for free movies, images or other online tools.

How Cybercriminals Use Notifications:

Once cybercriminals gain control of your notifications, they can send you a plethora of pop-up messages, explicit material, or disruptive material. These notifications can control your system while demanding a ransom. Cybercriminals can also begin to send malicious advertisements, known as malvertising. This is the use of ads to spread malware, tricking you into providing personal information or stealing your money using fake storefronts. Lastly, a cybercriminal can send notifications that include files and codes. Once clicked on, the system will be automatically encouraged to download a piece of malware, possibly causing your system to crash and your personal information exploited.

Helpful Hints and Tips to Keep Your Information Safe:

Many times, the key to keeping your information safe is password security. According to the First National Bank LI Cybersecurity Center, the best ways to achieve password security consist of having a strong password, using multifactor and biometric authentication if available, only keeping your passwords in a secure password manager, updating passwords frequently, and avoiding “remember me” and “autofill.” When dealing with e-mails and phone calls, if the number appears as an area code you do not know or a name you are not familiar with, don’t answer. The same goes for emails, if a name appears that you don’t recognize, don’t open it. If you accidentally answered and are unsure if your personal information is safe, don’t worry. One of the best safeguards for identity theft is to freeze your credit with credit agencies and set up alerts on your bank account that will notify you when the card or numbers are used or if any suspicious activity is happening. Most importantly, to prevent being involved in identity theft, continuously check your financial account statements and keep track of activity on your credit report.

Want to Learn More?

Let First National Bank LI help you feel safe when it comes to cybersecurity. Visit our online Cybersecurity Center, watch our educational videos, along with reading more about important ways to keep your personal information safe from cybercriminals.