Cyber Security: How to protect yourself and your family

Each new breach of credit or consumer data reminds us that protecting our identity should be a priority for everyone in the family.
Staying safe online is now a big part of our everyday lives. Review your personal and your family’s digital habits and make smart decisions to help protect personal information from fraudsters and identity thieves.    

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Cyber Security: How to protect yourself and your family

4 Oct 2017

Cyber Security: How to protect yourself and your family

Each new breach of credit or consumer data reminds us that protecting our identity should be a priority for everyone in the family.
Staying safe online is now a big part of our everyday lives. Review your personal and your family’s digital habits and make smart decisions to help protect personal information from fraudsters and identity thieves.  

Start with these simple ways to boost your online security:

Teach your children

Just like teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street, make sure your children know to never give out identifying information online and to tell you if someone is being a cyberbully.

Click carefully

Don’t open unsolicited emails and only download software you trust. If a link in an email seems suspicious, don’t click on it. When visiting new websites, be wary of spelling mistakes and a lack of contact information. Use a trusted search engine to ensure you choose vetted websites.

Keep up to date

Install the latest updates for your operating system. Enable automatic downloads of your antivirus software and use the most current version of your web browser. If you’re not very tech savvy, any local computer services shop can help get your system set up.

Use stronger passwords

Each of your passwords should be unique and include elements such as symbols, numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. Change your passwords every few months. If you have trouble keeping track of your passwords, try using a password manager such as the iCloud Keychain.

Check for the "s"

When you visit a website, look for the lock icon or the “https” at the beginning of the URL. This means you have a secure connection, and information such as passwords and credit card numbers are kept private when sent to the site.

Be cautious about sharing

If you log on to public Wi-Fi at the coffee shop or airport, for example, check with staff about the name of the network first to ensure you connect with a legitimate network. Don’t perform sensitive tasks when using an open network; do your online banking and shopping at home.

In addition to these safeguards, Redstone offers more ways for you to protect your individual account.

  • Keep a close eye on your accounts. Use Redstone’s online banking to check your accounts daily. Use Credit Card Control or Debit Card Control to track how your card’s usage or turn the card on and off.
  • Review your credit report annually. If you suspect suspicious activity on any of your accounts, check your report more frequently. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Reduce solicitations, especially through the mail, which is only fodder for thieves.
  • Shred all paperwork containing any personal information before discarding. Prior to discarding any of these documents, keep them in a safe place, such as a locked file cabinet.
  • Don’t give out any personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the contact or can validate that the caller is actually employed by the company he or she is representing.
  • Don’t allow your Social Security number to be used as your participant number, user ID, username, or login name on anything.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. All month, we will post more tips and tools for staying safe online. Watch for them.

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