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7 Ways to Stay Safe Online

posted on Friday, February 3, 2017 in Security & Fraud Information

Every year, millions of consumers fall victim to cybercrime. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center consumers lost more than $1 billion from scams initiated through the web in 2015. In recognition of Safer Internet Day on Feb. 7, Northwest Bank is highlighting seven tips to help consumers guard against online threats and maintain a safe and secure web environment.  

Criminals have become more and more sophisticated with their hacking techniques. As a result, it’s extremely important for consumers to secure their wireless networks and set strong network passwords using a combination of letters, numbers and special characters to actively guard against online threats.

Northwest Bank recommends the following tips to keep you safe online:

  • Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.  Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
  • Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email. 
  • Keep personal information personal. Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother’s maiden name, etc.  Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
  • Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
  • Shop safely. Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
  • Read the site’s privacy policies. Though long and complex, privacy policies tell you how the site protects the personal information it collects. If you don’t see or understand a site’s privacy policy, consider doing business elsewhere. 

Northwest Bank values your privacy and security and that is why we have created a cyber security technology center to help protect your personal and financial information.

Learn Ways to Protect Your Information 

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