Do you know the rules of safe surfing?
No, we’re not talking about waxing your board and watching for sharks – at least not the kind that swim in the ocean. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and many events throughout the month will highlight Internet security, in an effort to protect consumers from online sharks who want to take a bite out of your bank account.
Global payments giant Visa is participating in Cyber Security Awareness Month, partnering with the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to provide education and raise awareness of cyber crimes and potential pitfalls of sharing financial information online.
One of the more accessible public events will be on October 11, when anyone on social networking site Twitter can participate in an online chat about cyber crime with NCSA, Visa, the Washington State Patrol, and the ID Theft Resource Center, using the hash tag #ChatSTC.
Baby Boomers Not Online Safety Savvy
In this increasingly mobile world of finance, many people have gotten overly casual about doing financial business online, sharing account numbers, making purchases, and doing all their banking online. While these things are safe to do if online safely rules are followed, consumers need to be aware of how cyber criminals work and be careful not fall for phishing schemes like asking for passwords or clicking on attachments from unknown sources.
Internet and mobile security technology company AVG recently surveyed 1300 Baby Boomers – Americans roughly between the ages of 46 and 64 – about their online habits and found that many of them aren’t utilizing safe online practices.
Although over 80 percent of them own computers and 30 percent have smartphones, 65 percent of them don’t check their online banking statements more than once a week and 60 percent don’t use cell phone passwords to protect their account data.
JR Smith, CEO of AVG, says in a statement regarding his company’s survey and Cyber Security Awareness Month, “Some of the better attackers know exactly who they are dealing with and will view baby boomers as being deficient in online safety skills. The opportunity to take advantage of them is on the rise; therefore, it’s important for baby boomers to familiarize themselves with how to minimize the risk of theft or fraud.”
Tips from Visa
Using credit cards online is a good way to protect yourself from theft, since almost all credit cards have zero liability for fraudulent transactions, and money doesn’t come directly out of your account, like it does with a debit card.
Still, it’s important to be safe when using a credit card online. Visa provides the following tips to prevent online fraud, in honor of Cyber Security Awareness Month:
- Make sure your virus protection software is current
- Use a pop-up blocker to prevent online attacks
- Make your passwords strong
- Ignore emails from unknown senders
- Sign up for email and text alerts from your bank so you know when transactions post
Credit-Land.com will feature articles on cyber security throughout the month, so watch for more tips and stories about protecting your credit card accounts online!