National Cyber Security Month brings tips to protect your information

JACKSON, Tenn. — National Cyber Security Month is here and there are a number of tips on how to prevent and react to cyber-crime.

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“All of us connected to the internet we are therefore vulnerable, and our former director said its not a matter of ‘if you get attacked or compromised,’ it’s really just a matter of when,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Jeremy Baker, said.

Baker says some things online look harmless, but with one wrong click malware may be introduced to your computer.

“A very positive trait that a lot of Americans have is they are very trusting, and unfortunately a lot of criminals like to take advantage of that,” Baker said.

Baker says the three most important tips to know are being vigilant, thinking before you click, and creating a strong password. He also suggested having different passwords for different logins to make it more difficult for hackers.

“Sometimes you can’t even see anything immediately happening to your computer or to your device but in the background there might be some really bad things happening that you have now introduced into your environment if you click on that link,” Baker said.

Once you receive an email threat or are hacked, Baker says to fill out a form on the Internet Crime Complaint Center or contact the FBI field office. The form will globally cross reference everyone’s reports and will forward it to the FBI to follow up.

“The two really big things we see right now are called ransom ware and business email compromise,” Baker said.

In a crime of ransomware, the FBI advises not to pay a ransom to unlock encrypted files. With a B.E.C, Baker says individuals claim to be the President or CEO and instruct you to wire money. In this case, verify the email address or contact the sender.

“Because the email looks like them and sounds like them they make it feel realistic and it will also make you have a sense of urgency where maybe you would get fired if you don’t do this,” Baker said.

Baker says it is also crucial to have updated moderating systems and an antivirus.

“My hope is also that this conversation is less foreign to more people as we move forward, just because people are more and more aware of the threat as they continue to be online to a greater degree,” Baker said.

If you are hacked, the faster you contact the FBI field office, the more likely they are able to stop your information or money from being taken. To find more information on cyber crime general awareness, how to better arm yourself, and how to report a crime, click here.


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