National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Cyber Safety Tips

October 3, 2019

Internet-enabled crimes and cyber intrusions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and preventing them requires each user of a connected device to be aware and on guard.

Some of the most common and damaging Internet-enabled crimes begin with an employee clicking a link in an email that appears to be from a colleague, following the instructions in a message that looks like it came from a supervisor, or opening an account link or invoice that seems to be from a trusted vendor.

Now in its 16th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is hosted every October by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Multiple agencies and organizations, including the FBI, collaborate to raise awareness about cybersecurity and stress the collective effort needed to stop cyber intrusions and online thefts and scams.

All computer users should keep systems and software up to date and use a good anti-virus program. These programs are not foolproof, however, and computer users themselves often help cybercriminals get through these safeguards. To avoid inadvertently downloading malicious code that can harm your network or giving a criminal money or valuable information, the FBI recommends these tips:

  • Examine the email address and URLs in all correspondence. Scammers often mimic a legitimate site or email address by using a slight variation in spelling.
  • If an unsolicited text message or email asks you to update, check, or verify your account information, do not follow the link provided in the message itself or call the phone numbers provided in the message. Go to the company’s website to log into your account or call the phone number listed on the official website to see if something does in fact need your attention.
  • Do not open any attachments unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Carefully scrutinize all electronic requests for a payment or transfer of funds.
  • Be extra suspicious of any message that urges immediate action.
  • Confirm requests for wire transfers or payment in person or over the phone as part of a two-factor authentication process. Do not verify these requests using the phone number listed in the request for payment.

Click here to check out out all the tools ALTA has developed to help members with information security issues.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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