National Cyber Security Awareness Month Promotes Online Safety - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Promotes Online Safety

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Recent data breaches have compromised millions of consumers' personal information. With October being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, it's serving as a reminder of how you can protect yourself online. 

The President of Biz Net in Reno says some of the precautions you can take happen to be some of the most commonly overlooked, like avoiding suspicious emails or links. 

"The biggest thing is to never open something you don't know or are not familiar with, like an email, if you suspect the email, just delete it," said Marco Romero, the President of Biz Net. 

Other than being careful with unsecured online sources, the second thing Romero suggests, is to have a strong password. 

From corporations to consumers, anyone who uses the internet is at risk. Hackers can get your information from phishing, by accessing the account information you enter on a fake website. And ransomware downloads programs that can encrypt your files, holding them hostage until you pay a fee.

We're also told one of the biggest problems with cyber security nowadays, is people using their personal devices. 

Romero said, "Not only their personal phones, but their personal PC's to access your business remotely. You don't know if they're protected, you don't know what's contained in here. There might be malware on your phone or on your PC that will infect your servers."

The City of Reno offers 10 basic tips to help residents stay safe online:
1.    Change your password. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a secure password.
2.    When in doubt, don't click. Links in email, tweets and posts can lead you to unsecured online sources. If it's not a trustworthy source, don't click.
3.    Automate software updates. Updating your software can help protect your devices from known cyber threats.
4.    Don't overshare online. Double check your security and privacy settings. It's OK to limit what you choose to share.
5.    Protect your finances. When banking or shopping, make sure the site is secure. Look for web addresses starting with "https://"
6.    Back it up. Make an electronic copy of anything that you wouldn't want to lose. Keep it in a different place than your device.
7.    Be wise about Wi-Fi. Public hotspots can leave your information vulnerable. Limit the types of business you conduct on public Wi-Fi.
8.    Protect your devices with anti-virus software. Web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
9.    Plug and scan. USBs and other external devices that connect to your computer can contain malware and viruses. Scan them with security software before downloading anything.
10.    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of communications that ask you to act immediately or ask for personal information.

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