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BBB tip of the week: cyber security

Sun., Oct. 13, 2013

This October is the 10th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (, and the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center ( have partnered to share great educational information on how to stay safe in cyberspace.

Using these resources, you can educate yourself and others by getting involved. Consider talking to friends and family of all ages about what to do to protect from cybercriminals.

Cyber security isn’t just important in your home and in your mobile life. If you suspect a cyber attack at work, contact your IT department or those appropriate to take action.

You can also start a dialog with your local schools and organizations about cyber security and protecting school-age kids and community computing centers.

The following tips will help reduce the chances of encountering a cyber security breach:

• Only use strong passwords by combining upper- and lowercase letters with numbers and special symbols.

• Change your passwords regularly.

• Don’t share your passwords with anyone.

• Password-protect your computer and mobile devices, which often contain personal and sensitive information.

• Install software updates to remove vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. This includes updates for your home, work and mobile devices.

• Use privacy settings in browsers and for social media sites.

Cybercriminals are very good at spoofing as a way to gain trust.

If you are the victim of a cyber attack, be sure to file a report with your local police. You can also report online crime and fraud at the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

For more tips you can trust, check out the BBB blog at or call your local BBB office at 509-455-4200.

Erin T. Dodge, BBB Editor


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