Cybersecurity Awareness Month - observed every October since 2004 - was created to help educate consumers in an effort to help you stay safer and more secure online. It's a great time to prepare yourself to avoid end-of-year scams. The fast approaching Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday and shopping-related occasions always bring an increase in cyber-criminal activity along with them.

To help keep your cyber savviness sharp, the following are a few tips to prepare you for Cybersecurity Awareness Month:

Save on Sales. Save your money and yourself from a headache by using caution before clicking on links for “too good to be true” advertisements or emails. Even if they appear to be authentic, these links can be malicious.

Be Wi-Fi Wary. Working out of the office? Never send sensitive information, business related or personal, over public Wi-Fi unless you can verify it’s a secure source. This is an easy way for data to be intercepted.
Call Direct. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to call a business or person to verify the authenticity of an email, attachment, web page, or anything else online that raises suspicion.

Stay Survey Suspicious. Avoid filling out forms with personal information. Whether it’s a fun quiz for the perfect Halloween costume, or a form to access desired information, this is an easy way for cyber criminals to collect your data.

Build Better Habits. A significant part of remaining cyber aware and avoiding becoming a victim is by actively practicing smart cyber skills. Make an intentional effort during the next month to always think before you click, speak up when something is suspicious, and encourage others to do the same.

It’s said to take 21 days to create or break a habit. Consider how you’re contributing to your organization’s cyber protection and how you can continue Cyber Awareness Month all year long. An organization is only as strong as the people in it – that’s you!

Article adapted from BankOnITUSA® 

Additional Resources

You can also visit the FDIC's website for consumer protection tips on identity theft, fraud, scams and more.

Additional information on privacy, identity theft and online security can be found on the Federal Trade Commission website: