October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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Since March 2020, most people spend more time on their computers interacting with businesses, friends, and family, which gives cybercriminals more targets.

From the phishing email to the social media games and pop-ups, criminals are looking to get money and information from unsuspecting people in any way they can. Understanding how to protect all of your devices and what information shouldn’t be shared online will help keep your money and data safe.

The Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific (BBB) offers tips to protect your online devices.

The Numbers:

  • The damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

The Problem:

  • 52% of breaches featured hacking, 28% involved malware, and 32–33% included phishing or social engineering, respectively.
  • Consumers and businesses are targets of fraudulent activity online, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss.

BBB Tips:

  • Password Security — Use a strong, unique password to access your bank account online and change it often. Take advantage of two-step authentication as an extra layer of protection.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi — Mobile banking allows you to access your accounts on the go, wherever you are. But proceed with caution when connecting to Wi-Fi. Make sure you’re always on a secure network when logging in.
  • Beware of phishing — Be cautious of emails, phone calls, and texts that look like they’re coming from your bank or credit union. Fraudsters use legitimate-looking and sounding communication in hopes of getting you to give up your information.
  • Keep a clean machine — Install a firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software. Check for and install the latest updates and run virus scans regularly on your computer, tablet, and smartphone.
  • Monitor accounts — No need to wait for a monthly statement, now you can check your accounts more regularly. If you have a suspicious charge, no matter big or small, look into it. You can also set up alerts to notify you of spending limits and activity.

To find a trustworthy business, go to



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