Protect yourself online; Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – In honor of Cyber Security Awareness month, I spoke with cyber security expert, Tony Martino, about what you can do to stay safe online.

“Almost all online scams and threats have some indicator that they are not real,” Martino, the Northeast Cyber Forensics Center Director, said.

Whether you are online to work, play or shop make sure you look closely at what website you are using, and whenever you have to transfer information online make sure you only provide the information needed to do business, if they don’t need to know your birthday don’t provide it. In addition, it’s important to make sure you’re transmitting your information securely.

“Which you can do by just looking at the top of your browser and next to the web address will be that little lock icon,” Martino explained. “That lock icon tells you that the data you’re sending is going to be encrypted when it crosses the internet and even if someone were to intercept it they will not be able to read it.”

While most people are hesitant to provide their credit card information online, Martino says your credit card is exactly what you should use when shopping online. It’s also important to make sure the apps you use on your phone and computer are always up to date, especially your browser.

“It’s important that you do install those new versions and keep those products up to date,” Martino said. “Those updates are often security fixes for known problems and they will help protect your information.”

Cybersecurity awareness is not only for the older generations, Martino notes that scams are now being run by professional con artists and hackers.

“Modern-day scams are well put together,” Martino said. “They do a very good job of impersonating entities that appear to be legitimate sometimes government entities, sometimes your bank, sometimes your school, etc. so everyone needs to be vigilant against these scams no one is immune.”

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