Good Cyber Hygiene is Best Protection from CybercriminalsContact: D/Lt. Jay Poupard, Michigan State Police Cyber Section, 517-241-2425Agency: State Police
October 15, 2015
Already this year, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $20 million to cybercriminals, according to data from the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. With the average loss per victim at $4,500, it’s more important than ever to practice good cyber hygiene to safeguard your personal information while online.
“Our lives today are more connected than ever before,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police. “Cybersecurity threats continue to advance and cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, which means we must take appropriate steps to protect our personal and business information when we’re online.”
To encourage Michiganders to take an active role in their own cybersecurity, Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate residents and organizations about cybersecurity and increase the resiliency of the state in the event of a cyber incident.
This month, the Michigan State Police encourages everyone to protect themselves by practicing good cyber hygiene. Good cyber hygiene includes the following tips:
- Only connect to the Internet over secure, password-protected networks.
- Do not click on links or pop-ups, open attachments or respond to emails from strangers.
- If you are unsure of the sender, type a website name by hand rather than clicking on an embedded link.
- Do not respond to online requests for personally identifiable information. Most organizations—banks, universities, companies, etc.—do not ask for your personal information over the Internet.
- Limit who you share information with by reviewing the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
- Trust your intuition. If you think an offer is too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Password-protect all user accounts and devices that connect to the Internet.
- Do not use the same password twice. Choose a password that means something to you and you only. Change your password on a regular basis.
- If something seems suspicious, report it to the proper authorities.
To learn more about staying safe online, visit the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at www.michigan.gov/cybersecurity.