Briefing Room: It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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Hi Readers!

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Believe it or not, this is actually the first time I’ve heard of cybersecurity awareness month.  I was surprised to find out that it has been going on for 17 years!  The United States Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (I also didn’t know that this was a thing) uses this yearly event to raise awareness on the importance of keeping us all safe and secure online.

We respond to more than a few calls involving internet scams in Seal Beach.  Generally these calls involve internet “phishing.”  In these instances, criminals will attempt to get computer users to click on a link or open an attachment that contains a virus.  Once this happens, hackers can easily get access to your bank account or other information.  Most the time, these will come in as emails that look completely legitimate.  They may use your bank’s logo, have your name and address in the body of the email, and come from an address that looks like a real address.  If you don’t take a few moments to closely scrutinize these emails, it is easy to fall victim to phishing scams.  It is estimated that across the country, about 7-10% of people will become victims to these fraudulent emails.  Although this doesn’t seem like a huge number, imagine that there are rooms full of scammers doing this several hundred times a day.  What’s worse, these cases are very difficult to investigate because of the lack of usable suspect information.  Many times, suspects are located in another country.

This website www.cisa.gov/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-resources has helpful resources for keeping yourself safe online, when traveling, preventing identity theft, online banking, password security, and other important information.

If you are ever in doubt, please don’t hesitate to call us BEFORE clicking on any links or downloading any attachments.  We are always just a phone call away, non-emergency 562-594-7232.  We are always here to keep you safe, both in person and online.

Please keep your questions coming!  Email askacop@sealbeachca.gov and look for our answers in a future issue.

Briefing Room: It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month