The best way to protect yourself from cybercrime is to use common sense, be prepared and take precautions.
- Protect all devices that connect to the Internet. Be sure to keep the operating system and application software updated/patched on all of your computers and mobile devices. Be sure to check that your anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and receiving automatic updates.Confirm that your firewall is enabled.
- Do business with reputable online vendors. Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. If you have questions about a merchant, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Confirm the online seller's physical address, where available, and phone number in case you have questions or problems. When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled with "https://"
- Beware of unsolicited emails or suspicious websites. Never provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information in response to an unsolicited email or to a suspicious Internet web site.
- Report suspicious activity. Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission https://www.ftc.gov/.
Online safety and security are shared responsibilities, and we each have an obligation to protect our identities and our information online. The following sites provide helpful resources and tips to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime:
- New York State Police - Crime Prevention/Online Safety: http://www.troopers.ny.gov/Crime_Prevention/Online_Safety/
- Federal Bureau of Investigation - Internet Crime Center Prevention Tips: https://www.ic3.gov/preventiontips.aspx
- National White Collar Crime Center: http://www.nw3c.org/
- StaySafeOnline – Id Theft, Fraud & Victims of Cybercrime: https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/protect-your-personal-information/id-theft-and-fraud
- Federal Trade Commission - Report Identity Theft: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
For additional information on NCSAM, visit the NYS ITS Enterprise Information Security Office at https://www.its.ny.gov/NCSAM16.