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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month takes place every October. It is a good opportunity to review your online security habits on both your personal devices and at work. We are more connected than ever, and while it is nice to have quick and easy access to the Internet, it also means we are putting more information into cyberspace that can be used against us by bad actors.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness month theme is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT”.

 

  1. If you use any smart device, take special precautions to secure your information. This can include making separate passwords for each device.
  2. Turn on multifactor authentication for all accounts if available. (This will stop hackers from accessing your information by creating another obstacle to get through if they have already found out your password).
  3. Don’t connect to public WI-FI to check your online bank account or shop online.
  4. Be cautious about opening emails or social media messages from people you do not know.
  5. Don’t click on hyperlinks unless you can confirm the message came from a safe source.
  6. Secure your home WI-FI network with a strong password to prevent outsiders from accessing your devices and make sure to keep up with security and software updates.
  7. Keep in mind, whenever you purchase any kind of smart device for home or vehicle, the company you buy it from will have access to sensitive information about you.

In recognition of Cyber Security Month, listed are a few other reminders to remain vigilant and protect yourself from potential credit card and bank fraud and help individuals and businesses safeguard their online accounts:

  • Know before you disclose—Never respond to text messages, emails or phone calls from companies alleging to be your bank, government officials or business representatives that request your banking ID, account numbers, username or password.
  • A good offense is the best defense—Make sure your system is running the latest security software, web browser and operating system to defend against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • Connect with caution—Sensitive information should only be sent over websites with “https://” in the URL because these sites encrypt transmissions.
  • Lock it up tight—Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password and update it periodically.
  • Own your online presence—Value and protect your personal information, particularly your date of birth and Social Security number. Share it thoughtfully and sparingly and remember to take great care when posting about yourself and others online.
  • Help take a bite out of crime—Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ic3.gov) and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general.

Learn more about Cyber Security Awareness Month by visiting the Stay Safe Online website.

Founded in 1904, Bank of Zachary is the oldest State chartered bank in East Baton Rouge Parish serving residents, businesses and communities. Bank of Zachary is locally owned and operated. Hometown banking is Bank of Zachary’s mission and specialty. The Bank of Zachary is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC Standard Maximum Deposit Insurance Amount (SMDIA) for deposits is $250,000 per depositor, per insured financial institution, for each account ownership category. The Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Equal Housing Lender. For more information, visit www.bankofzachary.com or call (225) 654-2701.


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