October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

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Every day, cyber criminals attack Michigan businesses and residents using a wide variety of tactics. Some popular scams include “phishing,” which is an email that appears to come from a trusted source, infected websites that unknowingly capture personal information when visited and persuasive links that lock files until a ransom is paid.

According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $36.2 million to cyber criminal activities so far this year, with an average victim loss of $6,320.

To raise awareness of the importance of cyber security, Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed October as Cyber Security Awareness Month in Michigan.

You can protect yourself from cyber criminals by following everyday steps toward online safety:

Create a different and unique password for each online activity. Use strong passwords that contain a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.

Routinely update your security software, operating system and web browser on all internet-connected devices.

Do not open, reply or click on links or attachments in an unsolicited email.

Set all social media accounts from “public” to “private,” so only those you trust can view your profile.

If you shop online, regularly check your bank and credit card statements to ensure nothing is out of the ordinary.

For more information about Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit Michigan.gov/cybersecurity.

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