October is Cyber Security Awareness month, and everyone who uses a laptop, desktop, cell phone, tablet, or other digital technology is urged to exercise caution online.
The internet has proven to be a more common venue for criminals, as the reliance on social media and technology continues to grow.
“It's very easy to get your identity stolen on the computer,” said Jarrod Wise, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau. “There are more and more online scams these days, as opposed to people just going door-to-door.”
One of the most common scams is fraudulent emails made to look like a legitimate banking institution. Cybercriminals often send them in hopes of stealing bank information, or infecting computers with viruses.
“Most of the time, your banking institution won't contact you like that,” Wise said. “And if this doesn't feel right, don't send your information. Contact that banking institution directly.”
Wise said fraudulent emails often contain grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors, but that sometimes the mistakes are less noticeable.
Wise recommends that the public update their anti-virus software, only use secure websites when banking and shopping, and click with caution, as many cybercriminals are expanding their reach to social media and online advertisements, to compromise computers.
The Better Business Bureau has joined with the National Cyber Security Alliance for the 10th anniversary of Cyber Security Awareness Month.