How to protect yourself from cyberattacks: 8 tips for consumers

President Joe Biden is warning Americans about possible Russian cyberattacks as a form of retaliation. The White House is urging private companies to bolster their cyber defense.
Consumers should be on the lookout for scams and cybersecurity threats. 
Experts say the best way to protect yourself is to safeguard your personal information - including your passwords.
Below are some tips to help you:

1. USE STRONG PASSWORDS

If you use the same username and password on more than one website or app, cybercriminals could attempt to log into your online accounts using login credentials stolen from other online services. Create different passwords for all your accounts. Here are some tips to help you safeguard your passwords.

2. PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

Identity thieves look for ways - both high-tech, like lifting our passwords, or low-tech, like stealing our mail - to get their hands on our money and personal information. Keep your information safe by following this advice.

3. BEWARE OF PHISHING SCAMS

Don't click on links, download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. Open attachments only when you are expecting them and know what they contain, even if you know the sender. Click here for more tips to protect you from phishing scams.

4. DONATE SAFELY

Scammers often use incidents of crisis to perpetuate frauds and divert donations away from the intended recipients. If you are considering making a donation to an organization, here are some things you should consider to avoid getting scammed.

5. SECURE YOUR MOBILE DEVICES

Apply software updates that patch known vulnerabilities as soon as they become available. Use security features built into your device, such as a passcode, and use programs that encrypt data and remotely eliminate contents if the device is lost or stolen. 

6. BE CAREFUL WITH WI-FI HOTSPOTS

Public wireless hotspots are not secure, which means that it's easy for cyber thieves to see what you are doing on your mobile device while you are connected. Limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging into sensitive accounts. 

7. KNOW YOUR APPS

Thoroughly review the details and specifications of an app before you download it. Review and understand the privacy policy of each mobile app. Be aware that the app may request access to your location and personal information. 

8. BE CAREFUL ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Be cautious about the information you share on social media. Do you participate in social media quizzes? Avoid posting your birthdate, telephone number, home address, or images that identify your job or hobbies. This type of information can be used to determine answers to security questions used to reset passwords and could make you a target of fraudsters who seek to access your accounts and personal information.