Ohio AG gives tips on Internet safety

May 31, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Americans are doing more and more online. Whether it’s banking, ordering something or putting out personal information on social media. So, to kick off National Internet Safety Month, which is observed in June, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today released an educational video for individuals whose personal information has been compromised in a security breach.

“Security breaches are a significant threat to Internet safety,” DeWine said. “As more and more individuals have their information compromised, we want to provide straightforward steps that Ohioans can take to protect themselves.”

The video, available on the Attorney General’s website and on YouTube, outlines the four things that security breach victims need to know.

DeWine also offered consumers the following cyber safety tips:

•Change your passwords regularly, and make all your passwords unique and complex, using a variety of letters and characters. Don’t use your birth date, maiden name, Social Security number, or other numbers that identify you.

•Avoid over-sharing. Think twice before sharing information such as your name, address, or date of birth online. Your new online “friend” may be a scammer trying to take your money.

•Strengthen security settings. Familiarize yourself with the security settings of each of your online accounts, such as e-mail, online banking, and social networking. Restrict access to any information you don’t want to be publicly available.

•Encrypt data. When using a wireless router, make sure your network is secured. Having a secured wireless network makes it difficult for someone to access your home computer or Internet.

•Be careful where you click. Pop-up ads, attachments, or links in e-mail messages may be part of a scam to get your personal information. Even if you trust the sender, beware. Hacking has become so prevalent that a message from a family member or friend could be a scam sent through a compromised account. Be especially cautious if an e-mail contains only a link and/or a generic line, such as “Check this out!” Before you click or open the attachment, call your friend or the business directly to verify its legitimacy.

DeWine said individuals who want to learn more or get help should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.