As people begin to rely more heavily on the internet the risk to personal information increases. It is important that you take steps to minimize the access that other people have to your information. The Post Falls Police Department hopes that by sharing the following information it can help you and your family avoid some of the dishonest and destructive internet luring that could wreak havoc on your computer system and identity.
The first step in limiting who can access your information is by limiting the number of people who have access to your devices. Physical security includes where your device is at as well as the way you and other people access it. Knowing where your computers, laptops, phones, tablets and other devices are as well as using strong passwords and proper user profiles can go a long way in keeping your information safe.
Firewalls and anti-virus software can also go along way in keeping your information safe. A firewall works by preventing unauthorized internet users or information from accessing private networks through the internet. Think of a firewall as a filter; if any information is suspect a firewall works to block it from getting to your computer.
Anti-virus software works by scanning your computer and looking for traces of known threats. If a threat is detected, anti-virus software will work to remove the threat. There are many different anti-virus software programs out there, be sure to research which one works best for you and your family!
Staying safe online
Physical security and software can only go so far, and it is important that people know some of the best practices when using the internet and social media. The Department of Homeland Security offers the following tips to help keep you and your family safe while online:
- Limit the amount of information you post
- Remember the internet is a public resource
- Be wary of strangers
- Be skeptical
- Evaluate your settings
- Be wary of third-party applications
- Use strong passwords
- Check privacy policies
- Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date
- Use and maintain anti-virus software
- Teach your children internet safety.
Security Tip (ST06-003). (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST06-003
Visit www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips for these and other tips to keep your family safe.
If you suspect your information has been compromised, feel free to contact the Post Falls Police Department at 208-773-3517.
The Post Falls Police Department receives numerous calls regarding someone posing as a legitimate business to gain sensitive personal information. This act is called phishing and can be done through email, text messaging, or the telephone. If you have lost information, please contact the Post Falls Police Department at 208-773-3517. If you’ve not lost information email the Anti-Phishing Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org