How to Protect Yourself from Cyber Scams

While technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier in countless ways, it has also opened the door for new challenges and threats, particularly in the realm of cybersecurity. With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), cyber scams have become more sophisticated and difficult to detect.

Here are several tips on how to protect against cyber scams:

1. Educate Yourself

Knowledge is critical when it comes to safeguarding sensitive information. Stay informed about the latest AI cyber scams by following cybersecurity blogs, trusted news outlets, and official security organizations. Research current scamming techniques that consumers often fall prey to (such as email phishing) and share the information with friends and family to increase awareness.

2. Strengthen Your Passwords

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect yourself is by using strong and unique passwords. Avoid common fallbacks like “123456” or “password.” Instead, create complex passwords that include a combination of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Consider using a reliable password manager to securely store your passwords and generate random, strong passwords for your accounts.

3. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring multiple forms of verification, typically a combination of something you know (password) and something you have (a smartphone). Enable MFA whenever possible, as it significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts. .

4. Exercise Caution When Clicking Links

AI-powered cyber scams often rely on phishing emails or messages that trick users into clicking malicious links. Many scammers pose as financial employees, government officials or law enforcement so exercise caution when receiving unsolicited emails or messages, especially requests for personal or financial information. When in doubt, directly contact the organization using their official contact information to verify the request’s authenticity.

5. Update and Secure Your Devices

Regularly updating your devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets, is crucial for maintaining security. Software updates often include important security patches that address vulnerabilities exploited by scammers. Additionally, install reputable antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your devices from harmful software and AI-driven threats.

6. Set up credit monitoring

Track your credit score, monitor your spending, and receive immediate alerts for any suspicious activity on your account.  Healthcare Systems FCU offers credit monitoring in Digital Banking.

7. Be Mindful of Social Media

Social media platforms are a treasure trove of personal information for cybercriminals. Be cautious about the information you share online and adjust your privacy settings to limit access to your personal data. Avoid accepting friend requests or engaging with suspicious accounts and be aware of the potential risks associated with sharing personal information or sensitive data via messaging.

What if I have been targeted by a scam?

If you have been a victim of an online scam, contact your financial institution immediately and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. (Mail scams can be reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.)

Communicate regularly with any family members involved in your finances and set up alert notifications through your banking apps. Your financial wellness is closely linked to your online security. By staying informed and proactive, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim.


This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.

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