The Internet is an important part of your life, for both work and fun. But risks in cybersecurity can threaten your finances, identity, and privacy when you are least expecting it. When you’re online, remember to STOP, THINK, and CONNECT.

Stop: Before you use the Internet, understand the risks and concerns so you can spot potential problems.

Think: Take a moment to be sure your next actions are safe. Watch for warning signs and consider the impact on your safety.

Connect: Knowing that you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself, enjoy what you’re doing on the Internet.

You should also remember some of these tips when online:

  • Never disclose personal financial information, such as passwords, user IDs, account numbers, or PIN numbers. No one from the bank will ever ask for this kind of information.
  • Use passwords on your phone or computer home screen.
  • Don’t open attachments you’re not expecting.
  • Never click links within a suspicious email. If you believe it’s legitimate, type the URL into your browser instead of clicking the link.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. Anti-virus software needs frequent updates to guard against new threats. Download software updates as soon as you can, and set up auto-update features if your software offers it.
  • When you’re not online, disconnect from the Internet.
  • Install a personal firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your home computer, especially if you connect to the Internet via cable modern or a digital subscriber line (DSL) modem.
  • Keep your computer updated with the latest version of its operating system and Internet browsers.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  • If you fall victim to an attack, act immediately to protect yourself. Contact your bank and the three credit bureaus to notify them. Even if nothing has happened yet, they can take precautions to stop fraudulent actions.