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Stop.Think.Connect: Key Cyber Issues

Stop. Think. Connect.

There are a number of cyber issues that could significantly affect you, your families, and members of your community.

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Identity Theft

Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else's personal information in order to obtain money or credit.

  • Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country.
  • How can you protect yourself against identity theft?
    • Tip: Lock and password protect your computer and cell phone.
    • Tip: Don’t share specific personal information online, such as your full name or birthday.
    • Tip: Set proper privacy settings on social networking sites.
  • If you think your identity has been compromised, take these steps and review resources available to you.

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Fraud and Phishing

Fraud is the intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.

Phishing is a scam by which an email user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information that the scammer can use illicitly or fraudulently.

  • Fraud and phishing attacks may take the form of an authentic-looking website or a personalized email.
  • How can you protect against fraud and phishing?
    • Tip: Turn off the option to automatically download attachments.
    • Tip: Save and scan any attachments before opening them.
    • Tip: Before you provide any kind of information, call and verify with the source that they are indeed the ones who sent the email.
  • If you think you are a victim of fraud or a phishing scam, take these steps and review resources available to you

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Cyber Bullying and Ethics

Cyber bullying is the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person, often done anonymously.

Cyber ethics help Internet users understand what type of online behavior is right and wrong. 

  • Cyber bullying and poor cyber ethics are threats many teens and young adults face not from strangers, but from their own peers.
  • Whatever anyone posts online about another person can be spread virally, resulting in serious, unwarranted damage to an individual’s reputation or personal well-being.
  • What can you do if you are being bullied or notice someone else being bullied?
    • Tip: Stand up for yourself or the person being bullied. Most bullying will stop when someone stands up for the victim.
    • Tip: Report it to a trusted adult- a parent, teacher or neighbor.
  • Avoid being a cyber bully and practice good cyber ethics.
    • Tip: Follow the golden rule: be nice online and in real life.
    • Tip: Don’t say or do anything online that you wouldn’t say or do in person.
    • Tip: Own and take responsibility for your actions online. Visit the National Crime Prevention Council to learn more about cyber bullying.

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Cyber Predators

Cyber predators are people who search online for other people in order to use, control, or harm them in some way.

  • Cyber predators target teens and young adults – both male and female – on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not the victims are 18 or above.
  • Social networking sites enhance a predator’s ability to target young Americans, especially if they share personal information in their profile.
  • To protect yourself from cyber predators:
  • Tip: Be aware - you never know who is behind the screen, so be protective of yourself and your personal information.
  • Tip: If you are being targeted or harassed online, visit the Department of Justice.

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Last Published Date: June 18, 2014
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