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You are the Target

There are many reasons why an intruder (also referred to as a hacker or attacker) would want to target YOU. The reasons range from stealing your identify, to gaining access to your financial records, to using your system to attack other high-profile computer systems for financial gain or terrorist activities.

ATM Skimming

ATM Skimmers are devices criminals place on ATMs to steal personal information, including your PIN. The tricks used by these thieves can be complicated - here are a handful of simple methods to properly protect your financial information:

  • Choose your ATM wisely. Look for machines that are within bank perimeters, well lit or on busy streets. Try to use the same ATM consistently so you can easily identify abnormalities.
  • Hide your PIN! Even though you may be alone, that doesn't mean you are not being watched. Modern day skimmers often hide small cameras that can record your PIN. Taking simple precautions, like covering the keypad while you enter your PIN can help prevent criminals from gaining this information.
  • Look for abnormalities. Most skimmers attach their skimming device over the real ATM using simple adhesives. Check the machine to see if the input device wobbles or seems unattached. If it is, use another machine. Look for out-of-place cameras and keypad overlays that can capture your PIN.
  • Check your accounts regularly. To decrease the chances of cyber criminals stealing your hard-earned money, check your accounts regularly and immediately follow up on any suspicious activities.

Protect yourself

By taking control of YOUR computer, an attacker can launch sophisticated attacks on other systems while masking their identify, making it look like YOU. This makes it difficult for the authorities to track the attack back to the real perpetrator, as they are using impersonation techniques to hide their true identify.

The following resources can help you, and your family, learn how to best protect your user IDs, passwords, accounts, and personal information:

  • OnGuardOnline.Gov- provides practical tips from the federal government and industry experts to help guard against internet fraud, secure computers, and protect your The Federal Trade Commission website has information to help you defer, detect, and defend against ID theft.
  • - The Federal Trade Commission website has information to help you deter, detect, and defend against ID theft.
  • This site has information on keeping children safe online, stopping unwanted email and spam, and keeping personal information private.
  • - Between 9-34 percent of young people say they have been the target of Cyber-Bullying in the last year, according to this site. Here you can educate yourself further on this topic.
  • - StaySafeOnline is a resource for educators, parents, small business owners and more. This site is home to news, research, online videos, and other resources. This organization is a key partner during Cyber Security Awareness Month.
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