Consumer Protection   Oregon Scam Alert Network   BeInfORmed

Protecting Sensitive Information

online safety

It may seem obvious, but to keep personal and financial information out of reach from thieves, you must keep it to yourself. Unfortunately it is not so easy to do. There are a number of clever ways cybercriminals have devised to snare your information before you realize it.

Protect your passwords. Don’t share them on a website, in an email, or over the phone. Create passwords that are at least 8 characters long and use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Avoid common words (cyber-thieves can quickly try every word in the dictionary to guess your password).
Avoid unsecured wi-fi networks. Try to use secure wireless networks. On a public wireless network that anyone can use, you may be at risk if you visit banking or other websites that require sensitive personal information. If you have a wireless router at home, turn on the encryption feature, and change the identifier (network name) and administration password from the default.

Don't get scammed. Never respond to phone calls, text messages or emails soliciting personal information - even if it's from someone you think you know. If you suspect the request is legitimate, call the person or entity to confirm the validity of the request before you share. If you would like to be notified of emerging scams, fraud and other consumer threats as they arise, please join the Oregon Scam Alert Network. DOJ will keep you updated about important consumer information to educate and protect your friends, family, coworkers and anyone else before they fall victim to scams and fraud.

Do not click on any links embedded in phishing emails. They may contain viruses or spyware designed to steal your personal information.

Dispose of e-waste properly. Old computers, monitors, and TVs cannot legally be put in the garbage. Oregon’s Electronics Recycling Law was created to give anyone with less than 7 items to dispose of free access to electronics recycling.When disposing of e-waste, make sure you guard your personal information. Even if you delete your files, your old computer’s information may be retrievable. Before shutting down for the last time, “wipe” the hard drive to completely remove your personal information. This important effort helps keep toxins like lead and mercury out of landfills and thieves out of your personal files. To throw away computers, monitors, or televisions, bring them to an Oregon E-Cycles collection site. Find the site nearest you, or call 888-5-ECYCLE (532-9253).

Learn More From the Federal Trade Commission

For more information about protecting yourself online please visit OnGuard Online.

Information For Businesses

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