ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: cyber security awareness month

Updated: Oct. 19, 2017 at 11:09 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Call it an online "fall cleaning" of your personal and financial information.

In observance of October as Cyber Security Month, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the National Cyber Security Alliance shared these tips for better online security:

* LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN. Use strong authentication -- more than a username and password to access accounts -- to protect your most valuable accounts including email, social media and financial. For links to sites that offer multi-factor or stronger authentication, go to

* MAKE BETTER PASSWORDS. Length and ability to remember passwords are the two most important factors. A phrase of multiple words you can remember makes a good password. Important accounts should have unique passwords not used to access other accounts.

* AVOID PHISHING ATTEMPTS. Phishing attempts can bypass spam filters and security software. Stay vigilant and trust your instincts. Look for unsolicited emails that come off with a sense of urgency, poor spelling/grammar or the wrong salutation. Do not click on links in emails from senders you don't know.

* KEEP YOUR MACHINES CLEAN. Update all software on every internet-connected device. Make sure you're running the most current version of apps and software on all devices. Delete all unused apps.

* MONITOR ACTIVITY ON YOUR FINANCIAL AND CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS. Arrange a fraud alert or, if you don't plan to open a new credit line anytime soon, a credit freeze with one of the three credit bureaus. For more details, visit

* WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT. Delete all suspicious emails or posts whose sources you cannot verify.

* SHARE WITH CARE. Think before posting about yourself or others. Consider what your post may reveal, who may see it and how it may affect you or others.

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