FCC, FTC to Public: Protect Your Online Privacy

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission are urging consumers to safeguard their online information.

Internet connections can be exploited by scammers, so consumers need to be alert for online fraud and to safeguard their personal information.

That’s according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who made the warning as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Genachowski said consumers should stay alert, recognize the potential risks associated with cyber crimes and take some precautions to help reduce their chances of falling victim to scams like using security software that updates automatically and keeping operating systems and Web browsers up-to-date. Consumers are also reminded to keep passwords private and to back up important files.

Leibowitz added that the FTC is working to preserve the privacy of consumers’ personal information, and educating people on how to use technology safely and securely through sites like OnguardOnline.gov, a Web site that’s a joint effort of several federal agencies.

OnGuardOnline.gov features guidance, games and quizzes on topics like phishing, social networking, laptop security, and wireless access; the site has a special section about protecting kids online. If you think you've been a victim of an online fraud — or if you think you have downloaded spyware or malware — file a complaint in English or Spanish with the FTC at www.ftc.gov.

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