Cyber Safety for Digital Newcomers

Here are some tips for those lacking experience with computers, smart phones, and the online world.

Remember that it’s helpful to find a “buddy” you trust who’s familiar with technology. Consider contacting family or friends who can help with technology-related questions. Also, trust your instincts. If something seems off to you, it probably is.

Here at AIG, our security experts are committed to providing our colleagues with the tools and resources they need to help them with their technology-related questions.

Phone Fraud

  • Be cautious if you receive a call from a stranger.
  • If an unknown caller is pressuring you to provide sensitive personal information or you feel threatened, hang up.
  • If you suspect a call is fraudulent, call the organization back at a trusted phone number. For example, if someone claims to be from your insurance company, but something doesn’t seem right to you, disconnect, visit your insurance company’s website and call their customer service number.
  • Never give unknown callers remote access to a computer.
  • Tax collection agencies will likely not contact you by phone to demand payment. For example, in the U.S., the IRS does not call taxpayers by phone.

Passwords

  • Create a password that consists of a phrase. For example, the phrase “I ran a relay race” can be modified to “IranaRelay9race.” The longer the phrase, the better. Don’t forget to add numbers and/or symbols.
  • Many websites ask security questions in case you forget your password. These should be memorable, but don’t have to be truthful. For example, if asked the model of your first car, enter what you really wanted.
  • Never use information available publicly for passwords. For example, don’t use a home address as your password.

Medical Advice

  • For reliable medical information, look for sites ending in .edu or .gov. Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a reputable site.

General

  • Businesses and organizations shouldn’t ask for personal information, such as a credit card or social security number, over email. If updates are required, use a trusted phone number or website.
  • Avoid opening attachments, clicking links, or responding to email messages from unknown senders or companies asking for personal information.
  • Install and regularly update the security programs on your computer, such as antivirus, and anti-spyware. These programs can help to protect the information on your computer and can easily be purchased from software companies on the web or at your local office supply store.
  • Beware of “free” gifts or prizes. If something is too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • It is important to add only people you know on social media sites; adding strangers could expose you and your personal information to scammers.
  • Don’t reveal personally identifiable information such as your bank account number, social security number, or date of birth to unknown sources or post your date of birth publicly on social media.

Banking & Shopping 

  • Avoid accessing your personal bank accounts from a public computer, such as a computer in a public library.
  • When paying a bill online or making an online donation, be sure that you type the website URL into your browser instead of clicking links or pasting it from an email.