(WFXR) — The coronavirus pandemic increased online shopping habits, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to make sure consumers are protecting themselves from cyber-attacks.

According to the BBB, scammers are looking for every avenue they can find to get your personal information. Social media platforms are a prime place for scammers. The BBB states that 91 percent of consumers were exposed to a scam on social media, 91 percent engaged with a scammer, and 53 percent lost money to a scammer.

“Social media platforms are full of suspicious characters,” said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia. “Be especially careful if you spot offers in your social channels that look too good to be true it’s most likely a trick, not a treat.”

The BBB shared some helpful tips to keep you from getting tricked into a scam.

  • Be careful what you share. Think about what you post because it can last a lifetime.
  • Set your privacy and security settings on the web and devices to comfortable levels for information sharing. Feel free to limit how and with whom you share information.
  • Value your personal information. Make sure you are on a legitimate site before entering personal information.
  • Use strong passwords that are a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Most accounts require an eight character password and 12 characters for email and financial accounts. Avoid using the same password for several different accounts.
  • Keep your passwords on list away from your computer or use a password vault application.
  • Use strong authentication tools such as two-factor authentication for key accounts like email, banking, and social media — especially if you are using your mobile devices.
  • Watch out for unfamiliar links.
  • Keep a close eye on your internet-connected devices such as smart thermostats, voice control systems, cars, and refrigerators. Read up on how data is collected for each device and how it is used and protected.

The BBB also released helpful tips for those who are running a business:

  • Make sure you keep track of your assets. Keep an inventory of the key data you use and store and keep track of the likely threats.
  • Protect your assests. Make sure you have protective policies in place for technologies, data and users, and ensure that your cloud and other technology service providers include the same protections.
  • Detect incidents. Make sure measures are in place to alert you of current or imminent threats to system integrity or loss or compromise of data.
  • Have an Incident Response Plan in case of an attack or incident and maintain business operations in the short term.
  • Recover normal operations. Protect sensitive data and your business reputation over the long term.

For more information on cybersecurity in your home or business, visit the BBB website or call 540-342-3455.

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