someone tells you they have something for you
and it sounds too good to be true, it's a scam".
That's how a lot of people get into trouble on the Internet. An idea or deal that sounds so good is promoted. People want to believe they found the best deal. They want to believe that no one would try to scam them. Unfortunately, there are some individuals that will.
Another way people get into trouble on the Internet is by not protecting their computer against harmful viruses and worms. These computer programs get into your computer and you may not even know they are there. But, they can harvest your personal information, send e-mails out in your name, and sometimes even crash your computer so that you can't use it anymore.
What can you do? Many agencies of our government are working together to educate computer users about what the issues are and how to protect yourself. Below are links to information that can help you recognize scams, recognize if your computer may be compromised, and can help you protect your personal information and your private information.
We encourage caregivers to promote Internet use for homebound older family members to keep them mentally engaged and socially connected. However, it is important that they be taught basic safety measures. We provide the following information to help you keep them safe online.
Protect Your Privacy and Your Computer
Cyber Security Tips From US-CERT (see below)
Detailed Instructions for Securing Your Home Computer
Foreign Lottery Scams, Check Overpayment Scams, Money Orders
Government Information on Identity Theft
Privacy Tips for Protecting Your Personal Information
Software License Agreements - Ignore at Your Own Risk
Staying Safe on the Internet - Video Tutorials
Using Firewalls, Anti-Virus, & E-mail Filters - How To
What to Do If You Get a Computer Virus
Your State Attorney General's Office
If you think someone is misusing your personal information, call:
Federal Trade Commission
In North Carolina, the Attorney General's office has dedicated a website specifically to identity theft. You may also call 1-800-5-NO SCAM. This site guides you step-by-step on how to protect yourself and then again, step-by-step on what to do if you have become a victim. There are informational videos highlighting the stories of actual victims as well.
|No Scam NC (NC Attorney General)|
|Victim Toolkit (Steps to Take If Your Identity is Stolen)|
|Real Stories of Identity Theft in NC (videos)|
What is the National Cyber Alert System?
The National Cyber Alert System alerts citizens to computer vulnerabilities and threats. They rank the severity of the threats like Homeland Security does for other threats. Anyone can sign up to receive free e-mail notifications of threats and vulnerabilities along with ways to address the identified issue(s).
This service is offered through the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) which is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the public and private sectors. Established in 2003 to protect the nation's Internet infrastructure, US-CERT coordinates defense against and responses to cyber attacks across the nation.
US-CERT also provides a way for citizens, businesses, and other institutions to communicate and coordinate directly with the United States government about cyber security.
These governmental agencies are working together to keep you safe and to provide you with updated and relevant information on protecting both your privacy and your personal information.