January 23, 2024

Business Tips and Tools

5 Tips to Protect your Information Amidst Heightened Cybersecurity Scams

By: Deanna Pellegrino


During Data Privacy Week taking place January 21-27, Farm Credit East reminds everyone to remain vigilant when it comes to data security. Cyber threats are increasingly common — from cybercriminals gaining access to personal accounts, to ransomware attacks resulting in malicious software that lock computers until a ransom is paid.

It’s the responsibility of individuals and organizations to remain vigilant as cyberattacks continue evolving. Following are five tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of a cyber scam and ensure your information remains secure.

5 Tips to Remain Vigilant

  1. Question legitimacy. Be wary of unsolicited communications and suspicious links/attachments. If the email is from someone you don’t typically receive communication from, be extra cautious and consider verifying legitimacy via an alternate form of communication. When in doubt, delete!
  2. Think carefully before you click. Always hover over a link and/or button to ensure the URL looks legitimate and relevant before you click. You can also go directly to the organization’s website versus following a link from an email or text message. If in doubt, delete!
  3. Use strong passwords — and update them regularly. And use different passwords for business versus personal use (i.e., your bank account password should be different from your streaming video service password). For recommendations on how to create a strong password, refer to this previous blog providing six tips for strong passwords. 
  4. Watch for cybercriminal tricks to obtain your credentials. It is highly unlikely an organization will reach out to you via email, text message or phone to request login credentials. If you receive such a request, it is advised you initiate a call directly to the organization to verify this request. 
  5. Keep your software up to date. Set your computer, cell phone and other devices to automatically install software updates. These updates may protect your devices from security threats. Do not install unneeded apps/programs. 


In the unfortunate event one of your accounts is compromised, contact the organization that holds the account immediately to lock your account from further use. Keep a close eye on all your other accounts (especially if common login credentials are used) as well as monitor your credit report for suspicious activity.

Farm Credit East is taking measures to protect against ransomware, including requiring customer authentication when changes are made to your account, utilizing security questions to verify your identity; and requiring multi-factor authentication when logging into Farm Credit Connect, but attacks remain a threat. Everyone needs to be cautious when it comes to the security of their information.

In recognition of data security week, what is one thing you can do today to further secure your data?


Tags: cybersecurity, technology

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