Sacramento, California - During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued tips to ensure Californians are aware of simple steps they can take to protect themselves online. As the top law enforcement officer in the State, Attorney General Becerra is charged with enforcing state and certain federal laws related to privacy and cyber security.

“Technology has made our lives easier in so many ways, but it has also created opportunities for cyber predators,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Unscrupulous individuals are always looking for ways to take advantage of consumers. That's why it's important for my office to take every possible step to ensure Californians have reliable information on their rights and strategies for protecting themselves online.”

Cyber Security Tips:

  • If you’ve been affected by the Equifax hack or another major data breach, take action to protect your data.
  • To protect your kids’ information and future credit, consider placing a freeze on their credit files.
  • Keep your computer and mobile devices secure by installing recommended updates from manufacturers and software providers.
  • Use antivirus and antispyware software to scan your devices for intrusions or unwanted software.
  • Set up unique and strong passwords for each online account you use. Don’t use easily identifiable information, such as pets’ names or birthdays in your passwords.
  • If it’s available, turn on “two-step” or “dual factor” authentication for your online accounts, so that your accounts will require both a password and a second piece of information, such as a one-time code sent to your phone via text message.
  • Make sure that emails have come from legitimate senders before you click, and never give out personal information such as a password or Social Security number in response to an email.
  • Make sure that an online store uses encryption before you type in your credit card information. Check that the address starts with “https” or that there is a closed lock icon in your browser.
  • Don’t leave your devices unattended where someone could steal your data.
  • Teach your children how to use the internet and mobile devices safely. Use parental controls as appropriate to limit their access to places that are safe for kids.

If your account is breached:

  • Change passwords for other accounts, especially if you used the same password.
  • Delete or disable any apps that automatically use a login from a breached account, such as an email or social media account.
  • Run antivirus software in case your device has been infected.
  • Contact account providers to regain access to your email, social media, or financial accounts.

If personal or financial information has been stolen:

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit file and review your annual credit reports. You can also put a freeze on your credit file. For more information, see the Attorney General’s information sheets on identity theft.

For more information on cyber security tips, please visit the Attorney General’s website.