FBI Springfield Reminds the Public: Vigilance is Key to Guarding Against Cyber Attacks
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Springfield Field Office is marking Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October by reminding the public to take extra precautions to protect against online attacks and scams.
Illinois ranks 5th in the United States for the most Internet crime victims, and 7th in total victim losses at almost $185 million, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2021 Internet Crime Report. By victim count, identity theft ranks the highest followed by non-payment/non-delivery crimes. By dollar loss, business email compromise tops the list.
“It’s important for the public to remain vigilant to guard against ever-increasing cyber threats. At home, practicing good cyber hygiene is an effective way to create a safer online environment for you and your family,” said FBI Springfield Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Stopping cyberattacks and degrading cyber threat actors requires quick action, so the FBI requests you notify us at the first sign of an attack.”
The FBI has over 1,000 cyber personnel distributed throughout the United States, responding to intrusions that affect not only U.S. critical infrastructure and big-name corporations, but also small businesses, our schools, and local government services. Our response supports victims and allows us to learn how our adversaries operate and who they might target next. However, Internet crimes and cyber intrusions are constantly evolving and while the FBI is laser-focused at staying ahead of the trends, there are steps the public can take to avoid becoming a victim.
- Do not open any email attachment or click a link unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
- Avoid using free charging stations in airports and shopping centers as these can infect your devices with malware and monitoring software.
- Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program.
- Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account and change passphrases regularly.
- Use multi-factor authentication.
- Examine the email address in all correspondence and scrutinize website URLs before responding to a message or visiting a site.
- Be cautious about the information you share in online profiles and social media accounts.
- Don’t send payments to unknown people or organizations that are seeking monetary support and urge immediate actions.
- Take time to read consumer and industry alerts provided by the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Report cyber-enabled crime to the FBI through the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Not only will this allow your complaint to be directed appropriately, but IC3 data has helped guide the FBI’s response to cyber-enabled crimes while educating the public and supporting local law enforcement with a searchable database of information.