Cybercrime Prevention – Resource Guide 

What is identity theft and fraud?

Various pieces of personal information make up your identity – for example, your name, address, Social security number, etc. Identity theft is when someone uses your personal or financial information without your knowledge. Thieves usually acquire your information through theft or fraud. 

To gain a better understanding of this situation, review the most recent statistics on the prevalence of identity theft. 

How does identity theft and fraud occur? 

Commonly, someone fraudulently represents a legitimate company – either in person, online or on the phone - tricks you into divulging your personal information. A common method is “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”) – the act of sending an email that fraudulently represents a legitimate company and ‘lures” you (hence the name phishing) into divulging personal and financial information that could then be used for identity theft.  

What is phishing? 

 Attempts by cybercriminals, nation states, or hacktivists to lure you into giving away personal information to gain access to accounts or to infect your machine with malware and viruses are called “phishing.” Phishing attempts can happen through a variety of channels, including email, social media, or text messages, and can compromise security and lead to theft of personal and financial data. Highly targeted attacks on groups or individuals are known as “spear phishing”. 

What tactics are used in phishing attempts? 

Phishing messages can come from hijacked accounts of people you know, making them hard to distinguish from real messages. Additionally, cybercriminals commonly use infected documents or PDF attachments as vectors for their phishing attempts. Another common trick attacker uses is trying to get victims to sign in on a fake login page where their usernames and passwords can be stolen.   

How do you avoid phishing attempts? 

 Phishing attempts can often get through spam filters and security software that you may already have in place, so stay vigilant and trust your instincts. Keep an eye out for things like unexpected urgency or a wrong salutation. Think twice about clicking a link or opening a document that seems suspicious. Double-check that every URL where you enter your password looks legitimate. And if anything raises doubt, delete or report the communication. 

More facts from third-party resources  Federal Trade Commission  

National Cyber-Security Alliance: National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) stay safe 

Keep your online information safe 

A strong password is your first line of defense. Think of your password as the key to your Online house. Just as you try to keep your house key safe to protect what’s inside, creating strong passwords protects all the valuables inside the sites you visit – from sensitive information like bank account details and Social Security numbers to the medications you take and the stores you frequent and everything in-between. 

Remember, every piece of information you share electronically can make you vulnerable to identity theft, malware, scammers and more. You must make it a top priority to keep the Online information safe and secure by using strong passwords and in a secure place. 

Create unique passwords for critical sites 

Yes, it can be a nuisance to keep track of multiple passwords but using one familiar passwords for everything means that once cyber thieves crack one site, they’ll have easy access to all the sites sharing that password. At the very least, use separate passwords for sites containing financial information. 

Create a password phrase 

With 12 plus characters to work with, a unique phrase can be easy to remember. Need inspiration? Think of favorite books, songs, movies, sports teams, special birthdays, etc. Most sites already require a mix of letters, numbers and special characters to make passwords more secure. You can also get creative and replace letters with numbers or symbols, or deliberately misspell or remove vowels from common words. 

Here are some examples on setting up passwords: 

 LuvTop5GpixyGuardyans   OR   hawks4thepennant19   OR   Grmps@90in2019 

Customize passwords to site offerings 

Here are examples on customizing passwords 

 Best20comphortShoes OR    dEE2019DreamCar OR  2020vaCationNsavings 


Safe Password Resources: 

Click on the following resources to learn how to stay safe and secure by using protection you need:

Accept Authentication when offered 

Take advantage of the trend toward stronger authentication, such as adding icons, one-time PINs, text or email codes, etc. The more layers of security you add, the safer your information will be. Microsoft and the likes offer double authentication. Go to and learn how to protect your assets. They have chat room to help you step-by-step in setting up the double authentication. Learn and live a peaceful life. 

The LastPass is a vault as well as authentication provider where you can store your passwords – very secure. It is free and easy to set up – for your desktop, laptop, iPad, cell phone and wallet. Caution – you never want to forget the password to get into LastPass. If you did, then it will take forever to get into – meaning it is very difficult to break into LastPass.