DAVENPORT, Iowa — October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is telling Americans that it is time to start taking Cybersecurity seriously “now more than ever.”
In a Q&A session shared with the public this week, Grassely said that while Americans are used to locking their cars and homes to avoid theft, “it’s just as important to put in place safeguards to secure one’s whereabouts and financial, health and personal information stored online.”
Grassley pointed to the more frequent use of public WiFi and online shopping and banking as examples as to why safeguarding oneself online is especially important.
He also pointed to the vulnerability that millions of people are experiencing after the extreme data security breaches seen in recent months involving companies like Equifax and Yahoo.
“Hackers are looking to exploit stolen personal information, including passwords, dates of birth, log in credentials and more to gain access to financial accounts and other sensitive information, such as medical and tax records.” Grassley warned. “They also like to swipe contact lists to cast a bigger web and trick even more people to download malware and victimize them with fraudulent schemes.”
Go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-security for more guidance regarding online security from the Federal Trade Commission.
Sen. Grassley cautioned Iowans and others around the country to “guard your online information even more carefully than your own pocketbook.”
He said to avoid pop-up bars, steer clear of suspicious links and emails and to understand how your purchase history and digital footprint can be tracked and stored as a few ways to protect better yourself.
“As with any crime, it’s important to stay a step ahead of wrongdoers.” Grassley said. “That’s why it’s so important to protect usernames and passwords and take advantage of authentication tools.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, intellectual property accounted for $6.6 trillion, adding up to more than 45 million American jobs, about 30 percent of U.S. employment.
The FBI reported in 2016 that its investigations of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets on U.S. businesses rose by 53 percent within the previous year.