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Simple Steps to Online Security

Our security partner, Stickley on Security, has written an article about the basics of Cyber Security for the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Awareness Month. To see more articles on security, visit Ent's Security Center.

Simple Steps to Online Security

Research shows that a majority of American adults who go online have limited knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity basics. It’s important to be aware of threats and how to protect against Cyber Security them.

Phishing, Vishing, Smishing

Scammers are becoming so well versed at copying logos and language, pretending to be colleagues, and generally making us feel comfortable that we don’t hesitate to open links and files. Phishers can make email messages appear to come from anyone they choose and are even engaging more often in “vishing,” the practice of phishing for information using the telephone and “smishing” which is using SMS messaging or any type of text. 


Malware describes all types of malicious code designed to do just about anything the authors choose; from stealing information off our devices to turning on our video cameras to spy on us. It can infect smartphones, tablets, computers, and anything with an Internet connection, including smart TVs and game consoles. Malware includes, but is not limited to viruses, spyware, ransomware, adware, trojans, worms, potentially unwanted products (PUP), etc.

Here are some simple tips to help you protect yourself from these and other cybercrimes:

  • Take time to review any messages you get to ensure they are not phishing in some way. If you are not expecting a link or attachment, don’t immediately click.
  • Don’t give sensitive information to anyone who initiates a phone call or text to you. Remember that public offices won’t initiate contact with you via email or phone.
  • Perform due diligence on an application you want to install on any device. Check the reviews, read about it separately online, and ask others about their experiences.
  • Install and keep anti-malware software updated on your internet-connected devices.
  • Create strong passwords and use unique ones for each online account, especially your online banking. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and special characters.
  • Avoid performing sensitive transactions, like your online banking, on public WiFi. Wait until you can connect to a network in which you have confidence.

If you find yourself a victim of cybercrime:

  • If any of your account or online banking information has been compromised, or you would like to report suspicious activity to Ent, you may email, or contact our call center at (719) 574-1100 or 800-525-9623.
  • Report it to your local law enforcement.
  • File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • Report crimes in which your personal information was stolen to the FTC.
  • Report Internet crimes to the FTC.

Check out Ent's Security Center page for more information on how to stay safe in a digital world.