- Use unique passwords for each website. The reports notes that if you use the same login for every website, “criminals need to hack, purchase or scam identity [you] only once to obtain a key that literally can open every lock.” Your passwords also should be longer and more complex (using upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols).
- Avoid clicking on links in text messages. Whether it’s a message notifying you of lottery winnings, job offers or a potential virus threat to your smartphone, do not click on links that appear in unsolicited text messages. The link could launch malware that collects your PII without your knowledge.
- Avoid scanning unknown QR codes. Many QR codes — those square black-and-white boxes that open websites when you scan them with the camera on your smartphone — will take you to legitimate businesses. But think twice before you scan an unknown QR code out of curiosity. It “may take [you] to dangerous, malware-infested web addresses,” the report says. In fact, the “FBI recently warned consumers to use more caution when interacting with QR codes that are pasted to ATMs or appear randomly in public places.”