GPD, DHS offer data security tips

Chief Bridges

GREENSBURG – The Greensburg Police Department and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have some tips to help keep your personal data secure.

GPD Chief Brendan Bridges said while calls in regards to online scams and other cybersecurity-related incidents have gone down the past few years, the GPD does still get calls on the subject. So, it’s still necessary to remind everyone to be cautious.

“Be careful and stay with website you’re familiar with,” Bridges said. “Make sure they have encryption. People just need to look at maybe getting notifications about their bank accounts and credit cards as well. We still need to pay attention to those things.”

Bridges also said residents should make sure their passwords are strong.

“Keep passwords separate from devices, and don’t use the same passwords for all of your accounts,” Bridges said. “Also, don’t use personal information as part of your password.”

According to the IDHS, passwords are keys to personal information and data, and having strong passwords will help keep intruders out.

The department recommends the following:

• Passwords should be at least eight characters long and use combinations of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation.

• Never use the same username and password on multiple websites.

• Never use personal information such as names, ages, birthdays or a pet’s name.

• Avoid entering personal passwords on shared devices.

When shopping online and before purchasing an item, IDHS says to check the website for security and authentication notices, be aware of severely undervalued prices, use a secure payment method such as a debit or credit card, and avoid shopping on a public computer or Wi-Fi network.

Additionally, never open, answer or follow tasks in email sent from an unknown sender, never send personal or financial information to unknown individuals or entities, limit the amount of personal information shared on social media and never share financial information or account information on social media.

When it comes to devices, the IDHS recommends:

• During travel, always keep laptops and mobile devices nearby or locked with a strong password, especially if they are not within reach.

• Never answer calls or messages from unknown contacts.

• Protect devices with strong passwords.

• Encrypt all confidential or personal information.

Lastly, install anti-virus software that detects and removes viruses from electronic devices and keep device operating systems and security software up-to-date.

For more information, visit www.in.gov/dhs.

The GPD can be reached at 812-663-3131.

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com