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Broward College Chief Information Security Officer Offers Tips for Computer Security Day Nov. 30

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (Nov. 25, 2014) – With thieves utilizing the internet as an avenue for cyber threats and crime, it is important to protect your computer to prevent identity theft and privacy attacks. In observance of Computer Security Day on Nov. 30, Broward College Chief Information Security Officer Matthew Santill is offering measures people can take to identify cyber threats and avoid an identity theft catastrophe.
“Online fraudsters are continuously learning new techniques to gain access to sensitive information and their progressive practices are becoming harder to detect,” said Santill. “Recognizing a threat is an essential key in keeping data and information secure — and crucial to avoiding disaster.”
One common way for thieves to access personal information is through “phishing,” an email that attempts to scam users into providing personal information. To identify phishing, look for emails that include several spelling or grammar mistakes, a notification to redeem monetary prizes or urgent messages suggesting cancelation of services. To reduce the chance of a phishing attempt, avoid clicking suspicious links, call the business to verify authenticity of the message and use common sense before responding to an email. Often, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 
Another way thieves gain access to personal information is through computer viruses. Usually disguised as something harmless and often delivered through phishing scams or downloaded programs, computer viruses can record everything entered into a computer, delete or corrupt important data and gain control of a computer. Simple solutions to safeguard against viruses include installing and updating anti-virus software, staying informed about updates and threats, and regularly changing passwords. 
With the growing popularity of mobile devices, and the convenience of having email, contact information, internet access and calendars in the palm of your hand, thieves are targeting smartphones and tablets to obtain valuable personal data. To avoid this type of identity theft, mobile users should get into the habit of locking phones with a passcode. In addition, it is important to be selective with the information that is stored on the device, and cautious when downloading and opening files.
If personal information has been stolen, acting quickly and reporting suspicious activity to credit reporting agencies will help in reducing the impact of cyber-attacks and identity theft. Also obtain a free credit report to determine the extent of the damage and file a report with the local police department.
About Broward College:
Serving more than 68,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit
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