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Cyber security risks: What you need to know

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(WSYX/WTTE)

Security cameras and locks can keep thieves out of your home, but what about scammers who sneak in through your computer or your smartphone?

Experts say the key is to be alert and aware. Just clicking on a link can invite malware, which can create easy access for scammers. And the Central Ohio Better Business Bureau says local complaints have been pouring in.

"They're actually talking that to you through malware that's come down," said Kip Morse, President of the Central Ohio BBB. "And so you panic. Putting you in that mode of you gotta act quickly. So you end up calling the number and end up giving up money or access to your computer."

Morse said that can put your personal, financial and healthcare information at risk. He said the first thing you should do is turn off the computer, then wait a little bit before you turn it back on. If it doesn't work, it's time to call in the experts.

Matthew Curtin, of Interhack, said don't be afraid to question something that looks strange.

"One of the best defenses that we can have is awareness of what we're doing," he said. "Not being rushed and fooled into the doing something we should not."

Curtain said make sure your system patches are up to date, and that you're engaging in safe practices online.

"(That) You're not clicking on everything that's coming your way. You're not falling for every little game that someone wants you to play," Curtain said.

He said identity theft can happen when people are fooled into sharing their user id and passwords. Those links and quizzes might seem like harmless fun, but Curtain says they're actually gathering information about you and your social network, then use it against you.

"All the security questions - what was your favorite color? What was the name of your childhood pet? All that kind of stuff. Those are security questions and that's the reason why they asked them," Curtain said.

If you get a call or an email that seems suspicious, you can check it by going to the BBB website and clicking on their scam tracker. It'll also show you the reported scams going on around the area. You can also file a report with the BBB on that site as well.

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