Naperville Police Department’s cyber security tips to be safe online

Naperville Police Departments Cyber Security tips background
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On Thursday, the Naperville Police Department and the Naperville Police Foundation teamed up to present a cyber security seminar at the Naperville Municipal Center.

The seminar on how to be safe online was led by Detective at the Naperville Police Department Jim Koukal and Cyber Security Professional at Wipfli, Ken Kulawiak.

Types of cyber security scams

Detective Koukal said there are five common cyber security scams that the Naperville Police Department regularly investigates. Those scams include:

  • Romance scam
  • Inheritance scam
  • Lottery scam
  • Investment scam
  • Secret shopper scam

“Typically, somebody will reach out, develop a friendship online, and say that they’re in some sort of dramatic situation, that they need financial help to get out of. Also, what a lot of these scammers do in this situation is they create an entirely fake website and they produce fake returns,” said Koukal.

How to avoid online cyber attacks

The speakers offered a couple of different tips to avoid falling victim to cyber scams. Those include:

  • Use a password that includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • When on public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Don’t click on links, go straight to a company’s website
  • Keep social media accounts private

“They want you to click. They want urgency. They want you to have to make a split decision that makes you worried and makes you want to take action on something which will then provide them with more information, potentially your credit card information,” said Kulawiak.

What to do if you fall victim to cyber scams?

If you or a family member falls victim to a cyber scam, the Naperville Police Department has a couple of steps to follow.

“First step is reporting it. The faster that these cases get reported to us, the more we can do. We have tools and techniques in the financial crimes unit that allow us to do a certain amount of tracing, we’ve had successes with seizing the money and getting it returned,” said Koukal. “But the most important thing is to get the address where the money went and any and all phone numbers that the victim was contacted on. We can do a lot of research and get a lot of good information from these phone numbers. So they’re pretty vital to our investigations.”

The entire seminar will be available on the Naperville Police Foundations Facebook page.

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