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Most people do nothing to protect themselves online, study shows

A new survey finds few people are doing anything to protect themselves online.

A survey by Consumer Reports finds that, despite a recent rash of high-profile cyber attacks, 62 percent of those surveyed don't do anything to protect personal information on the Internet.

Glenn Derene of Consumer Reports says you can keep hackers at bay if you pay attention.

"If something looks fishy, something seems fishy, it probably is," he said. "Very few retailers or banks will ever ask for your account information through an email."

Derene suggests picking strong passwords, and using different passwords for each site.

"Hackers actually use — they call them dictionary attacks — every word in the English language. So just don't pick something that's a common word, or anything that relates to you, like your dog's name or your kids' names," he said.

Other suggestions include buying apps only through the official Apple or Google Play stores, checking statements regularly, and looking over your shoulder when entering a PIN.

"People should just be aware, when they're using any machine, that they put either their credit card or their ATM card into, just take a good look at it. Also cover up what you're typing. Make sure that any cameras can't actually see your PIN code," he said.

The study showed personal data breaches were up 56 percent in one year. Derene said an estimated 11 million people fell for email phishing scams last year.



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