Practice Safe Cyber

Staying safe in our cyber-connected world is a constant challenge. Threats are everywhere: scammers, hackers, predators and thieves are actively working to steal personal information, access accounts and take advantage of people.

  • According to the 2017 Unisys Security Index, more Americans are seriously concerned about identity theft (61%) and bankcard fraud (58%) than they are about their own personal safety (39%).

We want to assist residents in their efforts to protect themselves and their families online by practicing safe cyber.

​The City of Virginia Beach is a National Cyber Security Awareness Champion

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that all Americans have the information they need to stay safer, more secure and to protect their personal information online. ​​ ​​

Each week in October is dedicated to a topic of importance to consumers and businesses bringing attention to critical cybersecurity issues, such as the impact of new technologies and connected devices on personal security and maintaining cyber secure workplaces.

The City's Cyber Security Awareness campaign will be an ongoing initiative throughout the year. 

Each month will focus on a different cyber security theme and information will be posted here, and on Facebook and Twitter. We will work with our local community groups, schools, law enforcement and military partners, business associations and media outlets to help spread the word. There will be something here for everyone: young and not-so-young, parents, teens, small business owners.

Virginia Beach is safest in crime. Let's be safest online by practicing safe cyber. 

Cyber Safe Summer Vacation  ​

According to AAA, an estimated 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year. And, with most vacation resources being literally at your fingertips, it's important to keep all of your devices safe and secure. 

Travel research using mobile devices has risen considerably in recent years. Google estimates that 70 percent of travelers with smartphones have done travel research on their smartphone and 30 percent of mobile searches are related to a location.

When planning your trips and before you head out of town, follow these simple cyber safety tips from the National Cyber Security Alliance: 

  • Keep a clean machine: Before you hit the road, make sure all security and critical software is up-to-date on your connected devices and keep them updated during travel. It is your best line of defense.
  • Lock down your login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Fortify your online accounts and enable the strongest authentication tools available, such as security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
  • Make sure all devices are password protected: Use a passcode or security feature (like fingerprint ID) to lock your phone or mobile device.
  • Think before you app: Before downloading any new apps, review the privacy policy and understand what data (such as location and entry to your social networks) the app can access on your device. Delete apps you are no longer using.
  • Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on web services and devices. It is okay to limit how and with whom you share information – especially when you are away. 

Once your travel plans are all set and you reach your destination, be sure to remember the following:

  • Actively manage location services: Location tools come in handy while planning your trip or navigating a new place, but they can also expose your location ‒ even through photos. Turn off location services when not in use.
  • Get savvy about WiFi hot spots: Do not transmit personal info or make purchases on unsecure networks. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone as a personal hotspot to surf more securely.
  • Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth when idle: When WiFi and Bluetooth are on, they connect and track your whereabouts. If you don't need them, switch them off.
  • Protect your wallet: Be sure to shop or bank only on secure sites. Web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", means the site takes extra security measures. However, an "http://" address is not secure.
  • Never use public computers to log in to any accounts: Be extremely cautious on public computers in airports, hotel lobbies and Internet cafes. Keep activities as generic and anonymous as possible.
  • Share with care: Think twice before posting pictures that you would not want certain people to see or photos that would reveal that you're away from your home for an extended period of time.​ Wait until you get back home to share your globetrotting adventures with friends on social networking sites. 

Practice Safe Cyber: Beware of the Phishy Email