CONSUMER ALERT: Cybersecurity -- Own it, Secure it, Protect it

(WBAY) - October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

It's a critical issue because already this year there have been more than 3,000 data breaches which combined compromised more than 4 billion records.

Data breaches, sextortion emails, Amazon account hacking, online romance scams, smart home hacking. These are threats we've alerted you about in just the last 30 days in consumer alerts.

Let's face it: We live our lives online, and cyber criminals look for every loophole to take advantage of our personal and financial information.

Consumer experts use October to teach critical lessons to protect yourself, your kids and your home. They use these three key phrases: Own it, Secure it, Protect it.

Own It
"Own it" means, never click and tell. Know what information you put out there that's public. Update privacy settings on your smartphone, your computer and smart devices in your home.

Secure It
"Secure it" starts with passwords. Create strong, unique pass phrases. Double your log-in protection by turning on multi-factor authentication when it's offered. A lot of people think the extra step is a pain, but it's worth it -- especially with your online financial accounts. Be save when you're shopping online and avoid phishing emails -- don't click on links.

Protect It
Then "Protect it." Update your security software and connect safely. When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, you have absolutely no control over its security. Hackers take advantage of this, as they can hack into any device connected to that Wi-Fi hotspot.

Wisconsin cyber experts say businesses need to be vigilant. Criminals are always finding new ways to launch attacks.