FBI targets criminals who target your personal information

By Derrick Rose

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The FBI Cyber Crimes Unit in Charlotte said it is handling more cases than it did a year ago. The agency is not sure if more crimes are happening or if more people are reporting incidents.

What Agent Colleen Moss is sure of is that criminals are more often targeting social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace because of the growing popularity. Criminals are creating messages trying to gain access to usernames and passwords for those sites. Once a hacker gets into one computer, they could potentially gain access to other username/password combinations.

The FBI recommends people use common sense approaches to avoid being victimized. Everyone should update or install anti-virus software. Do not click messages or pages of people you don't know. If you have a wireless router in your home, you should create your own password for the network and not rely on the default password. "All of those default passwords are known and advertised on the internet so anyone who wants to, can type in the default password, jump onto your computer and your account, and recently we've seen a lot of child pornographers doing that," Moss said.

Moss said people should consider creating a security freeze through the Attorney General's Office. It blocks anyone from accessing your credit to apply for a loan or any type of account that would require a credit check. The freeze, however, also locks you out and a person would have to request the lock be lifted, which may take a couple days, Moss said.

Click the link to the right to create a security freeze.