FOX 9's Adam Klepp spoke to the local Better Business Bureau about how to stay safe online
YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - In the year following the pandemic the FBI reported cyber crimes increased by 300%.
The FBI also says many Americans can have their information exposed when using public Wi-Fi at coffee shops and airports.
And recommends users to make sure their devices have the latest security updates, and to not make any financial transactions over those networks.
The local Better Business Bureau says scams are also on the rise locally.
“Within this community, we are seeing an increase in technology scams," John Hessinger said. "They do seem to target everybody, but there are demographics who are more at risk, due to trusting nature or they don’t know any better.”
Hessinger says one of those more vulnerable groups is children.
Who can be trusting, or easily believe something on the internet that is not true.
“They have games, education, social media profiles, all that can be used to contact them, or get them to purchase things online," Hessinger said.
Yuma County officially recognized Cyber Security Awareness month at this week's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Local IT professionals hope the outreach provided this month will turn into year-round awareness.
“Throughout the year there have been incidents," Michael Padilla, Yuma County IT Administrator said. "Large corporations, small corporations, even businesses local to our area that have been due to cyber negligence.”
Organizations like the BBB and Yuma County say simple steps like creating difficult passwords, never sending important info over text or email, and communicating with your children or elderly family members can make a big difference for online safety.