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Montana DOJ encourages review of online safety steps for 'Safer Internet Day'

Posted at 4:34 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 19:53:53-05

HELENA — Feb. 11, 2020 is Safer Internet Day, which aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues.

The Montana Department of Justice is encouraging people to review online safety steps.

“The best offense is a good defense,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion, “and making sure you don’t turn that information over, because sometimes it’s an international crime and it’s very hard to track those people down. We really encourage people through education and prevention to keep that information guarded.”

The Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) sees nearly 4,000 scams or attempted scams a year.

Government impostor scams continue to be the number-one reported scam in Montana, and OCP has seen more Social Security scams in recent years.

OCP always encourages people to know who they’re dealing with. Thieves can pose as anyone online or over the phone. If it seems suspicious, end the conversation and contact the business by calling a phone number listed on their website.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion strongly encourages people to report scams when they see them.

Parents should also talk with their kids at a young age about protecting their personal information online.

“The kinds of websites and apps that are available today were certainly not around when we were growing up,” said Bennion. “It’s good to familiarize yourself with what’s out there and what your kids are using, because new stuff comes out every day. Having those conversations about protecting their privacy is incredibly important.”

Legitimate websites and business often have different levels of account privacy and security to choose from. Learn what is available and take advantage of the options.

More information about identity theft, ways to report scams and help available can be found on the OCP website.