From the Desk of Detective Ed Mateo-Cyber Security 101

You can’t go a week without seeing news of a cyber security breach of customers’ personal information. Now more than ever it is important to take steps to protect your identity as well as your online accounts. Many that use online banking have seen a trend towards Two Step Verification. Two Step Verification requires a password as well as an additional security feature to log in to your online account. In most cases it is a special code that is emailed or texted to you. What many people do not know is that many other online services offer Two Step Verification. Email services such as Google Gmail as well as Apple’s iCloud online services offer Two Step Verification as an additional security feature. Activating Two Step Verification can help ensure your online accounts are not unlawfully accessed online.


In addition to activating Two Step Verification, it is also important to be aware of social engineering techniques otherwise known as “phishing scams.” Many online criminals purchase small bits of your compromised information online.   Phishing scams then help provide them with the rest of the information they need to steal your identity or unlawfully access your online financial accounts. Phishing scams are generally emails pretending to be from your bank or other online business. They provide an internet link to a website that appears to be legitimate but unlawfully captures your log in password or other personal information. Phishing scams can also be done over the phone or through the mail. It is also important not to download any email attachments from someone you do not know or any suspicious emails from someone whose email account may have been compromised.


It is a good idea not to use the same password for multiple accounts and to begin using more complex passwords that include a phrase instead of just a word. A password such as “iLike?donuTs1015” is more secure than merely “donuts.”


The United States Federal Trade Commission and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team provide online resources of updated online scams and cyber security tips. Many online blogs such as Krebs On Security provide updated information on recent data breaches as well as other cyber security related news. Another great resource is the BBC News Channel show “Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley” which is available to stream on Netflix.


Two Step Verification

Google Two Step Verification

Apple Two Step Verification



Online Security News

Krebs on Security

Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley


Government Resources

United States Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team – Department of Homeland Security

FBI Cyber Crime


Detective Ed Mateo is a 12 year veteran of the San Mateo Police Department and a proven expert in a variety of fields, serving as a department Range Master, Firearms Expert, a Certified Computer Forensics Examiner, and a Court Recognized expert witness in Mobile and Computer Forensics and Recovered Data Analysis.  He is the Go-To guy for all things computers during any related investigation. 

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