PITTSBURGH, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While multiple layers of cyber security experts work diligently around the clock to protect your bank accounts and personally identifiable information, the most powerful weapon in fighting cyber crime is you.
"Successfully defending against cyber criminals requires a continuous team effort," said Holly Ridgeway, chief information security officer at PNC Bank, N.A. "PNC aggressively protects our customers. But, the customer must also take simple, low- or no-cost precautions to better protect themselves by tightening security around home computers and mobile devices."
PNC encourages you to join the cyber security effort. Protect your personal information and avoid computer fraud by taking some preventative steps now:
- Passwords and Person Identification Numbers (PIN)- Avoid using any type of personal information, including social security numbers, birthdays, significant names and account numbers, as PIN numbers or passwords. This personal information is easy to find and could increase your risk of compromising online accounts. If you are currently using personal information as passwords, it is a good idea to change them.
- Differentiate your Passwords - Do not use the same password for social media sites and shopping that you use to conduct financial transactions .
- Sluggish Computer Signals Problem -If your home computer becomes very slow, or takes a long time to load pages, that is an indication that spyware could be present. Use a reputable spyware removal tool regularly to minimize the risk of your information being stolen.
- Wi- Fi Warning – Before logging on to a wi-fi connection in a public place (coffee shops, hotels, etc), confirm with an employee the EXACT name of their network and login steps. Hackers can hijack hotspots in public places to lure users to their own network, capturing passcodes and other valuable information.
- Public Exchange – Avoid sharing confidential/sensitive information when logged onto a public network. You never know who might be watching.
- Sanitize Your Cyber Space - Make sure you have the latest security software and operating system updates (patches) to defend against threats such as malware, viruses and phishing scams. Update apps frequently to stay current with new threats.
- Click with Care – Be cautious of flashing "special offers" and pop-ups, especially when that click redirects you to an unexpected website. Good rule is never to provide personal information on a site that you do not know or cannot confirm is secure.
- Do Not Donate Data - When you plan to upgrade your personal device, before donating or giving old devices to a family member, be sure wipe it clean of all data. Clear your browser history and cache too.