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Cybersecurity Resources

In today’s digital world, it’s important to understand cybersecurity and how to keep your personal and financial information safe from cyber threats. Below please find some helpful information as provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

 

What is cybersecurity?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. 

A few helpful tips to keep in mind so that you can keep yourself safe:

  • Never respond to emails, phone calls or texts that request your personal information
  • Be cautious about what you share about yourself on social media
  • Never share your passwords with anyone
  • Make sure your online passwords are complex (a combination of at least 8 upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters), and avoid using birthdates, family member names, or anything else that can be easily guessed
    • Instead of thinking of it as just a password, consider using passphrases whenever possible. For example, select the first letter of each word in a sentence or phrase, then replace some of the letters with numbers or special characters to create something that is easy for you to remember, but impossible for others to guess.

For more information and helpful tips on cybersecurity, protecting your smartphone, online shopping and more, click here for a helpful video from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities or here to visit their website

Whether online conducting professional business or in a personal capacity, vigilance is the key to protecting yourself, your business, and your finances. 

Cybersecurity Timely Topics

To keep our customers up to date with the latest tips and information on cybersecurity, every month we will provide you with a new topic. 

For this month's topic, we are focusing on verification code scams.

"You’ll rarely get random text messages or emails with links you didn’t ask for. That’s why you should be cautious. Instead of clicking on the link, reach out to the official organization and see if the messages were legitimate. It’s an extra step, but the effort is well worth it. If you don’t follow proper precautions, you could lose a ton of money. AARP says cons that started with text messages stole $86 million from Americans in 2020."

This information is from "The Kim Komando Show” Serena O'Sullivan (3/5/2022).

To learn more about avoiding this type of scam, please visit The Kim Komando Show.

March's Topic: How To Avoid QR Code Scams

For March's topic, we focused on QR code scams.

"A QR code is a square barcode that a smartphone camera can scan and read to provide quick access to a website, to prompt the download of an application, and to direct payment to an intended recipient. Businesses use QR codes legitimately to provide convenient contactless access and have used them more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, cybercriminals are taking advantage of this technology by directing QR code scans to malicious sites to steal victim data, embedding malware to gain access to the victim's device, and redirecting payment for cybercriminal use."

This information is from the “Federal Bureau of Investigation ” (1/18/2022).

To learn more about avoiding this type of scam, please visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3.

February's Topic: Top 2022 Cybersecurity Threats

For February's topic, we focused on top cybersecurity threats for 2022 and what businesses can do to protect themselves.

Over 75% of cyber attacks start with someone opening a malicious email. These emails are designed to extract data from the recipient, usually a password, which is used to gain further access to an organization’s network. Once an account takeover has been successful, hackers are able to mount more sophisticated attacks.

This information is from “Global Banking & Finance Review” (1/19/2022).

To learn more about these threats, please visit Global Banking & Finance Review. 

January's Topic: How to Avoid a Money Mule Scam

For January's topic, we focused on how to avoid a money mule scam.

If you help a scammer move stolen money — even if you didn’t know it was stolen — you could get into legal trouble. You’ll be at financial risk, too. If you deposit a scammer’s check, it might clear at first. When it turns out to be a fake check, the bank will want you to repay the full amount. You may be charged fees, and your account may be overdrawn or closed. And using a scammer’s money to buy gift cards and turning over the PIN codes, or sending wire transfers is almost like sending cash. In both cases, the scammer gets the money quickly, and it’s almost impossible to recover.

This information is from the "Federal Trade Commission" Bridget Small (12/03/2021).

To learn more about how to prevent this crime, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information.

 

Prevent Phishing Scams

The Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimates that American consumers lost a staggering $3.3 billion to these phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020.

Some of the most common methods are scammers pretending to be from your bank, by texting, emailing, or calling asking for confidential information. Help prevent these scams, by being aware of potential red flags and being more confident in knowing banks would never ask that. 

American Bankers Association recommends the following tips to protect your accounts before scammers strike: 

  • Set up multi-factor authentication on your bank and email login.
  • Use random or complex passwords.
  • Call your bank directly, or log in to your account, to verify messages or emails received.
  • Keep your browser up-to-date with the latest defenses, like virus protection and malware alerts.

To learn more about how to prevent this crime, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information

VPN Use During International Travel

Logging into your online banking applications, email, and social media while traveling abroad, even from your own devices, can be dangerous for your sensitive information. One way to protect yourself from cybercrime while traveling abroad is to utilize a Virtual Private Network service or VPN.

A VPN Connection establishes a secure connection between you and the internet creating a virtual encrypted tunnel your data is routed through.

Although Peoples Security Bank & Trust cannot endorse any one particular VPN solution, websites like www.security.org have recent articles reviewing many different types of VPNs for domestic and international travel that could help you to choose the best fit for your circumstances.

Here are some additional resources we have identified that may help to keep your private and sensitive information safe while traveling abroad:

Resources

The links below are provided for you to learn more about cybersecurity. We encourage you to take some time to look critically at your business and personal habits, evaluate any potential cybersecurity risks, and use these resources and others to implement best practices as we all move forward into this next phase of our digital future.

 

The information regarding cybersecurity on this page, including the links above, was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.