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Why You Should Care that it’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Financial fraud protection seems to be on everyone’s mind lately. In the recent Equifax data breach, it was reported that 143 million U.S. adults had their information stolen. That means just about every adult in the nation was affected. And in 2016, the International Data Group detected 38 percent more cybersecurity incidents than the previous year.

No industry or organization is bulletproof when it comes to data breaches, so staying safe online should be a top priority. Here are 6 tips to protect your financial information.

1. Set strong passwords. 

Avoid using common words, phrases and personal information in your passwords. Simple words, such as ‘password’ or phrases such as ‘strongpassword’ can be cracked easily. Instead, create unique passwords for all online accounts with a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Change your passwords frequently.

Changing passwords can help protect an account if a data leak exposes passwords on the web.

3. Don’t provide your information to unknown sources.

Financial institutions will not call, email or otherwise contact you to ask for your username, password or other online banking credentials. Do not share login information, credit card details or social security number to a caller or through e-mail. If you are unsure, contact the company directly to verify the request.

4. Check your accounts frequently.

Review your online account activity or financial statements regularly to check for fraudulent or suspicious transactions. Report any unauthorized activity to your financial institution immediately.

5. Protect your privacy on social media.

Hackers can crack passwords more easily if they know all the details of your personal life. Any information shared on the web can be used to guess passwords – such as your dog’s name, where you attended college or where your children go to school.

6. Research services that offer protection.

Hackers and breaches come in many different forms, but there are programs and software available to help protect yourself. Consider virus protection software, credit monitoring services and theft protection to help keep all your information safe.

Be #CyberAware and learn more ways that you can protect your financial information at pbcu.com/security.