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Cybersecurity experts urge precautions to protect personal information | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Cyber security experts are urging people to be vigilant when it comes to personal information this holiday weekend.

A lot of people choose to travel to celebrate holidays and if you’re one of those people traveling for Fourth of July, you need to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to protect your identity and your bank account.

According to Frantzy Mesadieu, Cybersecurity Research Associate for Texas A&M Central Texas, it’s much easier than you might think for your personal or financial information to be stolen and the effects could be devastating.

”You may have to change your social security number, you may have to change your bank account information,” Mesadieu said.

“There’s a lot of things you may have to do because being hacked is really a life changing event.”

It can be as simple as booking travel plans on your phone that can give criminals access to your information.

But there are ways to protect it like only using well known websites and a virtual private network or VPN, on your phone.

”If you’re using your phone, you can use a VPN application that will encrypt your data from online transactions,” Mesadieu said. “So, using a VPN allows you to be more secure.”

it’s not just online purchases of booking travel plans with your phone that can put you at risk. Taking your card and paying for gas at the pump can be just as dangerous.”

”If you have the ability to swipe your card or insert your card and bypass the pin and run it as a credit card, that makes it 10-times harder for them to steal your information but, if you punch your pin number in, they got your card and your pin number and go straight to the bank,” said Lt. Greg Anderson with Killeen PD, Criminal Investigation Division.

If you notice that any of your personal or financial information has been used by someone else, report it immediately.

”Waiting too long could cause some issues,” said Mesadieu.

“The first thing to do, is to call your bank. Let you bank know that your account has been hacked.”

”The second thing they should do, they should call their local law enforcement,” Lt. Anderson said.

The key take aways are, use a VPN on your phone, only use trusted sources when making online purchases or booking travel plans, and if something doesn’t seem right at the pump, it’s probably best to pay inside.


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National Cyber Security