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Consumer Information on Cybersecurity

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.”   – Ben Franklin 

You work hard to make ends meet and save.  But without protecting your assets, you could be at risk of loss.  While cybersecurity may be relatively new, Ben Franklin’s words are as important today as they were over 200 years ago!  While organizations are trying to secure your information, you too must work to protect your information.  By taking a few simple steps, you can better protect your personal and financial data online and at home.


Report Identity Theft ASAP!

  • Contact your bank about lost/stolen ATM cards/checks, or compromised passwords
  • Contact your local police department to file a report
  • PA Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection 1.800.441.2555
  • Federal Trade Commission 1.877.438.4338
  • Report fraudulent use of your social security card at 1.800.269.0271
  • Notify the US Postal Inspection of mail crimes 1.877.876.2455
  • Monitor your credit by calling at 1.877.322.8228

Here are 6 simple actions to better protect your personal data and money online and at home:

  1. Keep Your Secrets Safe: Don’t respond to emails or phone calls that request your personal information, and be careful about sharing personal information on social media 

  2. Passwords: create “strong passwords” for your online transactions: at least 8 characters in length with a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
    a. Try not to use words found in the dictionary, and use different user names and passwords for your banking and shopping websites
    b. Secure your smart phone and computer with a screen lock and/or “power-on” password

  3. Software: Download and install software only from websites you know and trust, and use security software on your computer and make sure it updates automatically

  4. Investigate: Check out the companies where you shop online to ensure security in your transactions, and review your financial and shopping statements for any suspicious activity. Check your credit report annually at
  5. Encryption: Give personal information only over encrypted websites – look for “https” addresses.

  6. Public Access: Avoid using unsecured, public wireless access points, such as those found in airports, coffee shops, and hotels.


For other general information and resources on cybersecurity, please refer to the links below: 

Internal Revenue Service – IRS fact sheet
Federal Free Credit Reporting Site – 
Federal Trade Commission – Identity Theft or 
U.S. Postal Service – Postal Inspector Resources
Social Security Administration – Review records annually at 
Pennsylvania State Police – Personal Safety and Crime Prevention


This is what you can do today... 

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  • Connect with the PA Department of Banking and Securities today to stay informed.  We’re on the web, Facebook and Twitter, you can subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter.

  • Learn more about protecting what you have and how to save for the future on our website.

  • Contact us if you have questions about financial services, transactions, products, or companies. There’s no phone-tree, just real people. We won’t try to sell you anything and the call is free: 1.800.PA.BANKS.