Tips For Combating Growing Cyber Crime Theft Of Data

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dairy Queen is just the latest victim of cybercrime, joining a growing list of six hundred companies including Target, Home Depot, Michaels and JPMorgan-Chase.

“There are only two kinds of companies — those that know they’ve been hacked and those that haven’t figured it out yet,” Carnegie Mellon University cyber security expert Marty Lindner told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.

Most companies fall victim because too many have done too little, says Lindner, who works the Software Engineering Institute.

“Companies think they know what’s going on and what they’re doing until they’ve been compromised, and then they take it seriously, and they realize what the investment is to do the risk management and all the stuff you need to do to actually protect yourself properly,” added Lindner.

That puts a burden on consumers to protect themselves, notes Dr. Karen Paullet, who teaches cyber forensics and security at Robert Morris University.

“We’re trusting them to store our information, we’re trusting them to house our credit care information, and it’s getting out there, and it seems like it’s getting out there every single day,” says Paullet.

So what’s a consumer to do?

“I personally don’t use a debit card anywhere. I use a credit card for everything,” she says.

Inputting debit card pin numbers give cyber crooks access to your checking account, so change pins and passwords frequently.

“Don’t use the same password everywhere,” adds Lindner.

And check your statements frequently.

“Monitoring credit card bills is extremely important,” says Paullet, who once discovered point-of-sale charges for a purchase in Cleveland when she was in Houston.

Another tip — don’t conduct business on public WiFi.

“We’re logging into our email accounts. We’re logging into our banking, connected to public WiFi or staying connected to our blue-tooth when we get out of the car.”

October is “National Cyber Security Awareness Month” and most of the federal agencies that are involved in cyber security have helpful information on their websites.

Take a good look.

Below is a list of sites:

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