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Your account and data security are important to us. We want to make it easy for you to safely bank online. Since knowledge is the best attack deterrent, we offer online safety tips.
The emails and texts you receive may look official, but they could be fake. Avoid clicking on links or attachments or responding with personal information — credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or other banking details. Instead, contact the company directly or visit online by typing the company web address into your internet browser. If you suspect that you’ve received a fraudulent email or text that appears to be from PNC, forward the message to PNC at email@example.com. If you responded or disclosed personal information, immediately go to another computer/device and change your password. Then contact PNC Bank’s Online Banking Team at 1-800-762-2035 option 3.
Create passwords that are easy to remember, but difficult for others to guess, and change them every few months. The best passwords are a minimum of eight characters; contain a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols; and use words that are not common. Consider using a passphrase (phrase or sentence) to extend the password length and complexity. Enable multifactor authentication, such as passwords with a one-time use code, and biometric options, like fingerprint scans or facial recognition, as additional protection on your accounts.
Never use the same password for banking as you do for other non-financial sites, such as social media or email. Be cautious about choosing security questions with answers that you know can be found easily on public websites or guessed.
Personal information shared on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used by criminals to commit fraud. Never post key information, such as where you bank, how you invest your money, physical addresses, emails, mobile phone numbers, account numbers, or passwords. Avoid sharing information about young children, such as birthdays, since fraudsters can use that information to steal the child’s identity. Don’t accept invitations or friend requests from people you don’t know.
Your mobile phone contains valuable personal information. Secure it with a password or lock pattern and be sure to wipe it clean before trading it in. Only install apps from well-known stores like Google Play, Apple App Store, Windows Store, and Amazon. Other stores may look legitimate, luring you in with the promise of free apps, but beware. Free apps from unknown stores may be designed to steal your credentials and install malware on your device. Be extra vigilant when a newly downloaded app requests administrative access to your phone.
Be careful of scanning QR codes, as they may direct you to a fraudulent site. Set up and use remote find, lock, and erase functions like “Find my iPhone” or “Android Device Manager.” Do not “jailbreak” or “root” your mobile device to alter the operating system and add customized software and applications. This opens devices to extreme risk by altering the underlying system security settings.
The Wi-Fi available at many public locations may not be secure. Be cautious about the sites you visit and the information you release. Never do your online banking from an unsecure Internet connection.
PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other web-enabled devices need the most current security software, web browser, and operating system. Also, Microsoft, Apple, and other tech support companies are unlikely to call you to “fix” your computer. If you receive a call like this, report it to the Federal Trade Commission, or 1-888-382-1222. Consider using a dedicated computer for banking versus other day-to-day functions to lessen the chance of a computer infection leading to theft. When traveling, keep your computer/devices under your control at all times. Do not leave equipment in the trunk of your car or unattended in public areas.
Visit the PNC Security and Privacy page at pnc.com/security for more information.
Be suspicious of large cash prize winnings or offers of a large inheritance that involve money transfers. Brand new luxury vehicles cannot be purchased for $15,000 under invoice cost. Visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts to learn more about new and evolving scams.
Email and texts that appear to come from someone you know, such as your grandchild, boss, business executive, or vendor, can be forged. Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers to confirm legitimacy before sending information or money in response. Do business only via websites you know and trust.
No legitimate social media promotion or job opportunity will require you to hand over your bank cards, PIN, or online banking credentials. If you provide this information for the promise of free money, you may be responsible for anything that happens, which can be much larger than the balance in your account. If someone calls you and you suspect a scam, don’t give out any information. Ask for a call-back number. If the caller won’t leave one, tell them you are busy and will need to call them back.
Many scams try to scare you into doing something quickly by threatening negative consequences, such as missed business deals or lost job opportunities.
Fraudsters often blend in themes, such as tragic media events, online dating, endangered loved ones, and charities. They know that when your emotional state rises, often your attention to security goes down.
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