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Stay safe online

Using good information security practices will help protect your computer systems, both on and off campus.
Employees can access the Information Technology section of the PCC Intranet to learn more about information security business practices and technologies.


Don't make it easy for hackers!  Strong passwords cannot easily be cracked by password cracking software.  Learn how to create strong passwords—ones that you can actually remember too!


Phishing and Vishing are attempts to steal valuable information such as account passwords, social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. Phishing comes in the form of emails. Vishing is a telephone contact. 

Never provide confidential information to a third party who has contacted you.

  • Avoid sending confidential information over email.
  • Avoid opening email or attachments from unknown sources.
  • Log on to the official website, instead of clicking any links in an email.
  • Contact the actual business to verify if the email is genuine.

If you receive an email that seems suspicious, do NOT respond to it, do NOT click on any links, and do NOT open any attachments. Please report the email through the Gmail features such as "Report phishing" and "Report spam". 

Computer Updates 

Don’t automatically click a window pop-up. It might be a malware download or a redirect to a dangerous website. If you aren’t OK with it, click the red X to close the window.
When doing a search, check the first few results to make sure they aren’t adware or other malicious websites. Recognize them by reading the results carefully for any misspellings, bad grammar, or even totally unrelated descriptions.
Does something seem suspicious? Chances are that it is malicious. If you ended up in a corner of the internet that you’re not feeling good about, close your browser and start over.

Watch what you post

Oversharing on social media can alert hackers that you’re an easy target for phishing or vishing.  Keep your privacy settings adjusted so the public cannot see your profile, and you’ll be the gatekeeper of who gets to know about your personal life.
Consider not including locations on your photos or statuses. While location sharing isn’t necessarily a way to be hacked, you wouldn’t want a stranger knowing where you are at all times.

Do a security checkup. See what you’re sharing with other people by looking at the options in your account’s security settings. Check your Facebook and Google security settings. Try to keep your information shared to as few people as possible to protect yourself.

Recognize malware

Download programs only from websites you trust. Don’t do a web search for “Install [product name].” Go directly to the developer’s website.
Keep an eye out for strange behavior. Does your browser’s start page look different than normal? Does clicking one place lead you somewhere unexpected? Is there a toolbar or shortcut around you’ve never seen before? Can you not see a webpage because of all the pop ups happening? These are all signs that you may have installed Malware, Adware, or Spyware on your computer.
Uninstall the malware as soon as possible. Some programs can be easily uninstalled using the “Add or remove programs” section of your control panel. If you can, download a software to remove these malicious files such as MalwareBytes or CCleaner. If you are really stuck, take the computer to a reputable computer tech service. 
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