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Local Cyber Security Expert Offers Tips For Consumers

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By Noel McLaren

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The technology we use to shop and share more conveniently, lately is causing us more problems. First Target, with 40 million shoppers information stolen electronically, and now a potentially even bigger breach at The Home Depot. The company just alerted customers of a possible payment data hack.

Home Depot representatives took to twitter apologizing to their customers. They said if they do find a breach of security, they will be held responsible as well as banks, but that did little to calm customers.

Many Philadelphia shoppers are going back to payment basics to protect themselves.

“Because of stuff like this is why I do all cash,” said contractor and Home Depot shopper, Andrew Baldt. “I don’t even like using my debit card here.”

But Drexel University cyber security expert, Rob D’Ovidio says there are options that don’t involve disconnecting. He suggests getting credit cards with lower limit values.

“If that credit card becomes subject to a data breach there’s limited damage that can be done,” said D’Ovidio.

He said pre-paid plastic is also safer.

“Limiting any access to personal identifyable information,” he said.

And on all online accounts, including cloud storage, D’Ovidio says typical user name and password combinations are no longer enough. Reliable cloud and banking providers will often use a second layer of secuirty like a series of questions.

“You want another layer of authentication that second factor, you want that in a service provider,” he said.

Hackers will keep on evolving, but experts say you can stay out of their crosshairs by evolving with them to protect yourself.

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