Hackers and Identity Thieves are finding banks are typically very hard to
hack into. Because of this the bad guys are now targeting the bank customer
because they know most customers do not have the security resources a
financial institution may have. As a result, Bank customers need to take an
active role in protecting their privacy. Banks use a combination of
safeguards to protect customer data, which allows them to detect unusual
spending patterns and protect accounts. Customers also play an important
role in safeguarding personal financial information.
To help ensure
the safety of personal information, customers should follow these tips:
Create c0mplic@t3d_p@$$w0rd$. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple
passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least
three times a year. Because friendly theft – theft by someone the victim
knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, don’t share your
passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your
Continually monitor accounts. Check account
activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly
statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if
a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity,
notify your bank right away.
Protect yourself online. Be sure
computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and
malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in
response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your
bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN, or
account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources.
When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or
key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet
address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure
Protect your home or business network. If you
don’t use a router at home or your business, you have given just about
anyone access into your home or business. A router is an important step in
network protection as it serves as a physical firewall to the network at
your home or business (essentially a digital door with a deadbolt). If you
decide to use a router with wireless capability, make sure you secure it
with at least WPA2 Encryption instead of leaving it as a password-less, or
“Open” network. An open network lets anyone with a wireless connection to be
able to have access to anything you do on your network. Also, make sure you
change any default passwords on your router using the guidelines from the
passwords section above.
If your become a victim of fraud and you
suspects that your personal information has been compromised, the following
steps should be taken by you, our customer:
Call your bank and credit
card issuers immediately so necessary steps can be taken to protect
A police report should be filed and the fraud units of the
three credit-reporting companies should be contacted.
statement” should be placed in credit reports.
Make sure to maintain
a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter.
Write down names, titles, and phone numbers in case you need to re-contact
them or refer to them in future correspondence.
For more advice,
contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at
(1-877-438-4338) or http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.