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:
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 personal information.
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 during transmission.
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:
your bank and credit card issuers immediately so necessary steps can be
taken to protect accounts.
police report should be filed and the fraud units of the three
credit-reporting companies should be contacted.
“victim statement” should be placed in credit reports.
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
more advice, contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at
1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or