Protecting Your Account
- Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
- Public networks such as coffee shops are convenient, but not always secure. It’s a good idea to avoid sending any personal information to the internet while connected to one.
- Some computer viruses have the ability to intercept and steal your personal information. Keep your computer safe by protecting it with anti-virus software, and be careful of what you download!
- If you use mobile banking, always keep track of your phone! If your phone gets lost or stolen, it could compromise your account.
- Sometimes it can be hard to remember passwords and PIN numbers, but writing them down is like leaving a key in a lock! Pick something that’s secure, but make sure you can remember it!
- Most companies will never ask for personal information through email. Only enter your information on a secure website.
Pick a secure password! Always use at least 8 characters in your password, but the more the better. Add in some words, numbers and symbols. When you increase the length of your password it significantly improves its strength.
Don't use the same password on every website!
Change your passwords often, making it harder for attackers to guess your password.
- Security questions can be helpful if you forget your password, but make sure that you do not provide information that is readily available to the public. For example, if you put in your home town, and that information is listed on your Facebook page, someone could easily use it to get into your account.
Preventing Identity Theft
- Identity thieves can use your personal information to access your account, or create new accounts under your name. Protect your personal information.
- Shoulder-surfers are people who stand close enough to see your personal information, such as PIN numbers, as you perform bank transactions. Be aware of your surroundings at the bank or ATM.
- Always shred documents that contain personal information! Old credit card receipts, old bank statements, medical statements, bills and pre-approved credit card offers should not be thrown away until shredded.
- Always keep a close eye on your account balances and credit statements. If anything looks out of place, address it immediately.
- Close unused credit cards, and carry around as few as possible. This makes it easier to keep track of them.
- Always make sure that all of your accounts have current and accurate information.
- Don’t carry around documents that you don’t need on a daily basis. Your social security card and birth certificate can be used to open fake accounts.
- Though it might be convenient, don’t have your Social Security number or driver’s license number printed on the top of your checks.
- Report lost or stolen checks and bank cards as soon as possible, and store unused ones in a secure location. You never know what someone might do with them.