Understanding how criminals try to gain your information is the first step in building a good defense!
These common sense precautions can help keep your personal information safe:
Keep your checks, credit and debit cards in a safe place. Limit access to your Social Security number and other personal information. Lock up files containing personal information and treat them like cash or any other valuables that need to be protected.
Scale down the personal information you keep and don't keep sensitive information any longer than absolutely necessary. Shred anything containing personal information before disposing it.
Guard your mobile phone against threats. Treat your mobile device as carefully you would your wallet, cash or credit cards. PIN-lock your mobile phone and don't use unsecured WiFi. Disable the WiFi auto connect feature.
Report lost or stolen debit/ATM cards immediately. Contacting the bank within two business days of discovering the loss limits your liability to $50. Waiting longer may increase your liability on the loss up to $500.
Review your bank statements every month and verify all transactions, including small amounts under $20. Report any discrepancies immediately. You have 60 days to report unauthorized transactions to limit your liability. Waiting longer than 60 days may increase your liability on the unauthorized transactions.
Sign up for eStatements. Receiving your account statement electronically is far more secure than getting paper statements in the mail.
Don't leave outgoing checks or paid bills in your mailbox. Place your outgoing mail in an official, secure mailbox. Also, try to pick up your mail immediately after it is delivered.
Pay your bills electronically in Online Bill Pay. It's more secure than mailing paper checks and is protected by multiple layers of security.
Memorize your PIN numbers, passwords and secret questions. Don't write them down or leave them in your wallet for a thief to find. Ignore the "remember my password" options.
Use Anti-Virus software and keep it updated. And, keep your firewall turned on. Only use trusted websites when making online purchases or downloading music, movies and images.
Reject emails or text that ask for your financial information….even if they seem urgent. Don't send any account, PIN or Social Security Numbers. We will never ask you for that type of information by email or by phone.
Use strong passwords with at least 8 characters combining random letters and numbers. Change your password regularly.
Never click on a link from an email. Type the address into your browser. If you aren't certain where the file came from, don't open it without verifying. Be cautious before opening attachments. Even the most innocent email attachment can be infected. Common files like PDFs, JPGs and spreadsheets can provide a platform for installing malware on your computer.
Never give out your credit card or debit card number unless you initiated the transaction.
Log out of Mobile Banking, Online Banking, social networks and online shopping carts when you've finished using them.
Use our Mobile Banking app when banking on your smart phone so you can manage your account securely when you're on the go.
Use Social Security Numbers only for legally required purposes. Don't use them as your password or PIN number.
Protect yourself from telephone scams. Be careful when offering personal or account information over the phone unless you are certain of the caller's identity. If you are unsure of a caller's identity, hang up and initiate the call yourself using a known phone number.
Delete all personal information before you upgrade, recycle or destroy your phone, computer or portable storage device.
Guard your personal information. Know what personal information you're keeping, where it is stored, how it is secured and who has access to it.
Request that credit bureaus monitor your accounts for unusual spending patterns and require them to notify you before new credit can be granted in your name. These services come at a price; but that might be a worthy investment.
Protecting the security of your personal information is as important to us as it is to you. Let's work together to protect it.