The protection of your banking information on your computer is extremely important. Here are some ways you can safeguard your identity and banking credentials.
- Beware of Phishing: Phishing occurs when fraudulent emails purporting to be from a reputable entity aims to entice you to reveal personal information. These emails may contain links and/or attachments and can appear to have authentic logos, website addresses and contact information.If you are ever asked to update your credentials online, be sure to open a new browser window to access the site instead of using the provided link. For more information on phishing, visit: FTC Consumer Information on Phishing.
- Be sure your anti-virus is up to date: Set your anti-virus software to update and scan automatically.
- Avoid public Wi-fi: Public wireless networks are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see and intercept the traffic on device while you are connected to them. Limit what you do on public WiFi, and avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services.
- E-Commerce: Do not enter your credit or debit card information unless the page you are viewing is secure, typically indicated by “https://” and will feature a small padlock symbol in the address bar. Click on the padlock icon to view the security certificates which verify the authenticity of the website.
- Mobile Security: Ensure that your device is password/PIN protected and set to automatically lock when inactive after a number of minutes. Avoid clicking on links in SMS/text messages. Scammers often attempt to trick consumers into clicking on links in text messages by inciting an emotional response. For example, claiming that there’s been fraudulent activity on your account and providing a link to remediate the issue in order to deny a transaction.
- Password Use: Utilize strong passwords that are both lengthy and unique. Do not recycle passwords among multiple sites and shield your passwords/PIN when entering them in public spaces. Use two-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Screen sharing: Scammers will attempt to remotely access your device(s) by pretending to be tech support or customer service in order to remediate an issue (malware removal, account updates, bill payments, etc.) Once they’ve gained access, they will attempt to transfer funds from your account or install other tools to allow them to steal data/gain additional access. Unsolicited requests for remote access is a red flag and you should terminate the call immediately.
For more information on online security, please visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-security