Digital security is key to reducing the risk of fraud
The educational list presented below is designed to help you take appropriate action to better protect you and your family and mitigate the risk of cyber fraud. Carefully review the items in each of the categories below to determine which applies to your unique situation.
1. Manage your devices
- Install the most up-to-date antivirus and antispyware programs on all devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones) and update these software programs as they become available. These programs are most effective when users set them to run regularly rather than just running periodic scans, which may not provide maximum protection to your device.
- Access sensitive data only through a secure location or device; never access confidential personal data via a public computer, such as in a hotel or cybercafe.
- If you have children, set up a separate computer they can use for games and other online activities.
2. Protect all passwords
- Use a personalized custom identifier for financial accounts you access online. Never use your Social Security number in any part of your login activity.
- Regularly reset your passwords, including those for your email accounts. Avoid using common passwords across a range of financial relationships.
- Avoid storing passwords in email folders. Consider using a password manager program.
3. Surf the web safely
- Do not connect to the Internet via unsecured or unknown wireless networks, such as those in public locations like hotels or cybercafes. These networks may lack virus protection, are highly susceptible to attacks. and should never be used to access confidential personal data.
4. Protect information on social networks
- Limit the amount of personal information you post on social networking sites. Never post your Social Security number (even the last four digits). Consider keeping your birthdate, home address, and home phone number confidential. We also discourage clients from posting announcements about births, children’s birthdays, or the loss of loved ones. Sharing too much information can make you susceptible to fraudsters and allow them to quickly pass a variety of tests related to the authentication of your personal information. Never underestimate the public sources that individuals will use to learn critical facts about people.
5. Protect your email accounts
- Delete any emails that include detailed financial information beyond the time that it’s needed. In addition, continuously assess whether you even need to store any personal and financial information in an email account.
- Use secure data storage programs to archive critical data and documents.
- Review unsolicited emails carefully. Never click links in unsolicited emails or pop-up ads, especially those that warn that your computer is infected with a virus and request that you take immediate action.
- Establish separate email accounts for personal correspondence and financial transactions.
6. Safeguard your financial accounts
- Review all your credit card and financial statements as soon as they arrive or become available online. If any transaction looks suspicious, immediately contact the financial institution where the account is held.
- Never send account information or personally identifiable information over email, chat, or any other unsecured channel.
- Suspiciously review any unsolicited email requesting personal information. Further, never respond to an information request by clicking a link in an email. Instead, type the Website’s URL into the browser yourself.
- Avoid developing any online patterns of money movement, such as wires, that cybercriminals could replicate to make money movement patterns appear more legitimate.