Prevent Bank Fraud
Monitor your accounts daily
Use Online and Mobile Banking to monitor your bank accounts each day.
Use better passwords
- Must be at least eight characters long.
- Do not use your user name, real name, or company name.
- Try to not use complete words.
- Use numbers instead of letters. ( 3 = E, 1 = L, etc.)
- Use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Get a credit monitoring service
There are many credit monitoring services available for a charge. Whether you use one of the 3 credit bureaus or another vendor, choose a service that allows quick access to your credit report and provides alerts regarding your credit. Also, paid services typically offer multiple plans and often have Identity Theft Insurance as part of the service.
Don't access accounts using public Wi-Fi
Do not access your bank accounts or any sensitive information over a public Wi-Fi “hotspot” like those commonly found in coffee shops and airports. There is always the chance there is another person connected to the same network with malicious intent. The hotspot itself could even be fake. It is best to always access sensitive information on a secured, password-protected network or over your phone’s data connection.
Reduce what you carry in wallet/purse
Don’t carry anything you don’t need in your wallet or purse. Especially if the item contains sensitive information. For the items that you do need to carry, know whom to contact in the event they are lost or stolen. Make copies of the front and back of the cards and store them in a safe place.
Utilize better social media habits
Never post or share sensitive personal information to social media sites. Even if you know the person asking for the information, never share it over social media.
Have remote wiping software for your devices
Some devices have built in functionality that will allow you to remotely wipe your smart phone, tablet, or laptop. There are also paid services that will allow you to do this. If your device is lost or stolen, this will allow you to remotely delete information stored on the device.
Update your contact information with financial institutions
Contact your bank and creditors when your information changes. This will help them identify you if there is ever an issue. It will also make sure they are not sending information to the wrong place.
Secure your home network
Make sure that your home’s wireless network is password protected, especially if you live close to other people. Do not put sensitive financial information on any shared drives unless you know they are completely secure.
Get identity theft insurance
Contact your insurance provider or subscribe to a credit monitoring service that offers Identity Theft Insurance. They will often cover losses and help you resolve any issues that arise due to identity theft.
Have virus protection
Make sure all internet connected devices you own have some kind of virus/malware protection. It is also important that the software is updated regularly to help protect against new threats.
Protect your Social Security number
Never give out your Social Security number before first determining that the request is legitimate and from a reliable source.
Before throwing them away, shred financial solicitations you receive in the mail. Also shred financial statements, invoices, or ATM receipts before you discard.
Protect your mail
Don't put outgoing mail in your mailbox. Drop it in a secure U.S. Postal Service collection box. Pick up mail as soon as possible after delivery.
Consider paperless options for financial and bank statements and credit card bills.
Know your billing cycles
If regular bills fail to reach you on the scheduled date, call the companies to find out why.
Check your credit regularly
You don’t have to have a paid credit monitoring service to review your credit report. Call one of the 3 credit bureaus directly and get your free credit report once a year. Each bureau will provide a free credit report allowing you to get 3 free reports each year.
Free credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus can be found at www.annualcreditreport.com. Or call or email the bureaus directly.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289