Helpful Tips in Honor of Data Privacy Day
Courtesy of the American Bankers Association
In honor of Data Privacy Day, which took place this past Monday, January 28th, we are encouraging our customers to take an active role in protecting their privacy. While Banks employ several safeguards to protect customer data, customers also have an important role in the safeguarding process.
According to a press release issued by the ABA earlier this week, here are some helpful tips designed to help ensure the safety of your personal information:
- Create c0mplic@t3d passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Because friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.
- Continually monitor accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify your bank right away. When a customer reports an unauthorized transaction, the bank will cover the loss and take measures to protect the account.
- Protect yourself online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN, or account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
If you are a victim of fraud and suspect your personal information has been compromised, you should take the following steps:
- Call your bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can take necessary steps to protect your account.
- File a police report and call the fraud unit of the three credit-reporting companies.
- Consider placing a victim statement in your credit report.
- Make sure to maintain a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter. Write down names, titles, and phone numbers in case you need to re-contact them or refer to them in future correspondence.
- For more advice, contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
Data Privacy Day commemorates the 1981 signing of the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. It is led by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit, public private partnership focused on cyber security education for all online citizens.
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