Cybercriminals view any online activity as an opportunity to get more victims. You can protect your data and devices from all kinds of threats by keeping these best practices in mind:
- Avoid clicking shortened links from unknown accounts. These can lead to malicious sites.
- Only add people you actually know to your list of friends or followers. Only following verified accounts is also helpful, especially since fake and possibly malicious accounts run rampant in social networks.
- Scrutinize promos and deals. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are.
- Don't rely on social media for updates on current events as this is a common social engineering bait. Visit reputable news sites instead.
- Think twice before sharing photos and links. You may end up spamming people's feeds if these turn out to be malicious.
Top 10 Tips:
Before an incident
- Make sure all of your computers and mobile devices that you use for online banking and finance are fully up to date for security updates and signatures (and don't use Windows XP after April 2014).
- Make sure all of your systems that you use for online banking and finance run mature security packages when they can.
- If your credit card company offers an alerting service for suspicious charges, sign up for it.
- Consider enrolling in a real-time identity-theft and credit monitoring service.
If an incident occurs
- If contacted by your credit card company about a suspicious charge, respond to it immediately. Make sure you verify the phone number they are calling from either on your card or on the card issuer's website.
- Work with your credit card company to review all charges and cancel and replace the card right away.
- Do a full security scan of all systems you use for online banking and finance.
- Consider putting a credit alert in place to help prevent new accounts being opened in your name.
- Review your credit report.
- Review all of your credit card statements. Consider doing so on a daily or near daily basis after the event.
Your mobile device provides access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals. Security State Bank recommends following these tips to keep your information and your money safe.
1. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to acess your information if your device is lost or stolen.
2. Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
3. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
4. Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary "permissions."
5. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
6. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or social security number on your mobile device.
7. Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
8. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you're punching in sensitive information.
9. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
10. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In the U.S., 12.6 million people or 1 out of every 20 consumers were victims of identity fraud last year. Security State Bank recommends following these tips to keep your information and your money safe.
1. Don't share your secrets.
Don't provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.
2. Shred sensitive papers.
Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
3. Keep an eye out for missing mail.
Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don't mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
4. Use online banking to protect yourself.
Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.
5. Monitor your credit report.
Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com
6. Protect your computer.
Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser's padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an "s" after the "http" to be sure the website is secure.
7. Protect your mobile device.
Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
8. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
Though the internet has many advantages, it can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams. According to a Norton Cybercrime Report, 556 million adults worldwide were victims of cybercrime in 2012. Security State Bank recommends the following tips to keep you safe online:
1. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.
Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
2. Set strong passwords.
A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
3. Watch out for phishing scams.
Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up acreens from sources you are not familiar with.
Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at firstname.lastname@example.org and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.
4. Keep personal information personal.
Hackers can use social media profiles to figure out your passwords and answer those security questions in the password reset tools. Lock down your privacy settings and avoid posting things like birthdays, addresses, mother's maiden name, etc. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know.
5. Secure your internet connection.
Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.
6. Shop safely.
Before shopping online, make sure the website uses secure technology. When you are at the checkout screen, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears on the page.
7. Read the site's privacy policies.
REMINDER: You should never give out any personal information over the telephone to someone you don't know. This would include your account information at Security State Bank. If you receive a call requesting that information, hang up and call us at 218-736-5485.