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Online (Desktop, Tablet and Smartphone) Protection:

  1. Never share personal data (credit cards, debit cards, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords, Social Security numbers, address, birth dates, etc.) unless you absolutely know exactly whom you are providing it.
  2. Never open an e-mail or click a link in an e-mail from unknown sources, particularly one from a financial institution or business.
  3. Never enter your credit card or personal data onto websites that you are not familiar with or do not have security protection. Check the URL for an https://. Also, when conducting business online, ensure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active and look for an “s” after the “http” on websites to be certain the website is safe and secure.
  4. Protect your computer, smart phone and tablet with a complicated passcode lock. When you are no longer using it, be sure to “wipe” the device of personal data.
  5. Be careful when redirected to “cloned” sites and look for error messages, different page layouts and other oddities.
  6. Monitor your online bank accounts closely and often. Always log out after each banking session or credit card transaction.
  7. Install a firewall, security software, virus protection, set wireless networks to “no broadcast” and do not save passwords on any of your computers, tablets or mobile devices.
  8. Avoid financial transactions on a public network.
  9. Shred items that are placed in your computer’s trash.
  10. Back-up data securely.
  11. Never download anything unless you verify the authenticity. Be wary of downloading anything in an e-mail until you can verify the authenticity of the source. This includes social media platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube. However, downloading updates to your phone or tablet are important, to protect against newer threats.
  12. ALWAYS report any suspected fraud to your financial institutions IMMEDIATELY.

Fraud & Identity Theft Protection Tips:

  1. Never provide personal data.
  2. Secure your bank and credit card statements, checks, credit card applications, bank statements, tax returns, checks and other sensitive document at home. Shred documents before discarding them. Be aware of trash pickers!
  3. Consider online statements to minimize the possibility of trash pickers. Sign up for text/e-mail alerts with FSB so that you can be instantly notified of transactions exceeding certain amounts.
  4. Monitor your credit report regularly. Did you know that you can order a FREE copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus? Just visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
  5. Choose PINs and passwords for your bank and online accounts that are complicated; do not use your birth date, name or home address for example.
  6. Deal only with legitimate, reputable businesses and only donated to reputable organizations.
  7. Never agree to spending large sum of money without a contract, detailing costs and consumer rights.
  8. Beware of “deals” such as “Congratulations, you’ve won a free vacation!” “Get rich quick—at no risk!” “We’ll fix your credit problems—fast.” These are likely to be schemes to trick you into sending money or providing bank details in exchange for products/services that will never be delivered.
  9. Limit the confidential data in your wallet in case it is lost or stolen, such as checks, credit cards and Social Security cards.
  10. Review credit card bills and bank statements quickly. If anything is unusual, contact your financial institution immediately.
  11. Monitor your credit report annually, from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax (1.800.685.1111, www.equifax.com); Experian (1.888.397.3742, www.experian.com) and TransUnion (1.877.322.8228, www.transunion.com).

CyberScout Knowledge Center and Identity Theft Prevention Tips are two resources to bring you news alerts and a wealth of prevention tips.