General Security Tips
Using Internet Banking and/or BillPay
The Internet banking service has several effective security techniques that we encourage you to implement when you use the Internet banking service:
- Never reveal your password to anyone or leave your password anywhere that someone else can obtain and use it.
- Use the Exit button to end each Internet banking session. Do not use the Back button to exit the site.
- Balance your account on a regular basis. Internet Banking makes it easy!
ATM/DEBIT CARD SECURITY
- Treat your card like cash. Keep it in a safe place.
- Keep your personal identification number (PIN) a secret.
- Do not disclose card information over the phone to anyone. No one needs to know your PIN, not even your financial institution.
- Report a lost or stolen card at once.
- Carefully review your account statements.
Security Tips at Walk-Up ATMs
- Observe the ATM surroundings before approaching a walk-up ATM. If anyone or anything appears to be suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave the area at once.
- If an ATM is obstructed from view or poorly lit, go to another ATM. It is a good idea to take along a companion when using an ATM, especially at night.
- Minimize time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use. Do not let anyone see how much money you withdrew, and never count your money at the ATM.
- Never allow a stranger to assist you in conducting an ATM transaction, even if you have trouble or if your card is stuck.
- Stand between the ATM and anyone waiting to use the terminal so that others cannot see your PIN or transaction amount.
- Look for possible fraudulent devices attached to the ATM. If the ATM looks different or appears to have any alterations or attachments to the card slot or PIN pad, do not use it.
Security Tips at Drive-Up ATMs
- Keep the doors locked, windows up and engine running at all times when waiting in line.
- Leave enough room between cars to allow for a quick exit should it become necessary.
- Before lowering the window to use a drive-up ATM, observe the entire surrounding area. If anyone or anything appears to be suspicious, cancel your transaction and drive away at once.
- Minimize time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use. Once your transaction is complete, take your money, card and receipt and immediately drive away from the terminal.
- If anyone follows you after you have completed your ATM transaction, go immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
Point-of-Sale (POS) Security
- Never allow the cashier or anyone else to enter your PIN for you, even if they are assisting you with the transaction.
- Block the view of others when using a POS terminal.
- Be sure the transaction is complete and you have received a receipt before leaving.
- If you received cash back, put it away before leaving the terminal.
- When using an outdoor POS terminal such as at a gas station, observe your surroundings before making a transaction. If anything looks suspicious, leave the area at once.
- It is a good idea to take someone with you when using an outdoor POS terminal at night.
- If anyone follows you after you have completed your POS transaction, go immediately to a crowded, well-lit area and call the police.
Preventing Debit Card Fraud
- Sign immediately. Sign the signature panel on your debit card as soon as you receive it.
- Memorize your PIN. Don't carry your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Memorize it or keep the number at home.
- Verify your card. Be sure your debit card is returned after a purchase, and that it is indeed your card.
- Wait for your card receipt. Don't leave your debit card receipts at the checkout counter. Always take your charge slips and tear up any carbons.
- Save your receipts. Check them against your monthly billing or account statements to make sure you can identify all of your transactions. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately. After you have reconciled your billing statements, tear up all receipts and discard them at home.
- Check statements and watch your charges. Verify that your monthly statement reflects the amount you authorized. Be cautious when giving your card number over the phone. Also, watch for multiple charges.
- Keep it private. Keep your statements in a safe place.
- Out of sight. Never leave your purse or wallet unattended and always keep your cards out of plain sight.
- Never lend your card. Your debit card is your responsibility. Also, periodically check to make sure you have all your cards.
- Keep a list. In a separate location, keep a list of account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.
IDENTITY THEFT: DON'T BE AN EASY TARGET
With sufficient information, a con artist can become "you" and use your identity to order new credit cards, make counterfeit cards or checks, or otherwise go on a spending spree in your name. It's called identity theft or ID theft, and it's a serious problem.
In general, consumers are protected against liability for unauthorized accounts or transactions. However, innocent victims of ID theft sometimes do suffer losses. And if the crime is not detected early, people may face months or years cleaning up the damage to their reputation and credit rating. The evolution of ID theft includes the spread of fraudulent "phishing" (pronounced "fishing") emails. These are unsolicited emails purportedly from a legitimate source, like your bank, attempting to trick you into divulging personal information.
Here is our "to do" list for keeping your identity to yourself.
- Protect your Social Security number (SSN), credit card and debit card numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), passwords and other personal information.
- Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request - whether it is over the phone or over the Internet.
- Protect your incoming and outgoing mail.
- Keep a close watch on your bank account statements and credit card bills.
- Exercise your rights to review your credit report and report fraudulent activity - ask us about the new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
- Keep your financial trash "clean" - shred your personal financial information
Your personal and financial information can be as good as cash to a criminal. So, take ID theft seriously.
Manage Your Mailbox
- Do not leave bill payment envelopes clipped to your mailbox or inside with the flag up; criminals may steal your mail and change your address.
- Know your billing cycles, and watch for any missing mail. Follow up with creditors if bills or new cards do not arrive on time. An identity thief may have filed a change of address request in your name with the creditor or the post office.
- Carefully review your monthly accounts, credit card statements and utility bills (including cellular telephone bills) for unauthorized charges as soon as you receive them. If you suspect unauthorized use, contact the provider's customer service and fraud departments immediately.
- When you order new checks, ask when you can expect delivery. If your mailbox is not secure, then ask to pick up the checks instead of having them delivered to your home.
- Although many consumers appreciate the convenience and customer service of general direct mail, some prefer not to receive offers of pre-approved financing or credit. To "opt out" of receiving such offers, call (888) 5 OPT OUT sponsored by the credit bureaus.
- The Direct Marketing Association offers services to help reduce the number of mail and telephone solicitations. To join their mail preference service, mail your name, home address and signature to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P. O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.
Check Your Purse or Wallet
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended - even for a minute.
- Protect your PINs (don't carry them in your wallet!) and passwords; use a 10-digit combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically.
- Carry only personal identification and credit cards you actually need in your purse or wallet. If your I.D. or credit cards are lost or stolen, notify the creditors immediately, and ask the credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" in your file.
- Keep a list of all your credit cards and bank accounts along with their account numbers, expiration dates and credit limits, as well as the telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments. Store this list in a safe place.
- If your state uses your Social Security number as your driver's license number, ask to substitute another number.
Keep Your Personal Numbers Safe and Secure
- When creating passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) do not use any part of your Social Security number, birth date, middle name, wife's name, child's name, pet's name, mother's maiden name, address, consecutive numbers, or anything that a thief could easily deduce or discover.
- Ask businesses to substitute a secret alpha-numeric code as a password instead of your mother's maiden name.
- Shield the keypad when using ATMs or when placing calling card calls.
- Memorize your passwords and PINs; never keep them in your wallet, purse, Rolodex or electronic organizer.
- Get your Social Security number out of circulation and release it only when necessary -- for example, on tax forms and employment records, or for banking, stock and property transactions.
- Do not have your Social Security number printed on your checks, and do not allow merchants to write your Social Security number on your checks. If a business requests your Social Security number, ask to use an alternate number.
- Never give your Social Security number, account numbers or personal credit information to anyone who calls you.
Bank, Shop and Spend Wisely
- Store personal information in a safe place and shred or tear up documents you don't need. Destroy charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, bank checks and statements, expired charge cards and credit offers you get in the mail before you put them out in the trash.
- Cancel your unused credit cards so that their account numbers will not appear on your credit report.
- When you fill out a loan or credit application, be sure that the business either shreds these applications or stores them in locked files.
- Tear up receipts, bank statements and unused pre-approved credit card offers and convenience checks before throwing them away.
- When possible, watch your credit card as the merchant completes the transaction.
- Use credit cards that have your photo and signature on the front.
- Sign your credit cards immediately upon receipt.
- Carefully consider what information you want placed in the residence telephone book and ask yourself what it reveals about you.
- Keep track of credit card, debit card and ATM receipts. Never throw them in a public trash container. Tear them up or shred them at home when you no longer need them.
- Ask businesses what their privacy policies are and how they will use your information: Can you choose to keep it confidential? Do they restrict access to data?
- Choose to do business with companies you know are reputable, particularly online.
- When conducting business online, use a secure browser that encrypts or scrambles purchase information and make sure your browser's padlock or key icon is active.
- Don't open e-mail from unknown sources. Use virus detection software.
Review Your Information
- Order a copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies every year and make sure all the information is correct, especially your name, address, and Social Security number. Look for indications of fraud, such as unauthorized applications, unfamiliar credit accounts, credit inquiries and defaults and delinquencies that you did not cause.
- Check your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement once each year to make sure that no one else is using your Social Security number for employment.