How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe
What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft is the biggest consumer crime in America, putting many individuals’ personal information at risk. Identity theft threatens the safety of consumers’ personal information including their address, social security number, credit card number, etc. Although this frightening reality could happen to anyone, with further knowledge, effective planning, awareness and vigilance you can reduce your chances of falling victim to identity theft this holiday season.
Steps to Protect Your Information
Protecting your personal information with simple tips and banking resources can help reduce the chances of your personal information being compromised. Protect your identity when using ATMs to withdraw cash during the holidays by following these tips. To ensure your PIN isn’t being watched, beware of small hidden cameras in the inside corner of ATMs or people potentially trying to shoulder surf while in a busy line. Get in the habit of covering your PIN entry-hand to hide the view of the keypad at ATMs or while shopping in a packed store to prevent your PIN number being snatched.
Additionally, with the rise of mobile banking and the use of smartphones and tablets, keeping all your information safe and sound online is becoming increasingly difficult. To ensure your information is safe, stay mindful of these tips. To start, be conscious of only buying goods or downloading media that comes from a well-known app store that is approved by your cellular provider. Also be sure your device has a strong password in place, or an auto lock that secures your mobile devices when it is left unused for extended periods of time. It’s important to be creative when devising a password and include both letters, numbers and various symbols. Be sure to set security questions when signing into your online banking & bill pay to add an additional firewall between your information. This will help stop anyone who is trying to hack into your account from another device and notify the bank immediately of any suspicious login activity.
Things to Consider This Holiday Season
With an increased amount of shopping both online and in stores during the holiday season, your personal information is at an increased risk. Make sure you are aware of any potential “bargain” scams while you are shopping online. If you receive an email or text message about a discount, it could be a scam designed to get your financial information. To prevent this, be sure to avoid clicking on any links that you do not recognize, even if the message seems “safe” it’s always best to go to the website directly to shop. When you are entering payment information, remember to keep an eye out for a “lock” symbol at the top of the website’s checkout page. This symbol ensures that your payment information is fully protected. If you have any doubts about the website’s security, it’s not worth the risk to make a purchase! Instead close your browser and search elsewhere for an alternative.
It is also important to note, that if you are traveling for the holidays and sitting in public areas, such as airports, train stations or cafes you might be more likely to connect your device to a public network to use Wi-Fi. If you need to check your bank account information, try to avoid checking it on a public Wi-Fi network. Hackers are able to access information as it passes through these open networks, making it simple for them to capture any banking information. When you need to access private accounts through your mobile device, it’s best to be patient and wait until you have secure Wi-Fi access prior to doing so.
How Citizens Savings Bank Can Help
Even though the risk of your personal information being comprised is never completely eliminated, Citizens Savings Bank is always here to provide secure and reliable banking solutions.
Lastly, to ensure your personal information is safe and furthermore your accounts aren’t being hacked, check your credit card and bank statements regularly. If you notice any suspicious charges that you did not make yourself, be sure to contact Citizens Savings Bank right away! Identity theft is scary, but with the right knowledge and a banking team to back it up, your information can be properly protected.
Citizens Savings Bank has multiple locations throughout Lackawanna, Wayne, and Monroe Counties. For branch locations and hours, visit our website. We also have a Customer Support Team ready to answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 1-800-692-6279 or email [email protected]. Member FDIC.