Ransomware. Phishing. Malware. Identity theft... Fraud comes in many disguises, all designed to steal your money.
Reports of fraud incidence and losses rose dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to affect businesses and consumers alike.
We are vigilant about safeguarding your security. Information is power and we provide the knowledge to help you protect your organization’s assets.
Maintaining the security of your personal and business account information is of vital importance to us:
- Our online banking services use 128-bit encryption through the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), the strongest commercially available encryption level. You'll see a digital certificate from VeriSign Corporation, along with the locked padlock symbol on your browser screen to indicate your communication with us is secure
- When you use any of our Online Banking services, you'll be asked to enter a user identifier and password that should be changed periodically and not shared with others
- We recommend you do not use an external email address to send us confidential information, such as account numbers or other financial information
- Messages sent through our encrypted website are processed and stored on our computers, where multiple security measures protect them from unauthorized access
Be vigilant whether you're at home, on your phone, or in your place of business and ensure your employees are too. Identity thieves have additional tricks up their sleeve when attempting to infiltrate and extract data from a company or institution.
When you're operating in an environment of shared or networked computers, consider additional aspects of online safety.
- Make sure you're operating behind a firewall, and that all necessary security patches have been installed
- Don't conduct personal business, or disclose personal information, on a shared computer
- Be aware of potential malware – viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware – that criminals try to introduce into your network via bogus emails and websites
- Unless you're totally confident of the source of an email, don't click on an embedded web address link
- Test your employees regularly to ensure they know what to look out for and to avoid
- Set your browser preference to block pop-ups, another potential source of malware
- Install anti-virus software on computers, and keep it up to date
- Enable muti-factor authentication for business email accounts
Identity theft routinely tops the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) list of complaints, representing approximately 25% of all reported fraud cases.
Thieves can steal your personal information in a variety of ways:
- Stealing wallets and purses
- Digging through your trash to find financial statements
- Swiping information from an unsecured website or public WiFi
- Using fake emails, phone calls, websites, and text messages targeting staff and business systems to "phish," "vish," or "smish" for information
- "Skimming" an ATM with an electronic device that steals information on the magnetic stripe of a debit or credit card
Safeguarding your personal information is the first line of defense against identity theft. This includes your name and date of birth, Social Security number, tax documents, bank statements, medical bills and more.
A few common-sense tips will make it harder for criminals to steal your valuable data:
- Create strong passwords, don't share them, and change them periodically
- Don't carry your Social Security number in your wallet
- Avoid "phishing," "vishing," and "smishing" – don't fall for emails, telephone calls, or text messages asking you to verify your account number or password
- If you receive a suspicious email with a link, even from a familiar-looking source, check the sender's return address to see if it's coming from a random address
- When possible, use 2-factor verification for online accounts
- Don't share personal information on social media accounts
- Keep up to date on virus and spyware software
- Before entering your credit card number when shopping online, look for web pages with "https" in the address bar and the padlock symbol in the browser window
- Check your credit cards bills and bank statements promptly for unauthorized charges
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before disposal
- Click here to get more information on protecting your identity
There are some tell-tale indicators fraud has occurred. If you receive notification about new accounts or unfamiliar purchases, don't ignore them as spam. Consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service, some of which offer identity theft insurance.
If you suspect you've been a victim of fraud, there are steps you should take immediately:
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports
- Scan credit card and bank statements for unauthorized charges, and alert your credit card company or bank to dispute the charges
- Have your credit card issuer cancel the affected card and issue you a new one
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov
- If you have identity theft insurance, file a claim
- File a report with your local police department, and maintain a record of the fraud in case a crime is committed using your personal information