Retail data breaches continue to headline the news. With the big data breaches comes a bumper crop of stolen card information that is readily available to purchase by criminals on the black market. While there is not a lot the ordinary consumer can do to eliminate a compromise to their card after a retail data breach, there are a few steps you can take to at least cut down on your risk.
Your online passwords are the keys to protecting your personal and financial information. Changing your password regularly will help ensure the security of all your online accounts as well as the information and the money they give you access to. When changing your password be sure to use strong passwords. Strong passwords are considered to be at least 8-characters long. World Wide Banker passwords need to be a minimum of 8 digits in length and any combination of alpha, numeric, uppercase, lowercase and special characters up to 25 digits in length. Make your password easy to remember but hard to guess. Use combinations that you know but wouldn’t make sense to others. A good password could be 26kDw*gm4. In addition, you should never use the same password on multiple sites. If one site is compromised your other accounts could possibly be accessed by the thieves.
At The Bank of Elk River, we are taking action to ensure your confidential information is being protected. A basic element of safeguarding your confidential information is to guard against unauthorized access or use of this information. The Bank of Elk River maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with federal guidelines to guard your nonpublic personal information against unauthorized access or use. Our employees are subject to code of ethics and other policies that require maintaining the confidentiality of customer information.
The Bank of Elk River will continue to enhance and maintain prudent security standards and procedures to protect against unauthorized access or use of your nonpublic personal information and records.
We will never email, call or otherwise ask you for your user name, password or other electronic banking credentials.
The Bank of Elk River encourages you to help us protect your information and to keep your information accurate. If you think your Bank of Elk River account information could be at risk, or if you believe that any of your information is not accurate, please call us at 763.241.8522 or toll free at 1.888.293.2265.
Your computer can be a goldmine of personal information to an identity thief. Here’s how you can safeguard your computer and the personal information it stores:
Install and update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software frequently. Computer viruses can have damaging effects, including introducing program code that causes your computer to send out files or other stored information.
Look for security repairs and patches you can download from your operating system’s website.
There are a number of ways to help guard against unauthorized use of your account and protect your identity:
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, such as your name, Social Security number or debit/credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. The Federal Trade Commission has online guidance about the steps consumers can take to protect themselves against identity theft. For more information about identity theft, visit the FTC website.
Here are some tips on how you can prevent ID theft:
Use social media wisely. Social media connects families and friends with colleagues and businesses through powerful online communities. However, just as in real world communities, you should be careful what you share and how you share it to stay safe online.
Use privacy controls to restrict who can see your profile and posts. Options change frequently and you should check and update your settings often.
When posting, keep in mind that even a deleted post may have already been copied and the content may still be in the providers system even if it is no longer visible. Don’t reveal too much information. Personal information such as where you live, work, or go to school could be used against you. Revealing travel plans can give an indication that your home may be unoccupied.
Social media has seen an increase in phishing as people migrate away from email. Beware of links from friends or business users whose accounts you have not verified. These links could infect your computer with malicious software and put your information and online activity at risk.
Sources: FBI, FS-IASC, NACHA
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