Focus on Preventing Identity Theft, Phishing, Pharming and Other Security Threats
The best way to counteract those who wish to steal your personal information is to be knowledgeable and proactive about what criminals are trying to do. Central Bank’s top priority is your security, so we have compiled security resources to help you keep your information safe.
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Preventing Card Data & Identity Theft
The following are ten ways to prevent the theft of your card data or identity:
- Each year, request a free credit report from the three credit reporting companies at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. Reviewing these reports can help detect fraud. Remember to also request credit reports for underage members of your household — fraudsters often focus on young people because their credit is not established yet.
- Cancel cards you no longer use.
- Visit your financial institution's and other creditors' websites at least weekly to monitor account activity.
- Use a crosscut shredder to destroy private documents you no longer need.
- Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails, telephone calls or text messages that ask for personal information.
- Keep your Social Security card and checks at home in a secure place.
- Do not order checks with your Social Security number or driver's license number printed on them.
- When creating passwords or passcodes, avoid using obvious numerical sequences (for example: 1234), your birth date, your Social Security number or your mother's maiden name.
- Do not store confidential information on computers, flash drives, cell phones or other electronic devices without securing the information with encryption or password protection.
- Ask your financial institution about its anti-fraud programs and make sure it has your current contact information.
Pharming involves either malicious software, like a virus, installed on a computer or the corruption of an Internet address book called a DNS server. The goal of those responsible for pharming scams, like phishing scams, is to acquire user names, passwords, credit card numbers and other non-public information.
Some tips you can follow to help avoid being the recipient of an attack:
- Make sure your computer has all the latest updates and patches for its operating system.
- Have routinely updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed on your computer.
- Monitor financial statements on a regular basis.
- Look for a padlock icon for a secure website (Usually located on the bottom right of your Internet browser screen) .
- Don’t open/download suspicious files inside of emails or websites.
- Change passwords often and keep them complex enough so others can’t guess them easily.
- If you believe you are at a non-legitimate website, enter an incorrect user name and password. A fictitious website may accept them; a legitimate website will not.
Central Bank believes online banking is still one of the most secure and convenient ways for you to manage your accounts. If you have any questions about security or other issues related to your accounts, please feel free to contact us at (712) 732-2190. If you would like more information about phishing and other security issues please visit www.fdic.gov or www.ftc.gov.
Phishing usually involves the use of seemingly legitimate email messages and websites to deceive consumers into disclosing sensitive information including: user names, passwords, PINs, Social Security numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information. Often the perpetrators of this type of scam will send an email message claiming to be from a financial institution and have a link to a website where customers can update or validate their information. Central Bank will not send any emails with links to our website or request any confidential information through an email. It you receive such an email, please notify us and do not follow any instructions in the email message.
Some simple tips you can follow to help outwit identification thieves are:
- Never directly respond to an e-mail message asking for personal information.
- If you doubt a message’s authenticity, verify it by contacting the institution itself.
- Avoid non-valid websites by typing the web addresses directly into the address line on your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari.)
- If you believe you are at a non-legitimate website, enter an incorrect user name and password. A phishing site may accept them; a legitimate website will not.
Forward the fraudulent spam to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 382-4357. If you would like more information about phishing and other security issues, please visit www.fdic.gov or www.ftc.gov.
Central Bank has systems in place to make Online Banking a secure and convenient way for you to manage your accounts. If you have any questions about security or other issues related to your accounts, please feel free to contact us at (712) 732-2190.
Your banking security is our priority.