Safe Online Banking Habits
February 01, 2015 | Return to Financial Education
Accessing your bank accounts online is a time-saving and convenient service that complements all of the ways you can conduct your financial business. Through online banking, you can check your balances, make transfers, review monthly statements, pay bills, and more. You can do this from the comfort of your own home or while you’re away from home – virtually any place you have internet access.
Financial institutions, including County National Bank, employ a number of security measures to ensure the safety of your private information while you’re using online banking. Banks use a complex combination of safeguards and sophisticated programs to detect, track, and block unauthorized access. While CNB provides strong data protections, you are the first line of defense. This is why a partnership between banks and customers is the most effective way to protect financial data. Consider these three tips to help ensure the safety of your personal information online:
Create c0mplic@t3d passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. Friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, so please don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.
Continually monitor accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify your bank right away.
Protect yourself online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN, or account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the internet address begins with “https”. This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
If you become a victim of fraud and suspect that your personal information has been compromised, be sure to call your bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can take the necessary steps to protect your account. File a police report and call the fraud unit of the three credit-reporting companies (consider placing a victim statement in your credit report). Make sure to maintain a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter (write down names, titles, and phone numbers). For more advice, you can also contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-438-4338.
By following the above tips, you can help protect your financial privacy and enjoy the conveniences of online banking. It’s a great way to stay connected to your money!