Security - Protect Yourself Online

Online banking is a convenient and secure way to manage your accounts when handled responsibly. Protecting yourself online is as important as ever whether you’re managing accounts or shopping. Below are a few tips to guard yourself from potential threat.

Keep your login information secure.

The easiest way criminals can gain access to your accounts is by stealing (or guessing) your login information. Your username is your online identity and it’s important to pick one you can remember. Never use a social security number as a username or password.

Using a strong password is vital for protecting your accounts. A few tips of a creating a safe password:

  • Change your password frequently
  • Avoid re-using former passwords
  • Don’t write down or store your login information anywhere someone can access
  • Avoid common phrases, names, or dates someone could guess
  • Consider using a password manager – a program to generate and store passwords in an encrypted database

Additionally, sharing your login information with others is risky. Giving someone else access to your account means if they mishandle your login information by forgetting to log out of their computer or losing a post-it your information is written on, your account is in jeopardy of being accessed by the wrong person.

What is Identity Fraud?

Identity Fraud is when someone other than yourself uses your personal information without your permission to make illegal purchases, withdrawals, or open accounts. Using a variety of methods, criminals steal your personal information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, date of birth, driver’s license number and mother’s maiden name to perform fraudulent activities using your identity. This can damage your credit rating and reputation. It can happen to anyone!

Facts about Identity Fraud

  • It is the most common fraud complaint brought to law enforcement agencies and consumer protection groups; and
  • It is the fastest-growing crime in the United States; and
  • It is a silent crime - most people do not know they’ve been victimized until months later; and
  • It is a crime which costs victims nearly $500 million a year.
  • Be aware of scams.
  • Your financial institution will never call, email, or text you unprompted asking for personal information or account details. If you receive a suspicious email from an unknown sender regarding your information, do not click links, open any attachments, or respond.
  • Scammers can attempt to access your account by sending a fake email that looks similar to an email from your financial institution with links to log in to your account. Instead of clicking links, protect yourself by always typing in your financial institution’s website to access online banking.
  • Any website where a financial transaction takes place (Online Banking, checking out when shopping online, etc.), there should be a padlock icon to the left of the URL and the URL should read “https” and not just “http.”
  • Keep your computer up-to-date and protected.
  • While these periodic updates may be annoying, installing the latest edition of your operating system will often include valuable security upgrades that could prevent vicious malware. Take advantage of anti-virus software to safeguard your computer and update it regularly to protect from potential threats.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi or public computers for banking.
  • While free Wi-Fi is nice, there are risks associated with using public Wi-Fi. Weakened protection of free Wi-Fi means it’s easier for hackers to gain access to these public airwaves and steal your private information. To better protect yourself, accessing anything regarding your information under free Wi-Fi is not advised, especially online banking.
  • Since anyone can log in to public computers with limited security, they are an easy target for hackers. While it’s not recommended, if you need to use a public computer to access your accounts, keep your information safe by logging out of online banking when you’re finished, closing the browser used, and clear the browser’s history.
  • Taking action and implementing these tips will help provide you a safer online banking experience. As technology grows and evolves, unfortunately so do the threats. You can protect yourself by being vigilant. Monitor your accounts for potential fraud and if you notice any unauthorized transactions, notify your financial institution immediately.

What is Grapeland State Bank doing to prevent Identity Fraud?

Legislation was passed after the events of September 11th to help prevent fraud. Evidence shows that credit card, debit card, and similar fraud are major sources of funding for terrorists. To safeguard our nation against terrorists, and to help prevent you from becoming a fraud victim, all financial institutions are required to more carefully verify the identity of our account owners and loan applicants.

This means we may ask you additional questions at the time of your transaction. You may be asked to provide one or more types of identification, such as a driver’s license, U. S. Taxpayer ID Number, or other government-issued documentation that verifies your nationality or residency. Answering these questions and providing the required identification forms help us to better protect you against identity fraud.

What happens to the information you provide Grapeland State Bank?

New regulations require us to verify the information you provide to us using one or more methods. For instance, we may compare your information against governmental databases that identify terrorists. Any information we obtain is safeguarded according to our Privacy Policy and other information-sharing practices we provided to you. This way you can be confident your personal information remains safe and secure as we work toward preventing all types of fraud.

What should you do if you are a victim of identity fraud?

Call all of the national credit bureaus and ask that a fraud alert be attached to your credit file.

Equifax Credit Services
Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
888/EXPERIAN (397-3742)

Fraud Victim Assistance Division
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Close all accounts that are or may be affected by the identity theft