With so much personal information moving back and forth, it’s no surprise that fraud is on the rise. You can minimize your risks by managing your personal information wisely. The best defense against fraud begins with you, and one of the best ways to protect yourself is to become familiar with how fraudsters operate.
Protect your personal information
• One of the best things you can do to protect your accounts is to review your information online every day, and confirm all transactions are correct.
• Limit where your email address is used to decrease spam and the possibility you’ll receive a phishing email.
• Do not input personal information, user names or passwords at public computers unless you are certain the computer’s preferences have been set up correctly, and haven’t been infected with a virus or spyware.
• Order your credit report once a year from each of the three credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com to check for inaccuracies and fraudulent use of your accounts.
• Keep your statements, checks, etc. in a safe (locked) place.
Know who you are dealing with
• Never reply to email or pop-up messages asking for your personal or financial information; never click on a link in a message you are unfamiliar with.
• When accessing a website referenced in an email or online, be sure that you know the e-mail sender and the website noted. If you are unsure, do not click a link. Instead, retype the website address in your browser to access the site directly.
• Never give personal information on the phone unless you know for certain who is calling. We will never call and ask for your account number or card numbers.
Make sure your systems are set up properly and updated
• Use a firewall if you access the Internet by cable or broadband.
• Use regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
• Make sure your wireless network is set up correctly. Read your user manual and don’t assume the default settings are protecting you.
• The importance of picking a good, secure password can’t be emphasized enough. The simpler a password format is, the easier it is for someone to figure out.
• The best passwords are at least 8 characters in length and use a combination of numbers, special characters, and upper and lowercase letters.
• Do not write your password anywhere. A password you write down is as good as having no password at all.
• Change your passwords often.
Information to Help Keep You Safe
Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Site. It’s an excellent resource to help businesses and consumers deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.
Report Suspicious Activity. If you suspect your ATM card, checks, or credit card have been lost, stolen, or compromised you should report this information to First Ohio immediately. You should also contact us immediately if you receive suspicious email messages appearing to come from First Ohio.