Identity theft and other scams are becoming more common. Learn how to protect yourself.
Online and Email
Many of us are utilizing the vast resources available online. And although the internet and email have many advantages, they can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams if you are not using it in a safe manner.
Be safe when using the internet and sending emails:
Keep your computer and mobile device up to date – to protect yourself against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
Consider installing a firewall – to protect your computer from hackers.
Monitor your computer performance for any changes that might indicate malicious software. Contact a computer specialist if necessary.
Use strong passwords. For ideas for creating strong passwords and keeping them safe, see these tips from the Federal Trade Commission.
Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your username and password so you don't have to enter them each time you login or enter a site.
Be aware of phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to lure you into disclosing confidential account or login information. Don’t click on links, attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with. Report any suspicious emails to the business impersonated in the email.
Keep personal information personal to deter hackers from using social media profiles to figure out your passwords and the answers to your security questions.
Secure your internet connection to protect your home wireless network. To learn more about securing your home network, click here.
Shop safely. Before entering your personal and financial information to make an online transaction, verify that the web address begins with https. Also, confirm that a tiny closed padlock appears on your web browser’s address bar.
PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
Identity theft is one of today's fastest-growing crimes. When someone steals your personal information and identification, they may open credit card accounts, apply for loans and make purchases in your name. Clearing your name can be a nightmare and very lengthy process.
Protect Your Numbers - Do not give out your Social Security number, account numbers or other personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call and know the person or business on the other end.
Shred sensitive papers.
Notify the Bank - Do not give account information to anyone calling to "verify a statement"or "award a prize." Banks have your account information and do not need to ask you for it. Beware of fraudulent websites and e-mails requesting personal information. Report any suspected fraud to Charlotte State Bank & Trust immediately.
Guard Your Information – Memorize your ATM PIN and keep it confidential. Do not carry your social security card, passport, or birth certificate with you.
Mailbox Protection - Do not leave your outgoing mail in the mailbox for pickup.
Review Account Statements and Bills Carefully - If your statement or bill is delayed, contact the provider to find out why it is delayed.
Use Online Banking to Protect Yourself - Monitor your financial accounts regularly for suspicious transactions. Sign up to receive text or email alerts for transactions such as online or debit card purchases, etc.
Review Credit Reports - Check your credit report regularly to be able to limit the damage caused by identity theft. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. Click hereto order.