Northern Hancock Bank & Trust has security in place to protect your account information, but we rely on your help and cooperation. The following are a list of things that can help you protect your personal information from identity theft and account fraud:
- Strong Password – Experts advise a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. They advise against easily guessed passwords such as birthdays, telephone numbers, or home addresses.
- Anti-Virus Protections – Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received.
- Email Safety – Email is generally not encrypted, so be wary of sending account numbers or other personal information through email. Also, be cautious of unscheduled email purporting to be from your bank, take the time to make sure the email was sent from your banker.
- Sign off and Log out – Always log off by following the bank’s secured area exit procedures to ensure the protection of your personal information.
- Don’t Get Phished – Don’t respond to any unusual email requests for personal information – when you opened your bank accounts, you already provided that necessary information. When in doubt, call the bank.
- Monitor Your Accounts – Check your accounts regularly and notify the bank immediately if you encounter anything that doesn’t seem right.
Most electronic fraud falls into one of three categories:
- Phishing – Fraudulent emails purporting to be from your bank or similar trusted source lures you to a copy-cat website (one that may look just like your bank’s site). Once there, you are instructed to “verify” certain personal information which is then used to hijack your accounts and your identity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete the message and call your bank to inform them of the email.
- Pharming – Also called “domain spoofing,” this cyber-crime intercepts Internet traffic and re-routes it to a fraudulent site. Once there, the victim is asked to enter personal information, just as with Phishing.
- Malware – This is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s knowledge. Examples of malware (malicious software) include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.
Safe online banking is the first step to a good defense against cyber-crime