Tag Archives: protect

How to Protect Your Money & Accounts Online

money accounts onlineNot surprisingly, cases of credit card theft and general cyber-crimes increase around the holidays.

With Cyber Monday and the holidays approaching, chances are, you will be spending some money online. So how do you protect yourself from credit card theft, identity theft, or fraudulent advertisements?

Because Two Rivers Bank and Trust cares about your protection, privacy, and financial security, we asked our Information Security Officer, Sean Allworth, for a list of tips to protect yourself against cyber thieves.

Stay up-to-date on the latest security software.

With so many presents to purchase, make sure that every time you go to check-out, your card and your finances are fully protected. Sean Allworth says, “Keep your computer operating system, your internet browser, and your mobile device up to date with the latest security updates and patches.” Investing in an efficient security system is an intelligent decision. Consider the savings when your system blocks a cyber thief from stealing everything in your bank account!

Avoid shared networks and computers.

Shared networks and computers are a safe bet when your activities are irrelevant to any personal or financial matters. But when it comes to making your holiday purchases, avoid shared networks and computers. Sharing networks or devices can actually weaken your security and leave your passwords vulnerable to cyber theft.

Sync your devices.

Syncing your mobile devices with your personal computer strengthens security. Allworth adds, “You can sync your mobile devices with a computer for additional security, and be sure to use anti-virus and anti-spyware software to help find and remove viruses.” As long as your computer is protected by anti-virus and anti-spyware software, syncing with your mobile device will enhance online security.

Don’t click blindly.

Don’t just click anywhere and everywhere. Allworth advises, “Always be careful about what (and where) you click online. A tip is to look for security-enabled website addresses that start with https: (the “s” indicates security).” Cyber-thieves create fraudulent advertisements and links meant to gain your attention. If the website is not verified as secure through your security software, do not click on the link!

Verify legitimacy before opening emails.

A major way cyber thieves steal from internet users is through the user’s email account. Allworth explains, “Keep in mind that links you receive via email or in messages on social networking sites can be harmful or fraudulent. Identify the address is legitimate or contact the sender directly to ensure legitimacy.” In short, if you see an advertisement or email that seems off, do not open it until you have contacted the alleged sender and verified legitimacy.

The holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy, security, and peace of mind. Be confident in your online purchases and contact Two Rivers Bank and Trust today to learn more about how we protect our customer accounts from cyber theft!

How debit card fraud happens – and how to avoid it

credit card fraud

For many people, debit cards are the perfect plastic. They offer most of the conveniences of credit cards with no risk of accumulating debt.

But like credit cards, debit cards are vulnerable to rip-off artists. And debit card fraud is particularly scary because thieves can withdraw money directly from your checking account.

Here’s how debit fraud happens and how to protect yourself.

How identity thieves operate

Debit card fraud can be sophisticated or old-school. Thieves use techniques including:

Hacking

When you bank or shop on public Wi-Fi networks, hackers can use keylogging software to capture everything you type, including your name, debit card account number and PIN.

Phishing

Be wary of messages soliciting your account information. Emails can look like they’re from legitimate sources but actually be from scammers. If you click on an embedded link and enter your personal information, that data can go straight to criminals.

Skimming

Identity thieves can retrieve account data from your card’s magnetic strip using a device called a skimmer, which they can stash in ATMs and store card readers. They can then use that data to produce counterfeit cards. EMV chip cards, which are replacing magnetic strip cards, are expected to eliminate this risk.

Spying

Plain old spying is still going strong. Criminals can plant cameras near ATMs or simply look over your shoulder as you take out your card and enter your PIN. They can also pretend to be good Samaritans, offering to help you remove a stuck card from an ATM slot.

Smart ways to protect yourself

Adopt these simple habits to greatly reduce your odds of falling victim to debit card fraud:

  • Be careful online: Shop and bank on secure websites with private Wi-Fi. If you must shop or bank in public, download a virtual private network to protect your privacy.
  • Monitor your accounts: Review your statements and sign up for text or email alerts so you can catch debit card fraud attempts early.
  • Don’t ignore data breach notifications: The majority of identity theft victims received warnings that their accounts might have been breached but did nothing. If you get one of these messages, change your PIN and ask your provider to change your debit card number. You can also ask one of the major credit card bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file.
  • Inspect card readers and ATMs: Don’t use card slots that look dirty or show evidence of tampering, such as scratches, glue or debris. And steer clear of machines with strange instructions, such as “Enter PIN twice.”
  • Cover your card: When using your debit card or typing your PIN at an ATM, block the view with your other hand. Go to a different location entirely if suspicious people are hanging around the ATM, and if your card gets stuck, notify the bank directly rather than accepting “help” from strangers.

Even if you’ve taken precautions, debit card fraud can still happen. If your card gets hacked, don’t panic. Tell your bank or credit union right away so you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet

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