Follow General Best Practices
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, and texts asking you to send money or disclose personal information.
- Be cautious when sharing sensitive information via email, since it can be compromised and used to facilitate identity theft.
- Do not disclose personal information on social media sites, such as your birthdate, contact information, and mother’s maiden name.
- Be cautious when receiving money movement instructions via email. Call the sender at their known number (not a number provided in the email) to validate all instruction details verbally before following instructions or providing your approval.
- Check your email and account statements regularly for suspicious activity.
- Verify payment requests you receive by phone or email. Requests for you to make payments using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or digital currency are frequently associated with fraud or scams.
Keep Your Technology Up To Date
- Keep your web browser and operating system up to date, and be sure you’re using appropriate security settings. Old software, operating systems, and browsers can be susceptible to attack.
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers and mobile devices.
- Enable the security settings on your applications and web browser.
- Do not use free or found USB thumb drives—they could be infected with viruses or malware.
- Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed, to protect against individuals gaining access to your devices using Bluetooth connections.
- Safely and securely dispose of old hardware.
Be Cautious With Public Networks
- Avoid using public computers. If you must use one, go to the browser settings and clear the browser history (cache) and cookies when you’re finished.
- Only use wireless networks you trust or that are protected with a secure password.
- Use your personal Wi-Fi hotspot instead of public Wi-Fi.
- Do not accept software updates if you are connected to public Wi-Fi.
Be Strategic With Your Login Credentials And Passwords
- Do not use personal information such as your Social Security number or birthday as part of your login ID.
- Create a unique password for each financial institution that is long and contains a combination of characters, numbers, and symbols. Consider using a password manager to create, manage, and store passwords that are unique and secure.
- Do not share your passwords.
- Use two-step verification whenever possible.
Be Sure You’re On A Secure Website
- Check the URL to see if it’s a secure connection. Secure sites begin with https rather than http, and are generally considered safer.
- Check the address bar for site validity indicators whenever you log into a financial institution. Some browsers use green text or security symbols to indicate a secure and verified site.
- Download apps only from the Google Play™ Store or the Apple App Store®.
- Do not visit websites you don’t know—for example, websites advertised on pop-up ads and banners.
- Log out completely to terminate access when you have finished a secure session, such as with online banking or a credit card payment.
Beware Of Phishing
- Do not click on links or attachments in emails and text messages if you question the validity of the sender. Instead, type the real web address in your browser.
- Hover over questionable links to reveal the site’s full URL and see where the link really goes. Do not click on links that don’t match the sender or don’t match what you expect to see.
- Be suspicious of emails that have grayed-out Cc: and To: lines—they may have been sent to a mass distribution list.
- Check the sender’s domain name in the email address to see if it matches what you would expect to see.
- Activate the spam filters in your email settings tab. This will help prevent unsolicited emails from coming to your inbox.