Tips for Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention

Advances in technology can make our lives easier and various tasks, such as banking, more convenient and efficient. However, it also breeds new types of crime you must protect yourself against. The security of our customers’ personal and account information is our chief concern at Sunset Bank. Sunset Bank will never ask you to verify your personal account information via unsolicied e-mail or telephone call.  You can rest assured that we use industry standard security protocols, both online and off, to maintain the security of your information.

Sunset Bank also has your back when it comes to offering tips and advice for what you can do to keep your information secure. The followings tips were compiled to protect you from identity theft and prevent bank fraud on your accounts. Please read through the information here to ensure you are following the best security practices both online and off.

Online Security Tips

  • Protect your computer- updating your computer’s operating system and software is essential, as updates often have security patches in place. You should also protect your computer with anti-virus software and/or a firewall that should also be updated regularly.
  • Create strong passwords- longer passwords (8-10 characters) are stronger, and they should include letters, numbers and symbols. Each site you have a login for should have a different password, and you should update them once every couple of months.
  • Log out- whether it is a social network or your online banking account, always log out when you’re finished.
  • Check for the “S”- sites with URLs that start with “https” AND have a padlock in the address bar indicate they have a secure connection.
  • Be your own email filter- delete emails from people you’ve never done business with or requested information from. You should also look at the recipient list; a random group or alphabetical list of addresses means the email is quite possibly a phishing scam. Be sure to check the content of the email as well, as grammatical errors and other strange requests (“We need you to enter your account number for verification”) are definite signals of phishing scams.
  • Think before you click- if you identify any of the above in an email, do not click on any links. You can hover over links in emails and on websites to see where you will be taken if you click. If the web address looks “phishy,” don’t click it. You can find more information about this here.
  • Easy on the public Wi-Fi- criminals can access your information that you enter when on public Wi-Fi, so save your online shopping or banking for your secure home connection.

Offline Security Tips

  • Don’t leave mail in your mailbox- get your mail every day, and let the post office know to hold your mail if you will be gone for a few days.
  • Shred, shred, shred- shred any mail you receive that has personal information on it.
  • Secure your documents- important documents should be kept in a locked drawer, in a secure file on your computer or in a safe deposit box at Sunset Bank. Also, don’t carry your Social Security card or passport around with you.
  • Stay mum- do not give out personal information over the phone unless you are 100 percent sure who you are dealing with.
  • Check your credit report- you get one free peek at your credit report every year from all three credit bureaus, so use it to your advantage.
  • Question everything- if you haven’t received a regularly scheduled bill in the mail, contact the person or company sending the bill to find out if there has been a delay.
  • Be aware- if an offer seems too good to be true, you get a bill in the mail for no reason or you have an unexplained credit denial , ACT! Doing nothing means you’re giving criminals valuable time to extract more information and cover their tracks.

If you have any questions regarding security issues, please contact Sunset Bank. We can provide answers or point you in the right direction.