Protecting Yourself

Your personal and financial security is just as important to us as it is to you. That’s why we will work to ensure your information remains safe from security threats and fraudulent activity.

Here are some tips to take control and keep your accounts safe:

  • Don’t give your account number or personal or financial information on the phone unless you initiate the conversation and you know the person or organization.
  • Don’t give your personal information to any stranger, even someone claiming to be from the bank.
  • Tell us right away if you see anything suspicious in your account activity or statement.
  • Keep your pin numbers and passwords in a safe place.
  • Shred any important documents that you intend to discard.

Don’t Be Fooled By Email

You probably get a lot of email. Most of them are probably good but some can be scams. Fraudulent emails can look like they are from friends and family but are actually sent by someone you don’t know. These E-mails may be “spoofed” or sent from email accounts that were taken over by scammers. When these accounts are taken over, the scammer has the email password and uses that email account contact people that the victim knows. They may send links that if clicked on could contain viruses or malware. Approach email with suspicion, especially if it seems out of character with the sender.

The term phishing refers to a fraudulent attempt to obtain account information over email. The fraudsters direct customers to click on a web link and tries to trick them into submitting log in credentials or other personal information. Poorly worded or misspelled words as well as an unexpected email that warns of some consequence if you don’t act right away by clicking on a link that takes you to a “lookalike” site.

The US-CERT provides many security tips that can make you safer online and offline. Please visit the website at

Recommended Computer Security Tips

  • Know WHO you are dealing with - You should only give information if you are certain of who is receiving it and what they will do with the information. Be suspicious of any request for personal information such as Social Security Number, Pin Number or Password. Requests for immediate action are almost always a scam.
  • Choose a secure password – One way to help safeguard your identity and personal information is through advanced password protection. Here are some suggestions for safer passwords:
    • Use passwords that have at least eight characters and include number and symbols. The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.
    • Change your passwords regularly.
    • Don’t use your birth date, Social Security Number, account number or names of pets or children.
    • Avoid proper names, familiar terms (terms that could be found in a dictonary) and the repetition of single characters.
  • Install security Software – An important tool is an effective virus scanner that is continuously updated online and thus able to detect new viruses. A personal firewall is a program that monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic from your PC and can help protect you against malicious software that may be hiding in suspicious emails or attachments.
  • Use Up-To-Date Program Versions – Use only an up-to-date version of your preferred internet browser and PC operating system.  Install patches as soon as possible to protect your PC from known vulnerabilities.
  • Activate the Brower’s Security Settings – Activate the security settings of your internet browser. You can enhance your security on the Internet considerably just by making intelligent use of your browser’s security options. It is especially important for you to block Active X Controls and allow Java applets to run only after confirmation.

Recommended Mobile Device Tips

  • Keep security software current. Having the latest mobile security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defense against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Secure your mobile device by adding an auto-lock and a strong password to lock your phone.
  • Limit the type of business you conduct at Wi-Fi hot spots and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.
  • Think before you download an app. Review the privacy policy and understand what data on your device the app can access (such as location, social networks, etc.) before you download it.
  • When in doubt, don’t respond. Fraudulent texting, calling and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or immediate action are almost always a scam.
  • Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you are accessing sensitive information.
  • Avoid “rooting” or “jailbreaking” the system. Rooting or jailbreaking is a process of modifying the mobile operating system to allow a great deal of customization. In doing so, it increases the chance of malware threats to your device.

Identity Theft

If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, see below for some guidelines that should be acted upon immediately to insure your protection:

  • Keep records and documentation of all communications with the creditors and agencies you contact. Include the date, and the name of the person you were in contact with. Follow up all telephone calls with a letter and keep a copy.
  • Notify all creditors and banks in writing and by phone that your information has been used without your permission. If your account information has been stolen, ask the creditor or bank to issue you a new account number. Monitor account activity on your statements. Report any fraudulent activity immediately.
  • Report the crimes to your police department. Provide the with as much documentation as possible Request a copy of the police report. Credit Card companies, banks and credit reporting agencies may require a copy of the report.
  • Ask the Credit Reporting Agencies to put a “Fraud Alert” on your credit report to help prevent new fraudulent accounts from being opened. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you are a victim of identity theft.
  • Report the crime to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC collects complaints about identity theft from consumers and stores them in a secure online database that is available to law enforcement agencies worldwide. The FTC provides information on ways to revolve problems resulting from identity theft. Please visit the Federal Trade Commission site for additional information.
    • Federal Trade Commission
      Identity Theft Clearinghouse
      600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
      Washington, DC 20580

Credit Reporting Agencies

Trans-Union Credit Services

Equifax Credit Services

Experian Credit Services