Today, more and more consumers are becoming reliant on the Internet and computers in their day-to-day lives. These advancements in technology have led to an increase in convenience for banking customers. It is important, however, to understand the risks present when banking online, and how to recognize, prevent, and recover from cyber-related crimes.
How to Avoid Cyber-related Frauds and Scams
- Be aware of incoming e-mail or text messages that ask you to click on a link. The link may contain malware, allowing thieves gain access to your computer and information.
- Be suspicious of any e-mail or phone requests to update or verify your personal information. A legitimate business (including Ipava State Bank) would never ask for this information over an unsecured platform. Confirm a message is legitimate by contacting the sender (it is best to look up the sender’s contact information yourself instead of using contact information in the message).
- Any offer that is “too good to be true” can be safely assumed to be fraud.
- Be on guard against fraudulent checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic fund transfers sent to you with requests for you to wire back part of the money.
- Be wary of unsolicited offers that require you to act fast.
- Check your security settings on social network sites. Make sure they block out people who you don’t want seeing your page.
- Research any “apps” before downloading and don’t assume an “app” is legitimate just because it resembles the name of your bank or other company you are familiar with.
- Be wary of any offers that pressure you to send funds quickly by wire transfer or involve another party who insists on secrecy.
- Beware of Disaster-Related Financial Scams. Con artists take advantage of people after catastrophic events by claiming to be from legitimate charitable organizations when, in fact, they are attempting to steal money or valuable personal information.
- Choose PINs and passwords that would be difficult to guess and avoid using easily identifiable information such as your mother’s maiden name, birth dates, the last four digits of your social security number, or phone numbers.
- Use an updated security program to protect your computer.
- Be careful about where and how you conduct financial transactions, for example don’t use an unsecured Wi-Fi network because someone might be able to access the information you are transmitting or viewing.
- Always know where your mobile device is located.
- Activate the “Time Out” feature on your mobile device.
- Back up data regularly and install “Data Wipe” programs in advance .
These resources and more are available through the Federal Trade Commission.