Protect Yourself Online


Strategy Suggested Actions
Protect personal information
  • Do not share your User ID or username, password, personal identification number (PIN), or other access codes with anyone.
  • When using online banking, always sign off as soon as you have completed your transaction.
  • Never leave your computer unattended while using online banking or other transactional services.
  • Only shop online at sites that use data encryption technology.
  • Never enter your credit card, debit card, Social Security Number, or other personal or financial information on a website that is not encrypted.
Share less Be cautious when sharing personal information such as your date of birth, address, pet's name or child's name on social media sites. This information may be used by criminals to gain access to your financial data.
Malware protection

Use antivirus and anti-spyware software to protect your computer. Programs that automatically update your protection are recommended.

Other recommendations:

  • Use an antivirus program that includes integrated anti-spyware. 
  • Act with caution when downloading programs that can compromise your computer's security.
  • Do not open file attachments received by email unless the source of the attachment is known and trusted.
Choosing a browser We strongly recommend that you choose a current browser, such as the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari. Current versions of these browsers identify secure sites by highlighting all or part of the URL in green. Do not visit sites that ask you to accept untrusted certificates.
Password safety
  • Create passwords at least six characters long; many sites allow up to 15 characters.
  • Do not share your username and password with anyone.
  • Change your passwords for all sites and apps regularly, including online banking, email, credit cards, etc.
  • Do not use the same password for different sites.
Monitor finances Enroll in online or mobile banking to track and monitor financial transaction activity. Consider setting up special transaction alerts. Switching to paperless statements can also reduce your risk of fraud.
Email security
  • Never respond to a suspicious email, or email from a sender you do not know.
  • Never click on a link in an email unless you are absolutely sure of its origins.
  • If you click on a link to a video and it asks you to update your software to view it, do not agree. Only update your software and plugins directly from the manufacturer’s website.
  • If you receive an email that appears to be from a friend but it looks suspicious (for instance, it says “check this out” and contains nothing but a link), do not respond or click on the link unless you can confirm it with the sender.
  • Consider having separate email accounts, with different passwords – one for personal communication, and another for social media and less important interactions (Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, etc.).
  • In your browser settings, disable the option to automatically download attachments, if available.
  • Use web-based email such as Yahoo! Mail or Gmail. Web email has built-in virus protection, spam blocking, and other safety features.

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