Four Tips to Protect Your Personal Information
Oak Ridge, N.J. – Jan. 26, 2017– Consumer privacy concerns are continuing to rise. The TRUSTe/National Cyber Security Alliance U.S. Consumer Privacy Index found that 92 percent of internet users worry about their privacy online. In recognition of National Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28, Lakeland Bank is helping to increase awareness about how to protect your personal information.
“Online and mobile banking provide convenient access to your accounts, but you still need to make sure that your phone and data are secure,” said Ronald Schwarz, Chief Operating Officer. “We encourage our personal and business customers to take proper precautions to safeguard their information and control their digital footprint.”
To help ensure the safety of personal information, Lakeland Bank suggests following these four tips:
- Create strong passwords and change them regularly. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords such as 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud so don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.
- Keep tabs on your accounts. You are the first line of defense to notice if something is not right with your account. Online and mobile access make it easy to check your account activity frequently. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify your bank immediately. When a customer reports an unauthorized transaction in a timely manner, the bank will cover the loss and take measures to protect the account.
- Stay alert online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never provide personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN, or account information. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of the browser, and that the Internet address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
- Protect your mobile devices. Always use the passcode lock on your phone and other mobile devices. This makes it more difficult to steal your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your device, wipe it first! To do this, use software or the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Use caution downloading apps and avoid opening links and attachments as they may contain malware.
Tips for Victims:
If you are a victim of fraud or suspect your information has been compromised, take the following steps:
- Call your bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can take steps to protect your account.
- File a police report and call the fraud unit of the three credit-reporting companies.
- Consider placing a victim statement in your credit report and a fraud alert on your account.
- Keep a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter. Write down names, titles, and phone numbers in case you need to re-contact or refer to them in future correspondence.
- Contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or www.ftc.gov/idtheft.