How to Avoid Identity Theft Online: 4 Internet Safety Tips

A little bit of vigilance goes a long way when it comes to protecting your identity online. Adding an extra layer of security can be as simple as keeping an eye on your accounts, looking out for suspicious activity, and shredding sensitive documents. Some data breaches are out of our control, like when retailers or other companies get hacked. We must trust certain entities to handle personal data, but we encourage people to do all they can to protect their private information.

Complete privacy is difficult in the digital age, so users must be cautious and wary. Take these precautions to make sure identity thieves do not steal your personal information.

Monitor Your Credit Reports

Keeping an eye on your credit is an important way to make sure no one is trying to mess with your personal financial information. If you want to see who is making inquiries about you credit, you can request a free credit report from any of the three national credit reporting companies:

We recommend reviewing your credit reports occasionally to make sure there is no suspicious activity, and everything appears as expected.

If you want an extra layer of protection, a credit freeze is an effective line of defense against fraud and identity theft. As of September 2018, there is no cost, so learn how to freeze your credit for free.

Be On the Lookout For Unusual Statements Or Bills

Pay attention to statements, receipts, and bills. If you are signed up for electronic bills or statements, it is easy for them to get lost in your email inbox. Regularly looking at statements will help you notice if there is suspicious activity happening in any of your accounts. If you become a target for fraud, you will want to catch it as soon as possible and contact your bank for help.

Shred Documents Containing Financial Or Personal Information

Do not throw sensitive documents in the trash! Use a paper shredder or shredding service to dispose of anything with your full name, phone number, address, social security number, bank account information or other private personal details. Check out this helpful shredding guide, and consider shredding documents such as:

  • ATM Receipts
  • Bank and Credit Card Statements
  • Paid Bills and Invoices
  • Pay Stubs
  • Credit Offers

Use Caution While Traveling

You are more vulnerable to certain types of fraud and identity theft while traveling. If you want to protect your identity online while traveling, take extra precautions. Let your bank know where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone and ask the post office to hold your mail. If any bills are due while you are gone, see if you can plan payments before you leave.

While you are on your trip, observe extra safety measures to protect your personal items and information.

  • If you need to pay a bill online while you’re away, make sure you’re connected to a secure Wi-Fi network.
  • Ask your hotel if your room has a safe and use the safe to protect valuables and extra cash when you’re not in your room.
  • Exercise caution when using your debit card to pay local vendors and retailers; when in doubt, pay with cash.
  • Carry copies of important travel documents, and make sure to store them separately from the original versions. It is also a good idea to have a digital copy of your passport stored online, just in case.

 


Cybersecurity Awareness Month

10/2/2023

Did you know that since 2004, the President of the United States and the United States Congress have declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month? It is a month where public and private sectors work together to raise awareness about the importance of proper cybersecurity. Check out the homepage each weekday for new tips and tricks to help you secure yourself properly for the increasingly cyber world we live in today.

 

 


F.D.I.C. Insurance

3/13/2023

 

The following is from the F.D.I.C (www.fdic.gov/resources/deposit-insurance)

For more information, please visit them. (www.fdic.gov)

Deposit insurance is one of the significant benefits of having an account at an FDIC-insured bank—it’s how the FDIC protects your money in the unlikely event of a bank failure. The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. And you don’t have to purchase deposit insurance. If you open a deposit account in an FDIC-insured bank, you are automatically covered. Check out the resources on this page to learn more about deposit insurance.

Are My Deposits Insured?

Use the tools below to double check that your accounts and bank are FDIC-insured and to find out how much insurance coverage you have.

Answers to More of Your Deposit Insurance Questions

What happens if my bank fails? How do I get deposit insurance? What accounts are not covered? What if my deposits exceed the coverage limit? The FDIC provides a number of resources to answer these questions and more.

Looking for more? Contact the FDIC.

  • 1-877-ASK-FDIC. Call us to determine your deposit insurance coverage or ask any other specific deposit insurance questions.
  • FDIC Information and Support Center. Submit a request or complaint, check on the status of a complaint or inquiry, or securely exchange documents with the FDIC.

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