Protect Your Financial Identity Online
Types of Online Fraud
- Phishing and spoofing
Phishing and spoofing emails are attempts by cyber criminals to steal your personal information by installing malicious software on your computer or convincing you to provide personal information under false pretenses. Sometimes these emails will ask you to visit a fake website or may even ask you to call a phone number and provide account information.
Ways to identify phishing and spoofing emails:
- Requests for personal information. First Federal will never ask you to reply in an email with any personal information such as your Social Security number, ATM or PIN.
- Urgent appeals. We will never claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information via email.
- Messages about system and security updates. We will never claim the need to confirm important information due to upgrades and state that you must update your information online.
- Obvious typos and other errors. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.
Malware, includes viruses, spyware and trojans that are designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system, steal personal information and commit fraud. To minimize malware risk:
- Never download any file or attachment unless you are absolutely certain what it is and who provided it.
- Never click on an advertisement that asks for personal or financial information.
- Update your security and system software to protect your computer from malware threats.
Vishing uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to leave an automated recording on your phone that says your account has experienced unusual activity. The message instructs you to call what appears to be a bank phone number. Rather than provide any information, you should contact us immediately to verify the validity of the message.
Online and Mobile Security Tips
- Use strong passwords for all your accounts. A strong password will have 8 or more characters, including letters, numbers and symbols. Make sure to use different user IDs and passwords for other sites you use.
- Don’t use any part of your Social Security number (or any other sensitive info, like your date of birth) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN). If someone gains access to this information, it will be among the first things they use to try to get into your account.
- Don’t respond to emails that claim to be from your bank requesting your account details. No bank is ever likely to approach you this way to ask for personal information.
- Be wary of email attachments and from unknown sources. You could end up exposing your computer to malicious software or online fraud and theft.
- Be mindful of how much personal information you share on social networking sites. The more you post about yourself, the easier it may be for someone to use that information to access your accounts, or steal your identity. Maximizing your privacy settings on social networking sites can also help protect your personal information.
- Be careful about what you click online. Look for security-enabled website addresses that start with “https:” (the extra s indicates security)—these sites take extra measures to help secure your information. If you suspect a link might give you a virus or steal personal data, don’t click on it.
- Secure your smartphone with a screen lock. Many mobile devices give you the option of locking your screen with a password, helping you keep the data on your smartphone secure.
- Keep sensitive personal information and bank account numbers and passwords off your phone.
- Keep your computer operating system, your internet browser and your mobile device software up to date with the latest security patches. Also, be sure to use anti-virus and anti-spyware software: They help find and remove viruses and spyware that can steal your information.