Your identity is one of the most valuable things you own. It’s important to keep your identity from being stolen by someone who can potentially harm your good name and financial well-being. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, address, Social Security Number, credit card or financial account numbers, passwords, and other personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes. While the words may sound like a foreign language — Phishing, Pharming, Vishing, Spyware, Dumpster Diving — they are actually techniques used by thieves to put your identity and finances at risk, and their attacks grow more frequent and sophisticated every year. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. According to US Department of Justice statistics, it’s now passing drug trafficking as the number one crime in America. The simple fact is that you can protect yourself against most forms of identity theft. The first step is education. To learn more ways to protect yourself from Identity Theft, visit bankfivenine.com/security.
Keep all applications, including your operating system, patched. Vendors will usually release patches for their software when vulnerability has been discovered. Most product documentation offers a method to get updates and patches. You should be able to obtain updates from the vendor’s website. Read the manual or browse the vendor’s website for more information. Some applications will automatically check for available updates, and many vendors offer automatic notification of updates via a mailing list. Look on your vendor’s web site for information about automatic notification. If no mailing list, or other automated notification mechanism is offered, you may need to check periodically for updates.
Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, your smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.
Keep track of account transactions. Review your bank statements as regularly as possible to rule out the chances of fraudulent transactions. If you notice discrepancies, contact your bank immediately.
Only use Wi-Fi on your device when connected to password protected hotspots. Turn-off any auto-connect features. They might cause your phone to log into insecure wireless networks without your knowledge.