Scammers can steal your identity online, by phone, or in person. Identity theft might occur when someone:
With access to your personal and financial information, scammers can use your credit cards, open new fraudulent cards in your name, and more. That’s why it’s so important to take proactive measures to protect yourself.
Fortunately, there are lots of steps you can take to minimize your risk. Implement these identity protection tips to stay safe.
If you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer the call! This goes for texts and social media messages, too.
Don’t forget to keep your Social Security card safely filed away in a safe deposit box or home safe instead of your wallet.
At Mercer Savings Bank, you can turn your card on and off, set location and spending alerts, and view transaction history all from your phone.
Use an encrypted connection
When you’re accessing the wifi at your local coffee shop or a hotel, make sure the connection is encrypted. If it is, you’ll see a lock symbol or https in the address bar of your browser.
Enable multi-factor authentication
Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a great way to protect your accounts online. In addition to your password, multi-factor authentication allows you to set up additional security checks before signing into an account. This might include a code texted to your phone or face ID.
Keep browsers and applications up to date
Browsers and apps are regularly rolling out extra security features and protection. An easy way to ensure you’re using the latest version is to turn on automatic updates for your phone and computer.
Use strong passwords and update them regularly
Strong passwords should use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Use different passwords for different websites to limit your risk in the event a site is hacked.
Changing your passwords regularly is a good way to minimize your exposure to potential breaches. For more tips to create a strong password, check out our blog.
Limit what you share on social media
Sharing too much personal information or responding to those copy and paste question lists can give scammers the info they need to correctly answer your password challenge questions.
Know how to spot scams
You’ve likely received a suspicious email claiming you’ve won a contest you didn’t enter or need to respond IMMEDIATELY. These are two common tactics scammers use to tap into your emotions. Learn how to spot all 5 common scam tactics on our blog.
Having your identity stolen is a stressful, upsetting experience. After taking a deep breath, here are a few things you should do first to minimize the damage.
The FTC’s Identity Theft website has additional information and resources to walk you through the next steps. For additional tips on what to do if your wallet is lost or stolen, visit our blog.
At Mercer Savings Bank, we take security seriously and put measures in place to protect you. We use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology that encrypts data in transmission between our bank and our customers.
We also require vendors and staff to proactively ensure systems have appropriate security measures. Check out our e-products page for more information about online banking with us.