Protect your Money at the Bank

12 05 2011

Some people have fallen prey to thieves hacking into their bank accounts.  Whether that includes funds withdrawn from bank accounts with the use of a fake ID or online theft through phishing scams.  The reality is, problems of this nature happen all too often, leaving many feeling victimized.

The following tips may help safeguard your personal information at the bank.

  • Place an ID Alert with the Bank.  Most banks have the ability to place alerts in a person’s account, prompting bank tellers to verify specific and additional information.  The alert can read something along the lines of “verify ID when withdrawing funds“.  This alert restricts invaders from withdrawing funds because they lack proper photo identification that is linked to the specific bank account.
  • Smart Email.  Criminals are now using email as a means of obtaining personal information from people.  Secure one email account for business use and another for personal use.  If you receive an email from the bank in your personal email a red flag should go off since you provided the bank with your business email.  If you find yourself in this situation, avoid (at all costs) clicking on any links within the email.  This is known as a phishing scam because thieves capture personal information entered after visiting the link that was embedded in the spam email.  These emails look “genuine” but consumers should speak with their bank first before trusting the email is legitimate and accurate.
  • Keep Passwords Complex.  Online banking passwords should be complex to include numbers, letters and/or symbols.  Do not choose passwords that are easy to guess, such as your birth date or zip code.  The more complex the password, the more arsenal added to your belt in warding off criminals.
  • Receive Email and Phone Alerts.  Whether you bank online or with your local branch, many banks provide to their customers alerting services.  Customers are now able to set phone and email alerts when withdrawals, deposits, transfers are made. In addition to transactions exceeding specific amounts.
  • Safeguard PIN Numbers and Passwords.  Avoid carrying pin numbers and passwords in your wallet or purse.  Instead safeguard them at home in a secure location.
  • Only Carry Most Used Cards.  Carry only the essential credit and debit cards used on a daily basis.  All others cards should be kept in a safe place – at home or in a safe deposit box at the bank.
  • Protect Cellphones.  In this day and age many people are now banking via the internet through their cellphones.  While the convenience of eliminating a visit to the bank appeals to many, there can be a serious security threat if your phone gets into the hands of the wrong person.  Password protect your phone.  Never store your banking passwords in your phone’s rolodex.

Knowledge is power.  As consumers we need to protect our assets on a daily basis.  This includes becoming aware of new schemes and scams that revolve around banking and ID theft.  Let’s be ahead of the game and secure our personal information.




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