How To

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Our digital lives are becoming more sophisticated, and technology is changing rapidly. So it’s important to keep up with trends and arm yourself with knowledge about identify theft, scams and Internet traps that could compromise your personal or financial information.

Phishing Scams

Identity thieves like to go “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”) on the Internet for consumers’ personal and financial information. They’ll use fake emails and websites to trick people into providing Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and other valuable details.

Typically, the most common phishing emails pretend to be from a bank, a retail store or government agency to lure you into divulging personal information and often use a variety of tricks to make the email look legitimate. They might include a graphic copied from a bank’s website or a link that looks like it goes to a bank’s site but actually leads to a fake site.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing or pharming scam.

  • Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly online and asks for your personal information.
  • No financial institution will ever email you and ask for sensitive information, such as account numbers or personal identification numbers.
  • Assume a request for information from a bank where you’ve never opened an account is probably a scam.
  • Verify the validity of a suspicious-looking email or popup box before providing personal information.
Going Mobile

Everywhere you look, people are using smartphones and tablets as portable, hand-held computers. Here are some basic steps you can take to secure your mobile devices.

  • Avoid apps that may contain malware; only buy or download from well-known app stores, like those established by your phone manufacture or cellular service provider.
  • Keep your device’s operating system and apps updated and consider opting for automatic updates.
  • Use a password or other security feature to restrict access in case your device is lost or stolen.
  • Back up the data on your device to another computer or cloud-based service.
  • Have the ability to remotely remove data should your device get lost or stolen.
New Debit Card Fraud Alerts

We’re also committed to protecting your personal information. If we detect potential fraud on your account, we’ll send you an automated text message. No registration is necessary either—as a Heritage Bank debit card holder, you’re automatically enrolled in this free service!

Don’t have text messaging? No worries! You’ll still receive an automated phone call to notify you that there’s suspected fraud on your account.

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