Protect Your Privacy
Protect Your Privacy - Home
Fraud comes in many shapes and sizes and unfortunately, it will never go away. Nor
will the money and time spent fixing it. That’s why it’s vital to ramp up your security
While fraud operators are constantly developing new viruses, spyware and online
fraud schemes, the good news is that you can take action to protect yourself against
online fraud. Delve into this site to find out how.
Prevention stops identity theft at the source and
protects your private data before it is compromised
by fraudsters. Taking advantage of online bill pay
and even good old fashioned paper-shredding
contributes to your own online safety.
Early Detection is equally important. Successful
detection includes records consolidation and the
regular review of your financial accounts for unusual
activity. Banking online gives you quick access to
your accounts, so that you can detect fraudulent
activity sooner. Protect Your Privacy - Fraud Tactics
Different fraud tactics all share the same goal: to obtain your personal, confidential and financial information for fraudulent
use. From obtaining your information ‘the old fashioned way’ via discarded mail, to emails that ask you to verify personal
information under the guise of a trusted source ― like your financial institution ― fraudulent activity comes in many different
Adware: Software that displays advertising content on your
computer. Like its cousin spyware, some adware runs with
your full knowledge and consent, some doesn't. More often
an annoyance than a security risk, adware may also monitor
browsing activities and relay that information to someone
else over the Internet.
Bot or Web bot: Derived from "robot." An automated
program, such as a Web crawler, that performs or simulates
human actions on the Internet. Used for legitimate purposes
by search engines, instant message (IM) programs, and
other Internet services. Web bot can also be used to take
control of computers, launch attacks, and compromise data;
may act as part of a blended threat.
Botnet or Zombie Armies: A group of computers that
have been compromised and brought under the control of
an individual. The individual uses malware installed on the
compromised computers to launch denial-of-service attacks,
send spam, or perpetrate other malicious acts.
Denial-of-Service (DoS). An attack on a computer or
network in which bandwidth is flooded or resources are
overloaded to the point where the computer or network's
services are unavailable to clients. Can also be carried out
by malicious code that simply shuts down resources
Dumpster Diving: Thieves rummage through trash looking
for bills or other paper that includes your personal
Spam: Unsolicited email, usually sent in bulk to a large
number of random accounts; often contains ads for products
or services. Also used in phishing scams and other online
fraud. Can be minimized using email filtering software.
Spim or Instant Spam: Unsolicited instant messages,
usually sent in bulk to a large number of IM accounts; often
contain marketing materials and links to product Web
pages. May also be used in phishing scams or to spread
malware. See also, spam.
Spoofing: Spoofing is when an attacker masquerades as
someone else by providing false data. Phishing has become
the most common form of Web page spoofing. Another form
of spoofing is URL spoofing. This happens when an attacker
exploits bugs in your Web browser in order to display
incorrect URLs in your browser location bar. Another form of
spoofing is called “man-in-the-middle”. This occurs when an
attacker compromises the communication between you and
another party on the Internet. Many firewalls can be updated
or configured to significantly prevent this type of attack.
Spyware: Loaded on to your computer unbeknownst to you,
spyware is a type of program that watches what users do
and forwards information to someone else. It is most often
installed when you download free software on the Internet.
Unfortunately hackers discovered this to be an effective
means of sending sensitive information over the Internet.
Moreover, they discovered that many free applications that
use spyware for marketing purposes could be found on your
machine, and attackers often use this existing spyware for
their malicious means.
Protect Your Privacy - Fraud Tactics
Keylogger: Software that monitors and captures everything
a user types into a computer keyboard. Used for technical
support and surveillance purposes. Can also be integrated
into malware and used to gather passwords, user names,
and other private information.
Malware: Also known as ‘malicious software’, malware is
designed to harm, attack or take unauthorized control over a
computer system. Malware includes viruses, worms,Trojan
horses,some keyloggers, spyware, adware and bots. It’s
important to know that Malware can include a combination
of the types noted.
Pharming: Pharming takes place when you type in a valid
Web address and you are illegally redirected to a Web site
that is not legitimate. These ‘fake’ Web sites ask for
personal information such as credit card numbers, bank
account information, Social Security numbers and other
sensitive information.
Trojans: A Trojan is malicious code that is disguised or
hidden within another program that appears to be safe (as
in the myth of the Trojan horse). When the program is
executed, the Trojan allows attackers to gain unauthorized
access to the computer in order to steal information and
cause harm. Trojans commonly spread through email
attachments and Internet downloads. A common Trojan
component is a “keystroke logger” which captures a user’s
keystrokes in an attempt to capture the user’s credentials. It
will then send those credentials to the attacker.
Virus: A computer virus is a malicious program that
attaches itself to and infects other software applications and
files without the user’s knowledge, disrupting computer
operations. Viruses can carry what is known as a “payload,”
executable scripts designed to damage, delete or steal
information from a computer. A virus is a self-replicating program, meaning it copies itself.
Typically, a virus only infects a computer and begins
replicating when the user executes the program or opens an
“infected” file.
Viruses spread from computer to computer only when users
unknowingly share “infected” files. For example, viruses are
commonly spread when users send emails with infected
documents attached. Phishing: A scam that involves the use of replicas of
existing Web pages to try to deceive you into entering
personal, financial or password data. Often suspects use
urgency or scare tactics, such as threats to close accounts.
Pop-Ups: A form of Web advertising that appears as a
“pop-up” on a computer screen, pop-ups are intended to
increase Web traffic or capture email addresses. However,
sometimes pop-up ads are designed with malicious intent
like when they appear as a request for personal information
from a financial institution, for example.
RetroVirus: This virus specifically targets your computer
defenses. It will look for vulnerabilities within your computer
operating system or any third party security software. Most
security vendors have some form of tamper-proof measure
in place, so it is important to keep your patches up-to-date.
Retro Viruses are usually combined with another form of
Social engineering: A method of deceiving users into
divulging private information, social engineering takes
advantage of our natural tendency to trust one another
rather than rely solely on technological means to steal
information. Often associated with phishing, pharming,
spam, and other Internet-based scams.
Vishing: Vishing is a type of phishing attack where the
attacker uses a local phone number in the fake email as a
means of obtaining your sensitive information. The goal is to
fool you into believing the email is legitimate by instructing
you that responding to the request by phone is safer than
responding by email and shows authenticity. The
unsuspecting caller is then tricked through an automated
phone system to relinquish their sensitive information.
Worm: A worm is similar to a virus but with an added,
dangerous element. Like a virus, a worm can make copies
of itself; however, a worm does not need to attach itself to
other programs and it does not require a person to send it
along to other computers.
Worms are powerful malware programs because they
cannot only copy themselves; they can also execute and
spread themselves rapidly across a network without any
Protect Your Privacy - Report Fraud
The impact of identity theft and online crimes can be greatly reduced if you
can catch it shortly after your data is stolen or when the first use of your
information is attempted. One of the easiest ways to get the tip-off that
something has gone wrong is by reviewing your monthly statements
provided by your bank and credit card companies for anything out of the
If you know, or even think, you’ve been a victim
of identity fraud, take immediate action and
follow these five steps.
Report the fraudulent activity. If the activity is related to our
financial institution please contact us directly. If it is related
to another financial institution, your credit card company, or
any other organization contact them directly.
Contact one of the three consumer reporting companies
and have a fraud alert placed on your credit report. This
will help stop fraudsters from opening any additional
accounts in your name. Contact only one of the following
(the others are required to contact the other two):
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;; P.O. Box
740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742);; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;;
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Close any accounts that you know - or even think – might
have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Report
the transgression to a security spokesperson at the
relevant company. Ask them about any additional steps –
they’ll probably ask you to send relevant copies of the
fraudulent activity.
You can also use the FTC Theft Affadavit ID Theft Affidavit
(PDF, 56KB) as formal certification of your dispute.
File your complaint with the FTC. Use the online complaint
form; or call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or write
Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission,
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
Sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC will help
law enforcement officials track down identity thieves and
stop them. Call or visit the local police or police in the
community where the identity theft took place and file a
More specifics can be found on the
FTC’s Identity Theft Web site
Protect Your Privacy - Report Fraud
report. Have a copy of your FTC ID Theft complaint form
available to give them. Obtain a copy of the police report
and the police report number.
Protect Your Privacy - Fraud Prevention
It’s not always easy to identify online fraud but cybercrime prevention can
be straightforward. When you're armed with a little technical advice and
common sense, you can avoid many attacks. Remember that online
criminals are trying to make their money as quickly and easily as possible.
The more difficult you make their job, the more likely they are to leave you
alone and move on to an easier target. The tips below provide basic
information on how you can keep your computer and your identity safe.
Email is often a vehicle used to transmit
malware and commit fraud. It is important
to evaluate your email behaviors and develop
good habits to help protect
your computer and your identity.
In addition to viruses and worms that can be
transmitted via email, phishing also threatens
email users. A type of email fraud, phishing
occurs when a perpetrator, posing as a
legitimate, trustworthy business, attempts to
acquire sensitive information like passwords or
financial information. Never open or respond to SPAM (unsolicited bulk email messages).
Delete all spam without opening it. Responding to spam only confirms your email
address to the spammer, which can actually intensify the problem.
Protect your Privacy
Never click on links within an email.
It’s safer to retype the Web address than to click on it from within the body of the
Don’t open attachments from strangers.
If you do not know the sender or are not expecting the attachment, delete it.
Don't include sensitive information in
Never click on links within an email.
Don't open SPAM or attachments
from strangers.
Be suspicious of emails asking for
personal information.
Be selective when providing your
email address.
Don’t open attachments with odd filename extensions.
Most computer files use filename extensions such as “.doc” for documents or “.jpg”
for images. If a file has a double extension, like “heythere.doc.pif,” it is highly likely
that this is a dangerous file and should never be opened. In addition, do not open
email attachments that have file endings of .exe, .pif, or .vbs. These are filename
extensions for executable files and could be dangerous if opened.
Never give out your email address or other sensitive or personal information
to unknown web sites.
If you don’t know the reputation of a Web site, don’t assume you can trust it. Many
Web sites sell email addresses or may be careless with your personal information.
Be wary of providing any information that can be used by others for fraudulent
purposes. Never provide sensitive information in email.
Forged email purporting to be from your financial institution or favorite online store
is a popular trick used by criminals to extract personal information for fraud. It is
also a good idea not to send security passwords or one-time passcodes over
Don’t believe the hype.
Only open email and attachments
from known senders.
Protect Your Privacy - Fraud Prevention
Many fraudulent emails send out urgent messages that claim your account will be
closed if sensitive information isn’t immediately provided, or that important security
needs to be updated online. Your financial institution will never use this method to
alert you of an account problem.
Be aware of poor design, and/or bad grammar and spelling.
A tell-tale sign of a fraudulent email or Web site includes typos and grammar errors
as well as unprofessional design layout and quality. Delete them immediately.
Backup your sensitive data records.
Consider backing up all sensitive files. This will not only help you restore damaged
or corrupted data, but it will help protect against fraud attacks and help recover lost
files if needed.
Safeguard your identity online
In addition to protecting your email, there are a number of guidelines to follow that
will help safeguard your identity online. Do not allow a Web site to keep
sensitive information or credentials for future convenience.
It is a common practice when registering for access to a Web site or making a
purchase from a Web site to be asked if you want to keep your access credentials,
credit card number or other sensitive information on file as a matter of convenience.
This common request is referred to as “remembering” for the future use.
Be selective about where you surf.
Not all Web sites are benign. Sites that are engaged in illegal or questionable
activities often host damaging software and make users susceptible to aggressive
computer attacks.
Don’t choose “Remember My Password.”
You should never use the “remember password” feature for online banking or
transactional Web sites.
Don’t use public computers for sensitive operations.
Since you cannot validate the computer’s integrity, there’s a higher risk of fraud
when you log in from a public computer.
Work on a computer you trust.
Firewalls, antivirus, anti-spyware and other protection devices help keep a
computer properly monitored and provide peace of mind. These tools are important
in order to protect your computer and data. A good firewall is critical if you
commonly access the Internet via a wireless connection. It is also important to keep
your computer up-to-date with patches to security tools as well as to the operating
system and other programs on your computer. Make sure to configure your
computer to update all security fixes.
Select a strong password.
The best password is an undetectable one. Never use birth dates, first names, pet
names, addresses, phone numbers, or Social Security numbers. Use a combination
of letters, numbers and symbols. Be sure to change your passwords regularly.
Don’t write down your passwords and try not to use the same password for every
service you use online.
Use a secure browser.
Only use secure Web pages when you’re conducting transactions online. Your
online banking channel is secured with an Extended Validation SSL Certificate
which provides an extra layer of protection to you by requiring third-party Certificate
Authorities (CA) to follow a strict issuance and management process for certificate
approval and delivery. This secure browser is recognizable because the browser
Protect Your Privacy - Fraud Prevention
address bar (1) begins with ‘https’, (2) turns green (in high-security browsers) and
(3) a special field appears to the right of the URL with a padlock and the name of
the legitimate web site owner. If you click on this section, you can view the details
of the Certificate.
Update security software often.
When you get notices from software vendors to update your software, do it. Most
operating system and browser updates include security patches. Your name and
email address may be all it takes for a hacker to slip through a security hole into
your system. And it almost goes without saying, you should be protected by
Internet security software, and it should always be up to date. Purchase a reputable
brand of AntiVirus and be aware of fake anti-virus for “free.”
Avoid clicking on Ads.
Never click on Ads on social network sites. Sure these ads are there to assist in
giving the website money, However these are one of the leading causes for Virus
infections on systems today. Sign off, shut down, disconnect.
Always sign off or logout from your online banking session or any other Web site
that you’ve logged into using a user ID and password. When a computer is not in
use, it should be shut down or disconnected from the Internet.
Lock your computer when it is not in use.
This helps protect you from unauthorized user access.
Beware of shoulder surfing.
This is a common tactic that happens in public places such as coffee shops,
airports, libraries etc. where an attacker will look over your shoulder when you’re
logged in to obtain your sensitive information. Be vigilant and aware of prying eyes.
Set up a timeout.
The Timeout feature is an additional safety check. It can prevent others from
continuing your online banking session if you left your PC unattended without
logging out. You can set the Timeout period in the User Options screen.
Protect Your Privacy - Enhanced Security
Protect your Privacy
Never open or respond to SPAM (unsolicited bulk email messages).
Your online security has always been a top priority.
That’s why Enhanced Login Security is so important. This security service is free,
easy, and most importantly, gives you extra protection from fraud
and identity theft.
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Monitor your postal mail. Don't give out your personal
information freely. Check your credit report annually.
Shred documents containing personal information before
discarding them
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