Identity Theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information to open accounts, file taxes, make purchases, or get benefits. It can happen to anyone, but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of someone using your personal information to commit this fraud.
Protect Your Identity
Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.
Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports.
Keeping Your Personal Information Secure Offline
Lock up financial documents in a safe place at home.
Limit what you carry when you go out – leave your Social Security card at home, take only the ID and cards you need.
Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, bank statements, etc.
Request a vacation hold on your mail when you are out of town.
Consider opting out of pre-screened offers of credit and insurance by mail. To opt out, call (888) 567-8688 or go to optoutprescreen.com.
Keeping Your Personal Information Secure Online & By Phone
Know who you share your information with.
Be alert to impersonators – don’t give out information online or by phone unless you have initiated contact or know who you are dealing with.
Safely dispose of personal information before disposing of a computer or mobile device.
Look for the “lock” icon in internet browsers before entering your personal data.
Use strong passwords, and do not share them with others.
Consider limiting the information you share on social networking sites. These sites are a treasure trove for identity thieves looking to get your personal information.
Keep your Social Security number secure and ask questions before sharing it.
Keeping Your Devices Secure
Don’t open files, click on links, or download programs sent by strangers. Opening a file from someone you don’t know could expose your system to a computer virus or spyware that captures your passwords or other information you type.
Before using a public wireless network check to see if your information will be protected. If you use an encrypted website, it protects only the information you send to and from that site. If you use a secure wireless network, all the information you send on that network is protected.
Don’t use an automatic login feature that saves your user name and password for your financial accounts, and always log off when you’re finished. That way, if your laptop is stolen, it will be harder for a thief to obtain your personal information.
Read privacy policies and ensure you understand how your information will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties.
For your protection, Ciera Bank will not send you an email to update or confirm your personal information by clicking a link or replying to an email.