The Peoples Bank - Customer Awareness/Tips
Best Practices for Your Online Protection
- Maintain active & up-to-date anti-virus software
- Maintain spy-ware protection
- Set up automatic Windows (or other Operating System) updates
- Maintain firewall installed on the network
- Wireless networks are discouraged
- If you use a wireless network, it is suggested that you use password protection
If you should receive an automated recording requesting account information, user ids and/or passwords DO NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION. If possible, try and obtain the caller id, information requested on the recording and the time of the call before disconnecting. Please call 662-837-8191 for further assistance, questions or concerns.
Protect Yourself Against Phishing
- Phishing is the practice of luring unsuspecting internet users to a fake web site by using authentic-looking email with real organization’s logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information, or introduce a virus attack.
- Watch for e-mails that:
- Urge you to act quickly to update your personal information because your account may be suspended or closed
- Don't address you by name, but address you generically such as "Dear Valued Customer"
- Ask for account numbers, passwords, access IDs, or other personal information
Protect Yourself Against Vishing
Consumers receive a pre-recorded call identifying a specific local financial institution. The message informs the consumer that his or her personal bank accounts have been frozen. The message advises the consumer to immediately input their ATM or debit card number, expiration date, and PIN to reactivate the affected accounts. The CV2 (3 digit security code) from the back of the card may also be requested. The information obtained by the automated call will be used for unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
Protect Yourself Against Smishing
You don't have to use a computer to be vulnerable to online scammers. Increasingly, cell phone and other mobile device users are being targeted with mobile spam that attempts to trick them into revealing personal information.
Known as "smishing," these text messages might ask a recipient to register for an online service - then try to sneak a virus onto the users' device. In addition to virus-like "worms," which can spread through and disrupt a network, other scams are surfacing.
Some messages warn that the consumer will be charged unless he cancels his supposed order by going to a website that then extracts such credit card numbers and other private data.
"Smishing" is derived from the familiar "phishing." The "sm" comes from SMS, the protocol used to transmit text messages via cellular devices.
The Peoples Bank will NEVER ask for sensitive information such as account numbers, access IDs, or passwords via e-mail or automated phone calls.
Tips for safeguarding your information (from the American Bankers Association)
- Don’t give your Social Security number or other personal credit information about yourself to anyone who calls you.
- Tear up receipts, bank statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Keep an eye out for any missing mail.
- Don't mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
- Review your monthly accounts regularly for any unauthorized charges.
- Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy.
- Do business with companies that you know and trust, especially online.
- Don't open e-mails from unknown sources, and use virus detection software.
- Protect your PINs (don’t carry them in your wallet!) and passwords; use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank and the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies immediately.
If you become a victim of identity theft, contact:
- The fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus
- The creditors of any accounts that have been misused
- The local police to file a report
- Your local bank to cancel existing accounts held in your name and reopen new accounts
- What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime, and cases are growing. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name. No matter how cautious you are, there is no way to completely prevent identity theft from occurring. However, there are ways you can help minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how you can protect yourself by managing your personal information wisely, the warning signs of identity theft, and what to do if you do become a victim.
- Helpful Tips
- To verify whether a call is legitimate, call The Peoples Bank or visit the website, using phone numbers or internet addresses from your bank statement or account documentation. Do not call back a number provided over the phone or click on a link in a email.
- Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know whom you're dealing with.
- Don't carry your Social Security card with you; leave it in a secure place. Carry only the identification and credit and debit cards that you need.
- Don't put your address, phone number, or driver’s license number on credit card sales receipts.
- Social Security numbers should not be put on your checks.
- Shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
- Secure your credit card, bank, and phone accounts with passwords. Avoid using easily available information like birth date, the last four digits of your SSN, or your phone number. When opening new accounts, you may find that many businesses still have a line on their applications for your mother's maiden name. Use a password instead.
- Secure personal information in your home, particularly if you have roommates or hire outside help.
- Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that records are kept in a secure location. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well.
- Before revealing any personally identifying information (for example, on an application), find out how it will be used and secured, and whether it will be shared with others. Ask if you have a choice about the use of your information. Can you choose to have it kept confidential?
Check Your Credit Report!
Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies every year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you have authorized. By checking your report on a regular basis you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances. Don't underestimate the importance of this step. You can request a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus through www.annualcreditreport.com
ATM/Visa Debit/Check Card Tips
- Safeguard your ATM access cards and PIN as you would checks and cash. Memorize your PIN – Don’t write it on your card or in your checkbook.
- Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM, especially at night. Consider having someone accompany you to the ATM when you make transactions after dark.
- Consider using another machine or coming back later if you notice anything suspicious or feel uneasy.
- When using an ATM, stand squarely in front of the machine to keep your transaction as private as possible. Shield your PIN entry with your hand for greater privacy. When waiting to use an ATM, please respect the privacy of those using the machine.
- Consider canceling your transactions, pocketing your card and leaving if you notice anything suspicious while using an ATM.
- Protect the sensitive magnetic stripe on the back of your card. Keep it from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving your card on or near electrical appliances, such as a TV or stereo. Do not carry your card next to another card’s stripe as they may demagnetize each other.
- Report all crimes related to ATM activity to the owner/operator of the machine and to local law enforcement officials immediately.
- Always take your receipt with you at the conclusion of every transaction to assure your financial privacy. Keep your receipts and use them to check your monthly statement.