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Online Shopping – Best Practices

Statistics show that more people are shopping online. With that said, chances are good you will make at least one purchase on the Web. Cyber thieves are aware of this, too — they’re just waiting for an opportunity to strike. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

• Make sure you use secure, unique passwords on their email accounts. Many online merchants ask cardholders to register an account on their website and require an email address to which the merchant sends any invoices or receipts, account confirmations and password resets. If a bad guy can compromise the email address, he can leverage it to hack other purchasing accounts you may have with e-commerce providers.

• Use a single card for all online purchases. You should keep an eye on this account regularly for unauthorized purchases or other charges. That way, you’re only potentially endangering a single account.

• Beware of phishing ads or popups for deals that seem too good to pass up. Deals that entice cardholders to click on a link or download a coupon for a great deal could be vehicles for a hacker to push malware to their computer. Thieves could be trolling for account information, banking credentials or other personally identifiable information (PII) that could be used in identity theft. If a deal seems too good to pass up, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

• Don’t use public computers or networks for online shopping. Libraries, coffee shops and other public accesses to the Web are dangerous places. Bad guys may have installed keyloggers, sniffers or other malware designed to steal your information. In general, you should always consider these devices compromised and shouldn’t share anything you wouldn’t want shouted in public. This includes card numbers, email or other account credentials, or any other PII that could give a hacker an opportunity to steal your accounts or identity.

• Keep computers and browsers up to date with the latest patches and software. Of course, that’s not unique to this time of year, but you can go a long way toward securing your online transactions by staying secure in general. Current patches, anti-virus software, firewall settings and other general computer security techniques are always important, but the increased amount of seasonal online commerce provides a tempting target.

• Make sure the websites you visit are what they say they are. Cybercriminals can create website URLs that look very similar to real e-commerce websites. For example: They could create a scam site called hxxp:// that uses Amazon’s Web pages as a template. When you enter their credentials or card number, you are actually giving that information to the hacker. You should pay attention to the browser’s address bar before entering any sensitive information and hover over any link that directs you to a shopping site to make sure the link takes them where you think it does. The convenience and versatility of today’s online shopping experience can help you get your shopping done in less time and with less stress. But, it’s important you follow safe computing practices to make sure you don’t pay for it later!


ID Theft

Identity Theft

Security State Bank is vigilant in helping our customers in protecting their own personal information. Customers can do the following:

  • Never share your personal login ID, password, PIN, or account number with anyone.
  • Keep credit cards and banking information secure. Report lost or stolen checks or credit card immediately. Shred sensitive materials before disposal.
  • Review bank statements each month for mistakes or unfamiliar charges. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately to the financial institution.
  • Use direct deposit.
  • Don’t use PINs or other passwords that are easy to guess. Also change your passwords regularly.
  • Be aware of their surroundings. Identity thieves can use a camera cell phone to photograph credit or ATM card numbers while in a store. They should look around to ensure no one is shoulder surfing by watching from nearby for a personal identification number, and they shouldn’t give a credit card number aloud in public places with others around.
  • Don’t let anyone swipe your card twice without giving you a transaction cancelled receipt for the first transaction.
  • The customers should know when their bank or credit card statements arrive in the mail, as a missing or late statement can be a warning sign. If you know you have a bill due and you haven’t seen the bill, call the issuer to investigate.
  • Obtain copies of your credit report periodically from each of the three major reporting agencies to be sure that they are accurate. Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union are required to provide you with one free credit report per year.

Security State Bank WILL NEVER initiate a request for sensitive information from you such as your social security number, personal login ID, password, PIN or account number nor ask you to verify account information via email.

Victims of Identity Theft

When your identity gets stolen, it can be a horrendous experience. Below are some steps to get your life back on track.

  • Contact each of the three major credit bureaus and a request a “fraud alert” be placed on your file and no new credit be granted without your approval.
  • Close the account(s) you think could be affected.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-438-4338. When you file with the FTC you are providing information to help law enforcement official track down thieves.
  • File a report with the local police department. By filing a report, along with a complaint to the FTC, can give you certain protections to ensure your identity can be protected and restored.

Important Numbers and Web sites

Credit Reporting Agencies

Equifax :: (800) 525-6285 ::

Experian :: (888) 397-3742 ::

Trans Union :: (800) 680-7289 ::

ID Theft Prevention & Reporting

Annual Credit Report :: (877) 322-8228 ::

Federal Trade Commission :: 1-877-ID-THEFT ::