Tips for Protecting Yourself
- Safeguard your financial information such as checking account, debit or credit card, and social security numbers. Unless you know the person or organization you're dealing with, don't give it out, even someone claiming to be from your bank. Bank of DeSoto will never ask you to provide this information over the phone.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Review new deliveries of checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.
- Report lost debit cards immediately. Report to Bank of DeSoto as soon as you think you have lost or misplaced your card.
- Notify the bank with suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to "verify a statement" or "award a prize".
- Shred financial solicitations or financial statements before disposing of them.
- Deposit your mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address form to divert your mail and steal your personal information.
- If your statements include questionable items, investigate immediately. This is often the first sign of fraudulent activity.
- Avoid phishing scams. Never reply directly or click on a link in response to an email that asks for personal or financial information. If you are concerned about your account, contact the bank as soon as possible. Remember, Bank of DeSoto will never contact you to just to verify personal information.
ATM & Debit Card Safety Tips
ATM and debit card safety and security
Sensible Steps For
- Personal safety
- Chip technology
- Account security
With the introduction of ATM and debit cards using micro-chip technology, there is an added layer of account security.
The micro-chip technology allows each transaction to be approved in seconds using a unique encrypted authentication code. The approval code is for a one-time transaction. There is no data trail created by these smart cards that identify personal or account information—the transaction is safe and secure.
Transaction Security Improvements
- Chip technology
The added safety measures work only for in-person or card present transactions—the card must be inserted into the ATM machine to be read. All financial institution ATM machines have been updated with new hardware and software to read and authorize
the micro-chip cards.
Electronic Safety Tips
- Protect your card and PIN
Protect your ATM and debit card as if it were cash. Report lost or stolen cards immediately. Don’t write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your card.
- Take the receipt with you
Never leave the receipt behind, even after an incomplete transaction. Discarded ATM receipts can lead to identity theft or account hijacking.
- Conduct your transactions privately
Use common courtesy at the ATM. Give people ahead of you space to conduct their transactions.
- Check your debit card account frequently
If you find any irregularities in your statement, then contact your financial institution immediately to report the incident.
- Lock your car
If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, turn off your ignition and lock your car. If you use a drive-up ATM, be sure to roll up passenger windows and lock your car doors.
- Observe lighting and landscape
Use extra caution when using an ATM at night. If the lights at the ATM are not working, don’t use it. If shrubbery has grown up, or if a tree blocks the view, select another ATM and notify the financial institution.
- Take a friend at night
If you use the ATM at night, consider taking a friend along.
- Count your cash later. Once you’ve completed your ATM transaction, put your money away immediately and leave the ATM premises. It’s best to count your money later.
- Always use common sense when using an ATM. The tips in this brochure are a start, but the best advice is simply to be aware of your surroundings when at the ATM machine.
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Online Banking, Data Security & You
Partnering for online security
Online banking has grown rapidly into a major new way to bank. Some surveys show that more people prefer to bank online than in the traditional ways. This phenomenal growth has been accompanied by increases in the safety and security measures undertaken by banks and their customers. But cyber-criminals are always looking for new ways to electronically break into the bank and steal your money.
Safe online banking depends on continuing and strengthening this partnership for safe online banking:
- Banks invest substantially in security
Lawmakers, regulators and the banking industry have forged substantive standards for safeguarding customers’ personal information.
Uniform examination procedures are in place to monitor and enforce these standards, and bank examiners regularly go on-site to assess how bank security measures are being implemented, understanding that each bank has a different menu of products and services, and therefore differing security requirements. Some of the areas they look at include:
- Access controls ensuring customer information can be accessed only by authorized persons, including use of multi-factor authentication when warranted.
- Physical restrictions at computer facilities that permit access to authorized persons only.
- Data encryption of electronically transmitted and stored customer information.
- Modification procedures to ensure that changes are consistent with the approved security program.
- Dual control procedures, segregation of duties, and employee background checks.
- Monitoring procedures to detect actual and attempted intrusions into customer information.
- Response programs specifying actions to be taken by specific individuals when the institution suspects unauthorized access.
- Environmental hazard protections against physical damage or technology failures.
- Banks partner with you, the customer
Your bank has security measures to protect your account information, but they can’t be effective without your help and cooperation. Many account hijacking attempts come as a result of hacking into individual user accounts, and from there electronically breaking into the bank using your information and security codes.
Some common sense and easily implemented precautions can help you safeguard your personal information:
- Strong passwords—Experts advise a combination of letters and numbers, and advise against using easily guessed passwords such as birthdays or home addresses.
- Anti-virus protections—Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received.
- Email safety—Email is generally not encrypted so be wary of sending any sensitive information such as account numbers or other personal information in this way.
- Sign off and log out—Always log off by following the bank’s secured area exit procedures.
- Don’t get phished—Crooks are always trying to get your personal information, and they employ some ingenious methods. Don’t respond to any unusual email requests for personal information—when you opened your bank accounts you
already gave it. When in doubt, call your bank.
- Monitor your accounts—When you check your accounts regularly, you can let your bank know immediately if you encounter anything that does not seem right.
Helpful Hint: Studies show that those who monitor their accounts online often detect fraud earlier than those who rely solely on paper statements.
- Free credit reports your best tool
When it comes to guarding against cyber-fraud, one of the most important tools at your disposal is your credit report. It details all of your credit transaction accounts, and will be the first place that unusual charges or entirely new accounts will appear. And
you can monitor your report for FREE.
Since Federal law permits consumers to obtain a free report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, cyber-security experts advise that you to get a free report from a different agency every four months. Doing so will allow you to monitor
your personal online security all year long.
To order your free credit report, go to the only authorized source:
Online and mobile threats
Cyber-fraudsters want to earn their money the easy way—by stealing yours.
Understanding how criminals try to trap you is your first line of defense:
- Phishing—This is the criminal attempt to steal your personal information through fraudulent emails or smart-phone texts. They are often very believable, luring the victim to a site that asks them to provide (or “verify”) personal financial details such as account numbers and social security numbers. A variation is called Spear Phishing, which are electronic messages that appear to come especially to victims from their employer, usually a large corporation. Cyber-security experts often term the mobile phone version of phishing Smishing, playing off the SMS, or Short Message Service terminology used in text messaging. Remember: your bank will not send emails asking for your personal information—they already have it.
- Card Skimming—This is a criminal’s attempt to gain a victim’s personal information by tampering with ATM machines. Fraudsters set up a device that can capture magnetic stripe and keypad information, such as PINs and account numbers. Using ATMs you know and trust—as well as examining the machine closely—can help thwart this type of theft.
- Spyware—This is the term used for criminal software that a victim unknowingly loads on a personal computer. Once there, the spyware collects personal information and sends it to the criminal. Up-to-date security software is the best defense.
Helpful Hint: Cyber-criminals often prey on those who are most vulnerable, such as senior citizens or young adults, who may not be as aware of the technical aspects of the threats. Make sure you alert any friends or family members who might be in this category. They’ll appreciate it!
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Tools to Prevent Identity Theft
Protecting Your Identity
The number of Americans who have experienced identity theft has surpassed 27 million, with the incidence rate increasing every year. Substantial measures are in place at your bank to protect your identity and your accounts against theft and fraud. For example, stringent bank privacy policies protect your personal and financial information. Password protection for online transactions help assure online security. When using our online services, you develop a secret password that only you know. Encryption of online transactions with your bank converts your information into secure code, protecting you against hackers.
Here’s what you can do to stop these crimes before they happen.
- Do not give out financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, or your Social Security number, unless you know the person or organization.
- Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Your bank will block payment on them.
- Notify your banker of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to “verify a statement” or “award a prize.”
- Closely guard your ATM Personal Identification Number and ATM receipts.
- Shred any financial solicitations and bank statements before disposing of them.
- Put outgoing mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.
- If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.
- If your bills include questionable items, don’t ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud.
- Periodically contact the major credit reporting companies to review your file and make certain the information is correct.
FACT Act helps to fight identity theft
- Free credit report, other provisions help consumers
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) will help reduce identity theft according to Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. For example, one provision requires the three major credit-reporting agencies to provide consumers with a free
copy of their own credit report.
Another provision to help prevent identity theft is the National Fraud Alert System. Consumers who reasonably suspect they have been or may be victimized by identity theft, or who are military personnel on active duty away from home, can place an alert on their credit files. The alert will put potential creditors on notice that they must proceed with caution when granting credit.
Other measures will help consumers recover their credit reputation after they have been victimized:
- Credit reporting agencies must stop reporting allegedly fraudulent account information when a consumer establishes that he or she has been the victim of identity theft;
- Creditors or businesses must provide copies of business records or fraudulent accounts or transactions related to them. This information can assist victims in proving that they are, in fact, victims.
- Consumers will be allowed to report accounts affected by identity theft directly to creditors—in addition to credit reporting agencies—to prevent the spread of erroneous information.
HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE CREDIT REPORT:
- Credit Reporting Bureaus
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