Cybersecurity Series: Protecting Your Private Information Online, Part I

in First Person: Our Blog, Security

It seems that credit card breaches, malicious applications, email scams and other deceitful online activities are reported on the news or appearing in your inbox every day. Over the next few weeks, we’ll provide a series of posts aimed at helping you keep you safe online.

At First Internet Bank, keeping your account and personal information safe and secure is our top priority. But what can YOU do to protect yourself? Here are some tips that you should consider:

  • Choose strong pAs$W0rDs that use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters
    Never use your birthday, address or other words that could be easily guessed by identity thieves. It’s also a good idea to periodically change your passwords and NEVER share your passwords with anyone else. [If you have trouble remembering your login information, First Internet Bank also offers biometric authentication that allows you to securely access your account using your unique fingerprint.
  • Avoid using the same password for different accounts
    Once the bad guy gains access to that password, it could be easy access to your other accounts.
  • Use only trusted computers for your banking transactions
    Some public computers could contain spyware designed to capture your online banking information. You might even consider having a separate computer that you use only for online banking, and use another device for shopping, sending email, social networking and playing games.
  • Periodically check your accounts for suspicious activity
    Keep a close eye on your accounts by checking them once a week to help you spot errors or fraudulent transactions if/when they happen. The earlier you detect the problem, the easier it will probably be to correct it. [First Internet Bank offers email and text alerts to help you keep an eye on your account activity.]
  • Never provide login information through an email message from an unrecognized sender
    [Note: First Internet Bank will never send an email asking for your account numbers or online banking information. If you receive a suspicious message, please contact us to confirm its legitimacy.]
  • Be wary of a caller asking you to provide account, credit card or Social Security numbers
    If you’re unsure whether the caller is legitimate, hang up the phone and call back using the phone number on the official business website.
  • Pay close attention to the toll-free numbers you call
    Scammers are obtaining phone numbers that are different from actual business numbers by one digit, setting up automated answering systems with an institution’s name and offering free gifts, vacations and gift cards when callers provide debit or credit card information.
  • Always download apps for your Apple or Android device from the Apple Store or Google Play
    There are malicious apps that look very similar to “real” apps, but this type of malware can replace legitimate mobile banking apps in an attempt to capture login credentials. You should also avoid installing apps from pop-ups or an untrusted third-party source.
  • Protect yourself against spyware
    Spyware (software that enables a hacker to access private information from your hard drive without your knowledge) that gets on your computer can be as difficult to detect as it is harmful to your machine. You might have a spyware problem if you notice a sudden increase in pop-up ads, if your computer is responding more slowly than usual or if you notice unexpected toolbars or icons on your screen.

First Internet Bank is constantly working to protect your accounts and keep you informed of potential risks. Check back later for additional posts with more cybersecurity tips from the FDIC.