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With the business of the holiday season comes an increase in hackers, phishing scams and identity thieves looking to take advantage of you. We’d like to remind our customers to take steps to protect themselves and their sensitive data now as well as all year long.
Here are a few steps you can take to better secure your identity and your data:
If you are a MAX Checking Customer, you receive complimentary identity theft protection through BaZing’s industry leading ID ProtectALL®. This service includes ID Monitoring and ID Theft Aid. Register for and maintain this benefit by visiting bazing.com and logging into your account.
Secure your information by engaging in the Five Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Enable stronger authentication
Make your passwords long & strong
Keep your machine and mobile devices clean
When in doubt, throw it out
Share with care
Never send passwords, credit card information or sensitive personal information through email or text.
Change your passwords frequently – every 30 to 42 days is considered best practice.
Learn how to detect and avoid phishing and/or imposter scams by viewing the linked list from the DHS. Typically these scams are emails you receive and you are asked to click on a link, open an attachment or send money urgently to an official organization, family member or friend. Two ways to determine if these emails are legitimate and worth taking action on are; one, check that you recognize the email address from which the message was sent. Two, do a little research through friends or online to see if this is something others have experienced. If you are unsure or can’t verify that it is legitimate, delete the email. Better to be safe than sorry.
When making purchases online make sure it is a reputable company and the page asking for your information, including your payment information, is encrypted. You know you are on an encrypted page when it reads ”https” and a lock appears to the left of the web address in your browser.
If you are traveling, here is a tip card from the Department of Homeland Security on common threats to look out for as well as what you can do before you leave and throughout your travels.
It is possible for your identity to be stolen without any warning signs so ID monitoring is a proactive approach to determine if you have been a victim. One simple way to monitor your identity is by understanding and checking your credit report regularly. It is recommended to check your credit once a year.
In conclusion, be proactive and diligent in protecting your identity and data. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the event that your identity has been compromised Homestar Bank & Financial Services offers an Identity Theft Resource Kit that will walk you through the important steps to recover and take back your identity.
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