How to Protect Yourself
Best Practices for Personal Information Security
Knowing how to protect your personal information is essential in reducing your chances of having your information or identity stolen. Here are a few ways you can ensure your personal and bank account information remain safe:
- Limit information sharing- unless you initiate contact with a person or business, never give out personal information over the phone, via email or over the internet.
- Proper storage- everything from PIN numbers and passwords to Social Security cards and new and cancelled checks should be stored securely.
- PINs and Passwords- make them difficult to guess and change them regularly. Stay away from obvious combinations like your birthday, anniversary, etc.
- Account statements- the easiest way to identify fraudulent charges is by checking your Alpine Bank statements. Online banking and eStatements make this a simple task.
- Electronic statements and Bill Pay- switch from paper statements and mailing bill payments to doing these things online. Less paper means your personal information is better organized online. Just check to make sure any statements you receive or bills you pay through another company’s website are secure.
- Shred- it’s not uncommon for desperate criminals to rummage through trash in search of documents that have personal information and/or financial information on them; this includes credit card statements, bank statements, offers for pre-approved credit, etc. At Alpine Bank, two free Community Shred Days are held each year - one in the spring and one in the fall. Check our “What’s the word at Alpine Bank” area to see when the next Community Shred Day will be held.
- Credit report- you are allowed one free request from the three major credit agencies ever year. Review the reports to make sure you’re the only one making credit inquiries. Request your credit reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- ATMs- always be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Also, be sure that your transaction is completely finished before walking or driving away.
- Contact Alpine Bank- call us at 815-398-6500 immediately if your checkbook, debit card, ATM card or credit card is lost or stolen. For emergencies occurring before or after customer service hours call 866-546-8273.
While following these tips doesn’t guarantee complete safety, they can drastically reduce your chances of having personal or bank account information stolen. Be sure to also look at safety tips for online and mobile browsing to further safeguard your personal information.