Online Security & Identity Theft
At Washington Savings Bank, security is one of our highest priorities. In an effort to raise awareness, this section of our website is dedicated to the issue of security.
"Phishing" (sounds like fishing) is a common method used by identity thieves. Have you ever received an email from a company that you regularly do business with requesting your personal information over the Internet? These emails appear to be legitimate, usually bearing the company logo or a link that brings you to what appears to be their website. This "spoofer site" is a copycat website used to fool a person into divulging personal information such as account numbers, passwords, credit card numbers and social security numbers. It is very important to know that you should question any company that is requesting your personal information over the Internet, especially if this is information that the company has already obtained from you.
"Dumpster Diving" is a common method used by identity thieves to obtain personal information. Take a moment and think about all the "junk mail" you receive on a daily basis. An identity thief will pick through your garbage and collect those offers you have discarded. They will take the applications and complete them, sending the application to the credit card company with a different address. Because you are not receiving the bills, you will have no idea that someone has stolen your identity to obtain credit in your name. Anything you put to the curb should not contain your personal information (bank statements, cancelled checks, credit card statements, solicitations for credit cards, etc.) because one person's trash will be another person's treasure.
"Shoulder" Surfing is yet another method identity thieves use in an attempt to obtain your personal information. Be aware of your surroundings when keying your PIN into an ATM or when you may give out your credit card number or social security number over the telephone. There may be an individual lurking nearby watching over your shoulder or listening to your conversation.
Don't let yourself become a victim of identity theft. Listed below are a number of ways you can protect yourself from this faceless crime.
- Choose a PIN that is unique and not easily guessed.
- Be careful when revealing your personal information.
- Carry only the identification that you need.
- Notify your creditors immediately in the event that your cards are lost or stolen.
- Watch for bills and notify your creditors if you haven't received them.
- Order a copy of your credit report annually.
- Keep sensitive personal information secured in a safe place.
Please see this additional link for practical tips and education to help to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft.