What It’s Worth

What It’s Worth

Seven Steps to Help Prevent ID Theft

Author: Michelle Parish
Published Date: 4/1/2017

Think online identity theft only happens to other people?  Think again.  According to a recent report, 2016 was considered a banner year for identity fraud, hitting a record high of approximately 15.4 million U.S. consumers which translates into about one in every 16 U.S. adults.  The massive data breach at Target in 2013, which impacted 70 million customers, brought financial identity fraud front and center.  Much of the discussion focused on compromised credit and debit cards.  While EMV chip cards help protect in-person purchases from fraudulent activity, a recent study highlights the growing susceptibility of online and mobile transactions, which customers are utilizing more than ever. 

When it comes to identity theft and cyber fraud, many consumers focus just on protecting their credit. 

“Cyber thieves understand that personal information can be monetized in lots of ways,” says Nghiem Nguyen, director of information security compliance for PlainsCapital Bank. “If they can’t use it, they’ll sell it to someone who can.  If you’re keeping your eye only on your credit cards, you’ve got a major blind spot to financial identity fraud.”

How to protect yourself against financial identity fraud

Nguyen has these suggestions to protect yourself when you bank online:

  • Find out what your bank is doing to protect your online and mobile banking transactions and take advantage of any identity theft protection products and services your bank offers, like PlainsCapital Bank’s EZShield ID Theft Protection.
  • Make sure your PC firewall is turned on and the security software on your computer and cell phone are up-to-date.
  • Avoid the temptation to click on questionable emails, even if they appear to be from your bank or a credible source. That’s an easy way to download malware.
  • Never conduct online or mobile banking at public WiFi hotspots.
  • Monitor your bank account, check your receipts, and verify the transactions on your statement.
  • Set up account alerts with your banking institutions. PlainsCapital Bank provides real-time, automated account alerts to help keep customers informed.
  • Do not give personal identity information (ex. social security number), bank account information, or card numbers online unless you initiated the transaction.
  • When shopping online, make sure the site and your internet connection are secure before making a purchase.

For more ways protect yourself against financial identity fraud, visit the PlainsCapital Bank website.

Tags: Personal Banking