Online & Email Safety
Online Safety Tips
The internet provides us with convenient access to a world of products, services, entertainment, and information; however, it opens doors for scammers, hackers, and identity thieves to gain unauthorized access to your personal information.
Learn how to protect your information, and your computer, with these online safety tips.
- Don’t choose “Remember My Password” for online banking or transactional websites.
- Work on a computer you trust. Firewalls, antivirus, anti-spyware and other protection devices help keep a computer properly monitored and provide peace of mind.
- Select a strong password. Never use birth dates, first names, pet names, addresses, phone numbers, or Social Security Numbers. Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Be sure to change your passwords regularly. Don’t write down your passwords and try not to use the same password for every service you use online.
- Use a secure browser. Only use secure webpages when you’re conducting transactions online. Your online banking channel is secured with an Extended Validation SSL Certificate which provides an extra layer of protection. This secure browser is recognizable because the browser address bar (1) begins with ‘https’, (2) turns green (in high-security browsers) and (3) a special field appears to the right of the URL with a padlock and the name of the legitimate website owner. If you click on this section, you can view the details of the Certificate.
- Update security software often. When you get notices from software vendors to update your software, do it.
- Sign off, shut down, disconnect. Always logout of your online banking session or any other website where you’ve logged into using a username and password.
- Lock your computer when it is not in use and beware of someone looking over your shoulder. Protect yourself from unauthorized access to your computer and information and be aware of prying eyes.
Email Safety Tips
Email is often a vehicle used to transmit malware and commit fraud. Ensure you’re practicing safe email habits by evaluating your email behaviors to help protect your computer and your identity.
- Never open or respond to spam emails, delete them right away.
- Never click on links within an email from a sender you don’t trust. It’s safer to retype the web address than to click on it from within the body of the email.
- Don’t open attachments from strangers. If you do not know the sender or are not expecting the attachment, delete the email.
- Don’t open attachments with odd filename extensions. Common filename extensions include “.doc” for documents or “.jpg” for images. If a file has a double extension, such as “heythere.doc.pif,” it may be a dangerous file to open. In addition, be wary of filenames ending with .exe, .pif, or .vbs; these are executable files and could be dangerous if opened.
- Never share sensitive information in email, this includes account information or log in credentials.
- Don’t believe the hype. Many fraudulent emails send out urgent messages that claim your account will be closed if sensitive information isn’t immediately provided. Don’t fall for it. Your financial institution will never use this method to alert you of an account problem.
- Be aware of poor design, and/or bad grammar and spelling, as these can be tell-tale signs of a fraudulent email or website.
- Back up your sensitive data records. This will not only help you restore damaged or corrupted data, but it will help protect against fraud attacks and recover lost files, if needed.
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