BANK ACCOUNT SAFETY TIPS FOR PREVENTING FRAUD
With millions of identity fraud victims in the United States annually, anyone with a bank account must take the proper precautions. Fortunately, guarding yourself from fraudsters requires a minimal time investment and a little common sense. Here are some easy ways to protect your bank accounts and avoid identity theft.
Check your account activity regularly. This may be the single most effective strategy you can employ to secure your finances. Balancing a checkbook is advised, though the technique is becoming outdated with the advent of online banking. At the very least, you should login to Online Banking or use the Mobile Banking app and view your account activity multiple times every week to make sure there are no unexpected transactions. Report any discrepancies to Unity Bank immediately. You can enroll in Online & Mobile Banking here.
Use a strong password for online banking. Do not use your birthday, your spouse’s name, your kid’s name, your social security number, your address or anything that’s too obvious. Always use a capital letter or two along with a few numbers. An example of a bad password would be “sarah.” An example of a good password would be “Minne50ta#$.” And never set the word “password” as your password.
Change passwords periodically. Get a new password every few months or so. Unity Bank’s Online Banking requires you to change your password every 6 months.
Do not give out account info over the phone or email. Your bank will not call or email requesting your account numbers, PINs or passwords. They already have this information. You should be automatically suspicious of unexpected calls or emails.
Use anti-virus protection software, firewalls and spyware blockers. By acquiring these basic computer protection tools, you significantly reduce your vulnerability to cyber attacks and fraud attempts. Make sure to also keep your computer updated with the most recent security patches.
Don’t use public computers for online banking. This is never a good idea. Even if you’re careful to make sure no one sees your screen and you remember to log out completely, an expert scam artist can find ways to record your activity. You should also avoid conducting transactions using public Wi-Fi.