Safeguard your personal information. Create and use complicated passwords, monitor your accounts, and ensure that your computer and mobile device is equipped with up to date anti-virus and malware protection.
We urge you to take an active role in protecting your financial privacy. As a financial institution, we use a combination of safeguards to protect your financial data, which allows us to detect unusual patterns and protect your account.
While banks provide strong data protections, customers are the first line of defense. You as a customer of Northampton Cooperative Bank play an important role in safeguarding your own personal financial information. A partnership between the Bank and the customer is the most effective way to protect financial data.
To help ensure the safety of personal information, customers should follow these three tips:
- Create complicated passwords for example - c0mplic@t3d. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Because friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.
- Continually monitor your bank accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify the bank right away.
- Protect yourself online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. The bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN, or account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure during transmission.
If you are a victim of fraud and suspect your personal information has been compromised, you should take the following steps:
- Call the bank and credit card issuers immediately so they can take necessary steps to protect your account.
- File a police report and call the fraud unit of the three credit-reporting companies.
- Consider placing a victim statement in your credit report.
- Make sure to maintain a log of all the contacts you make with authorities regarding the matter. Write down names, titles, and phone numbers in case you need to re-contact them or refer to them in future correspondence.
For more advice, contact the FTC’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or www.ftc.gov/idtheft.