October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the theme for 2022 is “See Yourself in Cyber.” At SENB Bank, we are always looking for ways to help you protect your money and your sensitive personal information from scammers. In this blog we share tips to help you Be Cyber Smart and “Phight the Phish!”
Be aware of phishing scams
Phishing messages come in a variety of forms, including emails, text messages, fraudulent websites, etc. As scammers have grown more sophisticated in their approach, you must stay vigilant. Learn how to spot and avoid falling victim to phishing scams:
- Think before you click. Scammers will send you links to fraudulent websites in order to steal personal information or install virus software on your computer. Be cautious of links and hover before you click to see what the full URL is. Does it go to a website other than the one mentioned? Is it super long and spammy-looking? Or is it a knockoff of a real brand, such as www.amazzon.com instead of www.amazon.com.
- Examine emails. Unfortunately, phishing emails aren’t always as obvious to spot as they were in the early days of the Internet. Instead of “LoSe 2@ LBs iN 1 WeEk” you’re likely to get emails imitating legitimate companies you do business with. So you have to think like a proofreader and look for spelling or grammatical errors, incorrect logos, etc., which are usually a sign of a scam.
- Is it an emergency? Scammers make their messages sound as urgent as possible to get you to take action. They may call and say there’s a problem with your social security number that needs to be resolved right away, or they will impersonate the IRS and threaten to get law enforcement involved if you don’t pay your tax bill right now over the phone. Other popular scams include impersonating your cell phone company or big retailers and claiming they need to refund you for an erroneous charge, as well as pretending to be your computer operating or virus software and claiming something needs to be fixed on your machine.
- Don’t take the bait! If you receive a phone call, email, or text message that is supposedly from a company or financial institution you have an account with, don’t engage with that message. Instead, call the official customer service line to see if there is actually a problem with your account. Never grant access for someone else to have remote control of your computer unless you initiated the service call. Remember that legitimate companies won’t request your login information or full social security number. They also don’t need access to your bank account to send you a refund, and won’t ask for payment via wire transfer or gift card.
Don’t download mysterious files
Along with not clicking on suspicious links, be careful about the files you download, whether from an email or website. Malicious files permit hackers to install spyware on your computer that tracks your movements online, which websites you visit, the passwords you use for your accounts, etc. It can even allow them to use your computer remotely, giving them full access to anything that you might have stored on your computer including personal information, saved financial documents, photos, videos, etc. All of this can then be downloaded and sold to the highest bidder on the dark web; at this point, your identity is up for grabs.
Practice smart password security
As more of our lives are lived online, it gets harder to keep track of logins for your various accounts. However, resist the temptation to save your passwords in your browser or in a file on your computer. Try a password manager instead, which will help you create strong, unique passwords for each account as well as remember them for you.
If you are going to create your own passwords, remember that longer is better and try to include a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital and lowercase letters. You should set reminders to change your most vital passwords every few months. Never share your passwords with anyone, especially people you don’t know. You may even want to use long passphrases instead of letter/number combos because they can be easier for you to remember.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Also known as 2FA, multi-factor authentication adds another level of security to your digital accounts. In addition to your password, 2FA requires another personal credential, adding one more barrier of entry to prevent scammers from accessing your accounts. The extra factor can take the form of a temporary security code sent to you over text or email, a fingerprint, or Face ID. This way, if a hacker manages to get their hands on your account login information, they would still need to have access to your texts or emails in order to access the account.
*Never share your temporary security code with anyone. Legitimate banks and companies will never call to ask for this code.*
Set up alerts
At SENB Bank, your financial security is our top priority. Our online and mobile banking platforms allow you to set up fraud alerts for your bank accounts and debit card. While this won’t prevent you from getting hacked, it will allow you to take action more quickly to mitigate possible damage. Learn more and sign up for fraud alerts here.
SENB Bank is your partner in protecting confidential information!
At SENB Bank, we invest in the latest security measures to protect you from fraud and scams. Despite the efforts of criminals and the sophistication of their technology, together we can keep your personal information safe and secure. Knowledge is power; you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. Find more information on our Security Center page or contact us with any questions you have about your SENB accounts.