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On a daily basis we all have routines that we initiate to help keep us – and our loved ones – safe. At home every night, we check to make sure the doors are locked. At the airport we go through TSA security. In cold weather, we check our vehicle tires and put an ice scraper in the back seat.


Because the internet is a component of so much of all lives today, we also need to add 4 new habits to keep our personal information and finances safe.


Although fraud isn’t 100% preventable, education and vigilance can greatly decrease your chances of becoming a target.


     1. Keep Software Up to Date

Many types of cyber attacks are built to take advantage of security holes in outdated software. Pay attention to update alerts for both computers and smartphones. Updates need to happen consistently, not once a year.


     2. Strengthen Your Passwords

You can decrease the impact of fraud by keeping important information stored safely. Choosing passwords that are difficult to guess, and changing passwords quarterly is a prudent way to keep your accounts private. Here’s a suggestion: Think of a simple sentence; “I eat 3 pancakes every Saturday and convert it to: Ie3peSat.”


     3. Monitor Your Accounts

Reconcile your spending with your bank statement monthly to catch any discrepancy as soon as it occurs. Also, if you use paper statements, discard them safely.


     4. Be Skeptical

If you receive an email or text from an unknown source, think twice before you click. If the wording seems awkward or you notice spelling or grammatical errors from a “official” site, be suspicious. If an email or text looks like communication from the bank or a government agency, it’s very unlikely we’d request personal or sensitive information, and we’d never ask for your account information.


If you suspect potential fraud, call us immediately at (304) 485-7991!

Credit card: (866) 563-1335. Debit card: (866) 546-8273