Electronic banking offers exceptional convenience and efficiency for customers, and we use the latest technology and tools to ensure it’s safe and secure.
Along with everything we do, you play the most important role in protecting your personal information and accounts. Being aware and informed about how to protect your personal information is the first line of defense. Criminals look for opportunities to gain access to your accounts by tricking you into giving them personal information in different ways. You can avoid giving them what they need by staying informed about common practices.
Protect yourself with good habits
- Protect your user names and passwords or PIN’s. Don’t give them to anyone
- Contact your bank regarding any suspicious activity
- Keep your social security number in a safe place - never carry it with you
- Report lost or stolen credit cards, debit cards, drivers license or ID cards immediately
- Shred any documents you no longer need that have personally identifiable information
- Report any missed account statements to your bank in case they have been stolen from your mailbox, keep an eye out for other missing mail
- Sign up for eStatements. This keeps your information out of the hands of thieves who might steal them from the mail or trash
- Protect yourmobile device by using a pass code lock and use caution when downloading apps
- Monitor your credit report and financial statements on a regular basis
Safe Online Computing Practices
- Use anti-virus software – These are programs that have been designed to detect viruses which may infect your computer through emails you receive or programs you download from the internet
- Firewalls – Used to block outside attacks from hackers, filter infected files or emails, and alert you if an unauthorized user tries to access your system
- Encryption – With this technology, your data is encrypted, or scrambled, so even if it is intercepted by criminals it won’t be easy to read or use
- Passwords – The more complex the password, the less likely it is to be deciphered by a perpetrator using even the most sophisticated techniques.
- To create safer passwords:
- Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters
- Create a completely unique password for each application or account
o Avoid using everyday words that can be found in the dictionary
- Don’t create passwords that are specific to you such as your spouse’s name or your birthdate
- Change your passwords often
- Software Updates – many viruses take advantage of bugs in software. Updating frequently will protect your computer
- Log-Off – always log off and close your browser especially when using a public computer. The next person to use it might be able to access your account if you haven’t logged off properly.
- Use a secure internet connection when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over
- Use only websies that begin with 'https'- this means that the website is more secure
- Watch out for phishing scams- do not click on links or open attachments or pop-ups from sources you are not familiar with
Protect your small business from account fraud
- Educate your employees- strong security programs and procedures can help arm your team against corporate account takeover
- Protect your online environment- encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on all computers
- Partner with Citizens Community Bank to prevent unauthorized transactions- we have many programs available to help protect your accounts
- Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly by contacting the bank
- Understand your responsibilities and liabilities- review the account agreements from the bank and implement the security safeguards in the agreement, if you don't you could be liable for any losses resulting from takeover
Learn about different kinds of fraud
- Malware (malicious software)- software designated to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent. Examples are computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware and dishonest adware.
- Viruses- a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer.
- Spyware- a type of malware that is installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users without their knowledge. Spyware can install additional software, redirect the Web browser, change computer settings and home pages, and/or cause loss of Internet access.
- Rogue Software/Scanware- a form of malware that deceives or misleads the user into paying for fake or simulated removal of malware.
- Phishing- a criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information (Access IDs/UserNames, passcodes/passwords, credit card details, etc.), by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
- Ransomware- a form of malware used by cyber criminals to freeze your computer or mobile device, steal your data and demand a 'ransom' be paid. Ransomware can affect individual computers or laptops, enterprise networks and or servers used by government agencies, financial institutions and healthcare providers.
- Corporate Account Takeover- a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding a new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam or financial fraud, the following are different organizations to file reports with:
- FBI portal to file an Internet crime complaint.
- Report Identity theft
- Report Mail Fraud (Mailed Scams, example: Sweepstakes, lotteries, work-at home scams)
- Report Identity Theft
Information about current fraud scams:
- Online Onguard - Hosted by the Federal Government and the technology industry
- Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Protection
- FDIC – Consumer Protection Tips
- The ID Theft Center is an organization focused on the understanding and prevention of identity theft
- Free annual credit reports to help consumers monitor their credit to prevent or minimize the affects of identity theft
Other helpful resources
We want you to know about ways you can protect your information. The following web sites offer helpful information and consumer guidance, and we encourage you to visit them. If you are ever in doubt about a request for information, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your bank is aware of most scams and has access to key resources when new ones appear.
- Tips on privacy, identity theft and online security.
- Scam alerts
- Protecting yourself online
- Information about types of Internet Fraud