The following are best practices that customers can follow to increase their personal and financial information security:
Use Personal Financial Information and Financial Services Passwords Only in Secure Transactions
• Personal financial information (such as names in combination with Social Security Numbers, account numbers, and credit or debit card numbers) and passwords for financial services (such as online and mobile banking / payments, and person-to-person payments) should only be used in secure transactions (using the practices described below).
• Personal financial information and passwords for financial services should not be provided in response to unfamiliar or suspicious websites, emails, text messages, telephone calls, mobile phone applications or social media messages.
• If you provide financial information and passwords for financial services in response to unfamiliar or suspicious websites, emails, text messages, telephone calls, mobile phone applications or social media messages, you should change your passwords as quickly as possible.
Use Strong Passwords in All Systems That Require Passwords
• Passwords should use the maximum allowable number and type of characters (such as upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols) and should not contain predictable terms or numbers.
• A different password should be used for each commercial and financial services website.
• Passwords should not be written down or recorded and should not be placed in visible or unsecured locations.
• Passwords should be changed at least monthly.
Monitor Credit Accounts
• Credit accounts and reports should be monitored regularly. Any unauthorized or suspicious activity should be reported promptly to the appropriate financial institution, card issuer, local law enforcement agency or the Federal Trade Commission (877-438-4338, or online at www.consumer.gov).
• As a precaution, you may choose to place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert will notify you before unauthorized third parties open new accounts in your name or charge existing accounts in your name. This can be done at no charge to you. To receive fraud alerts, contact Equifax® (800-525-6285), Experian® (888-397-3742) or TransUnion® (800-680-7289).
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