MAKING ELECTRONIC BANKING SAFE AND SECURE
When you travel the internet to access electronic banking, you want to be assured, first and foremost, that effective safeguards are in place to make your visit safe, secure, and reliable. When you use electronic banking to visit your bank, whether it's to learn about rates, to review your accounts or to pay your bills, you are entering a secure area. Measures taken include one or more of the following:
PASSWORD PROTECTION & PIN
Do not share your password and PIN (personal identification number) with anyone — most frauds involving hijacked accounts originate with someone the victim knows.
This form of identity verification provides added security by requiring multiple forms of identification, such as something you know (password or PIN) and something you have (ATM card, smart card).
Once online with your bank, your transactions and personal information are secured by encryption software that converts the information into code that is readable by only you and your bank.
Bank privacy policies protecting your personal information are stringent. Your confidential information is treated with the utmost care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.
USING ONLINE BANKING
Whether you are conducting online financial transactions over the internet or simply "surfing," some easily implemented precautions can help safeguard your personal information from identity theft and account fraud:
Tips and best practices:
- Create a secure password: Choose a password that uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid choosing obvious words or dates such as a nickname, birth date or social security number.
- Change password periodically: Changing your password every 90 days is recommended. This practice prevents someone who has obtained your password through some means to have access to your account.
- Never share your password or write it down: Bank of Guam will never ask you for your password. If you suspect that your account has been compromised, change your password immediately and contact Bank of Guam's Customer Service Department at (671) 472-5300.
- Protect your answers to security questions: Select questions and provide answers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to guess. Do not write down your security questions or answers or share them with anyone. Please note that Bank of Guam will never ask you to provide answers to your security questions via email.
Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received. This simple step is critical to your personal safety and security when online.
Email is generally not encrypted, so be wary of sending any sensitive information such as account numbers or other personal information in this way. If you receive an unscheduled or unsolicited email purporting to be from your bank be cautious — take the time to call your bank and make sure the email was sent from your banker.
Always log off by following the bank's secured area exit procedures to ensure the protection of your personal information.
Crooks are trying to get your personal information — and they employ some ingenious methods. Don't respond to any unusual requests for personal information; when you opened your bank accounts, you already gave it. When in doubt, call your bank.
IDENTIFYING THE MOST COMMON ONLINE THREATS
Understanding what criminals are trying to do over the internet is the first step in building a good defense.
Most electronic fraud falls into one of three categories. Experts advise: understand these to understand how best to protect yourself.
- Phishing: Fraudulent emails purporting to be from your bank or a similar trusted source lure you to a copycat website (one that may look just like your bank's site). Once there you are instructed to "verify" certain personal information, which is then used to hijack your accounts and your identity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete the message and call your bank to inform them of the email.
- Pharming: Also called "domain spoofing," this cyber crime intercepts internet traffic and re-routes it to a fraudulent site. Once there, the victim is asked to enter personal information, just as with Phishing.
- Malware: This is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's knowledge. Examples of malware (malicious software) include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.