Your Privacy Matters
Take steps to safeguard online personal information
Our daily lives are increasingly linked with online activity, so it’s no surprise that cybercrime is on the rise.
The global annual cost of cybercrime—including everything from large data breaches to personal credit card fraud—was expected to reach at least $2 trillion by 2019, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
Saratoga National Bank and Trust Company makes customers’ data privacy a top priority, and believes in promptly sharing potential issues.
However, there are steps you can take to protect your personal information. Keep these tips in mind year-round as you create new accounts, check existing accounts or dart around the Internet.
- Create strong passwords. Make sure your most sensitive accounts, such as banking and email, use the strongest possible passwords. Passwords should contain a mix of special characters, letters and numbers. Set a reminder to change your passwords every few months, and do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Monitor your accounts. Instead of waiting for a monthly statement, check your online bank accounts often throughout the month. Notify the bank right away if you notice a fraudulent charge or unusual activity, and the bank will help protect your account.
- Think before you click. Cybercriminals use links in emails, social media posts and online advertisements to steal personal information, according to the NCSA, so be alert. If something looks off, don’t click and delete those emails and posts.
- Use your defenses. Protect all devices that connect to the Internet with the most updated security software. Consider additional security by enabling authentication tools, such as facial or fingerprint technology, security keys or one-time passcodes through an app or mobile device. If connecting to public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing your banking accounts and adjust your security settings to limit who has access to your device.
If you notice any fraudulent activity or suspect your personal information is being misused, call your bank and credit card companies immediately so they can safeguard your accounts. You should also consider:
- Calling the fraud unit of the three major consumer credit-reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- Placing both a victim statement in your credit report and a fraud alert on your accounts.
- Keeping a log with all of the contacts you make while reporting the incident. Also, note where and when you set account alerts.
NCSA leads Data Privacy Day, an international educational campaign that takes place every January 28. For more tips and advice on protecting personal data, visit the NCSA website.
Click Here >> to visit our Security Center homepage for additional resources.