Tips and Useful Information to Help Keep Your Information Secure

New Year's Resolutions to Help You Stay Safe in a Digital World

As more of our daily activities take place online, it’s important to take steps that help ensure our personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Here are a few tips to help protect you and your family in today’s digital world.
 
Enable multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication requires you to enter multiple pieces of information about yourself before you can access your online accounts. If it’s available, consider taking a few minutes to enable it.

  1. Avoid public WiFi. Using the free WiFi in your doctor’s office, airport or favorite coffee shop to pay bills or take care of some online shopping may seem like an efficient use of your time. But it’s not worth the risk. Public WiFi isn’t secured, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts and steal your personal information.

  2. Safeguard devices in your home. Computers aren’t the only devices that are vulnerable to being attacked. Any device with an Internet connection, including smartphones, smartwatches and tablets are susceptible. While there’s no foolproof way to protect all your devices, taking these steps can help keep them more secure.

    • Run the current versions of all software, apps and operating systems. Updates often resolve security vulnerabilities.

    • Use complex passwords. Consumers often use passwords such as family members’ names and birthdays because they’re easy to remember. But that also makes them easy for criminals to guess. Instead, opt for long, complicated passwords that incorporate upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, and are tough to figure out.

    • Password protect all devices, so it’s more difficult for someone to access your information if a device is lost or stolen.

Published: January 24, 2019

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Avoiding Debit and Credit Card Fraud

Credit or debit card fraud can strike anyone. But you can help prevent your account information and personal data from being compromised.
 
Here are a few ways you can reduce your risk of fraud:

  • Use credit and debit cards with EMV chips. EMV chips make it more difficult to hack your information. You can still swipe your card if a merchant doesn’t have chip-enabled technology, but you won’t get the security benefits of the EMV technology.

  • Watch out for phishing scams. Don’t click on emails or texts that look suspicious. Fraudsters use phishing emails to trick you into entering your personal information including account numbers, logins, passwords and more.

  • Fill out your credit card receipts completely. Don’t leave the spaces on your receipts for “tip” and “total” blank because someone could write in a dollar amount. Instead, put a line through the spaces or write $0.

  • Shred documents with sensitive information. Criminals have been known to go through trash to obtain enough information to commit fraud.

  • Review your credit card and bank statements monthly. If you notice any transactions you don’t recognize, immediately report the unauthorized activity.

  • Even if you take all these precautions, it’s impossible to completely prevent fraud. Fortunately, your Premier America debit and credit cards have zero liability protection, which means if your card is used without your permission, you’re not responsible for fraudulent purchases.

Published: January 24, 2019

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Five Steps to Help Prevent Identity Theft

Every year, victims of identity theft spend countless hours working with creditors, and credit reporting agencies to repair the damage caused by identity thieves. Here are five tips to help keep you from becoming a victim.

  1. 1. SHRED IT. Shred all documents with sensitive information such as account and social security numbers before you throw them away.

  2. 2. BE CAREFUL ONLINE. One of the ways identity thieves access personal information is by hacking online accounts. Free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop is great, but it can put your personal information at risk. Only use a secure, private Internet connection any time you log into your accounts or submit personal information online. Don’t click on links you receive from anyone you don’t know. And if you’re shopping, only use sites you trust.

  3. 3. ENABLE MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION. Multi-factor authentication requires you to input more than one piece of information to verify you’re you. If you have service providers that offer this added security, you should enable it.

  4. 4. CONSIDER USING A PASSWORD MANAGER. Password managers generate and store complex passwords for your online accounts that are difficult for hackers to guess. Password managers make it easy to create unique passwords for all your online accounts instead of re-using the same one.

  5. 5. UPDATE YOUR DEVICES. It’s easy to click “remind me later” when you see the system update notice on your phone, tablet or computer. Keeping your operating systems, software and apps up to date may resolve known security issues and can help keep your personal information secure.

Published: January 24, 2019

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