Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime: 5 Common-Sense Reminders

What is your most valuable possession? 

Your home, automobiles, priceless antiques, jewelry or some other expensive item may come to mind when asked this question. While these items certainly do hold significant value, First Bank of the Lake is here to suggest that they are not, in fact, your most valuable possession. Your most valuable possession is not something tangible. In our opinion, the most valuable financial things in your life are your personal information and your identity.

Being Victimized By Cybercrime

Cybercrime is quickly becoming one of the most rampant criminal offenses in the States. Tech-savvy criminals are able to hack into e-commerce websites, email accounts, and protected networks to gain access to sensitive information that they can use for their own personal gain. 

Being the victim of cybercrime can turn your life upside down. Depending on the information the hacker stole, he could use it to file an insurance claim under your name, steal your tax return, make unauthorized purchases on your credit card, or perform any number of other criminal activities. While it is possible to recover from identity theft, its effects can be far-reaching and long-lasting. 

Protecting Yourself From Cybercrime

Since recovering from cybercrime poses such a challenge, it is wise to do everything you can to prevent your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Our community bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you protect your sensitive information with these simple, common-sense reminders.

1. Update Your Passwords Regularly
Remembering your login information for so many online accounts can be frustrating and challenging, but updating your passwords regularly is a smart practice. This way, if someone does get access to your account information, he won't be able to use the information he has for long. It is also wise to use different passwords for each of your different accounts.

2. Avoid Questionable Websites
People who live in big cities know that there are certain areas where crime is more likely to occur, and they wisely avoid those areas as they go about their day-to-day lives. The same logic applies to the internet. Visiting scam websites or sites with adult content or hacker information may put your computer at risk of contracting a virus, so it is best to only visit reputable sites.

3. Verify Requests For Personal Information
Have you ever received an email from your bank, credit card company, or insurance provider asking to confirm certain sensitive information? The truth is that these companies will rarely (if ever) send these types of emails. If you get this type of email, avoid clicking on the links included in the email as they may redirect you to an unsafe website. It is always best to open a new browser and go to your provider's website directly - if the request is legitimate, you will be able to address the issue just as easily by logging in directly.

4. Be Cautious When Shopping Online
Though convenient, shopping online may put your sensitive information at risk. If you enter your credit card information into an unsecured website, you risk it falling into the hands of a cybercriminal. Before entering in your credit card information to make a purchase, make sure your browser displays a symbol of a padlock or an unbroken key to indicate a secure site. The web address for secure sites will also start with "https," instead of simply "http."

5. Consider Help From An Outside Source
Sometimes, the best strategy is to simply ask for help. Consider seeking assistance from a reputable source. Kasasa Protect® is an affordable, comprehensive solution that offers round-the-clock monitoring of your personal information. If fraud should occur, you will get access to immediate hands-on assistance to help restore your personal information. 

Kasasa Protect is available at First Bank of the Lake to anyone who is interested in pursuing different options to protect their personal information. Kasasa account holders get discounted rates on this already affordable product. If you would like more information about Kasasa Protect, visit our website or call us at 573-348-2265. We would be honored to help you protect your information!

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First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!

4558 Osage Beach Parkway
Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065

(573) 348-2265

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