Skip to content

{beginAccordion}

ATM Safety

Ten tips on how to protect yourself when using your ATM card:

1. Protective Distance - When using an ATM, be aware of others behind you in line. Position yourself at the keypad to prevent someone from observing your personal identification number (PIN). Be attentive to others in front of you using the ATM, stay a courteous distance away. Allow the person to complete their transaction before you approach the machine.

2. Be Ready - Fill out deposit forms and have your card ready when you approach the ATM. When your transaction is complete, pocket your card and cash until you are safely locked in your car or home.

3. Drive-up ATMs - Keep your car doors locked and the engine running during your transaction.

4. ATM Card = Cash - Guard your ATM card as though it were cash, checks, or a credit card

5. Protect Your PIN(s) - Keep your PIN private. Don't write it down and carry it with you. Memorize it or keep it at home. Position yourself in front of the keypad to prevent someone from observing your PIN.

6. Save Your Receipts - Do not leave your receipt in the ATM machine. Keep it to record the transaction and to reconcile against your monthly statement.

7. Be Aware - Stay alert to your surroundings, especially at night. Park in well lighted areas and have someone accompany you. If you ever notice anything suspicious, leave immediately and use another ATM location or come back later.

8. Report Suspicious Activity - If you notice anything unusual, cancel your transaction, pocket your card, and leave immediately. Go to a safe place and call the police if you suspect dangerous or illegal activity.

9. Lender's Regret - Never lend your ATM cards out. Your ATM card is your responsibility. Be sure you keep track of where all your cards are located.

10. Report Lost or Stolen Cards Immediately - Call the bank as soon as you realize your card is lost or stolen. If you witness a crime, report it to the police and to the operator of the ATM machine.

Debit/Credit Card Safety

Keep your debit/credit card information from falling into the wrong hands by following these ten precautions:

1. Sign Immediately - As soon as your card arrives in the mail, it is recommended that you sign the back.

2. Memorize your PIN - Don't write your personal identification number (PIN) down and carry it with you. Leave the number at home.

3. Thank You For Asking - Tell merchants thank you for asking to see your identification or verifying your signature when making purchases with your debit/credit card. This verification process is intended to protect your card from fraudulent purchases. When using your card for purchases, make sure the merchant returns it to you and that it is your card.

4. Take Your Receipt and Save It - Always ask for your debit/credit card receipts when making purchases and tear up any carbon copies. Reconcile your receipts against your monthly statement to verify any suspicious activity. Report any unauthorized transactions immediately. Once you have reconciled the statement, you can tear up the receipts if you want. But do it in the safety of your own home.

5. Verify Statements - Review your monthly statements carefully to assure the amounts charged are what you authorized. Report any errors or unauthorized transactions immediately.

6. Keep It Private - Store your statements in a safe place.

7. Out of Sight - Never leave your purse or wallet unattended and always keep your debit/credit cards out of sight.

8. Lender's Regret - Never lend your debit/credit cards out. Your debit/credit card is your responsibility. Be sure you keep track of where all your cards are located.

9. Keep A List of Contacts - Write down your account numbers and telephone numbers to contact if your cards should be lost or stolen.

10. Report Immediately - If cards are lost or stolen, you should report it immediately, no matter where you are, to minimize loss and liability.

Online & Mobile Banking Safety

User ID and Password Guidelines

  • Create a "strong" password with at least 8 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Change your password frequently
  • Never share username and password information with third-party providers.
  • Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
  • Do not use the same password for different account accesses.

General Guidelines

  • Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Online Banking.
  • Review account balances and detail transactions regularly (preferably daily) to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.
  • Whenever possible, use Bill Pay instead of checks to limit account number dissemination exposure and to obtain better electronic record keeping.
  • Take advantage of and regularly view system alerts; examples include:
    • Balance alerts
    • Transfer alerts
    • Password change alerts
  • Do not use account numbers, your social security number, or other account or personal information when creating account nicknames or other titles.
  • Never leave a computer unattended while using Online Banking.
  • An FBI recommended best practice is to suggest that users dedicate a PC solely for financial transactions (e.g., no web browsing, emails, or social media).

Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware and Malware

  • Do not open e-mail or texts from unknown sources. Be suspicious of e-mails or texts purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious e-mails or texts could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer or mobile device.
  • Install anti-virus and spyware detection software on all computer systems and mobile devices.
  • Update all of your computers and mobile devices regularly with the latest versions and patches of both anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if using a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable.
  • Bookmark the Financial Institutions website and only use this bookmark to access the site to avoid phishing.

Tips for Wireless Network Management

  • If your device offers encryption, secure your wireless network by enabling encryption. Purchase a device that supports the latest encryption standards.
  • Change the wireless network hardware (router/access point) administrative password from the factory default to a complex password.
  • If only known computers will access the wireless network, consider enabling MAC filtering on the network hardware. Every computer network card is assigned a unique MAC address. MAC filtering will only allow computers with permitted MAC addresses access to the wireless network.
  • Avoid using unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts.

Mobile Guidelines

  • Add the Financial Institutions short code and customer service phone number to your contacts and only initiate SMS and phone calls from your contact list. Do not reply to SMS messages that do not exist in your contact list.
  • Only download apps from stores, such as Apple and Android, which are submitted and branded by the Financial Institution.
  • Know that the Financial Institution will not ask users to provide confidential information over an email or SMS message.
  • Password protect your smartphone and always lock your phone when it's not in use.
  • Clear data from your smartphone frequently. Delete text messages from Financial Institution, especially before sharing, discarding, or selling your phone.

Business Online & Mobile Banking Safety

User ID and Password Guidelines

  • Create a "strong" password with at least 8 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Change your password frequently.
  • Never share username and password information with third-party providers.
  • Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
  • Do not use the same password for different account access.

General Guidelines

  • Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Business Express.
  • Review account balances and detail transactions regularly to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.
  • Whenever possible, use Bill Pay instead of checks to limit account number dissemination exposure and to obtain better electronic record keeping.
  • Take advantage of and regularly view system alerts; examples include"
    • ACH Alerts
    • Wire Alerts
    • Password change alerts
  • Do not use account numbers, your social security number, or other account or personal information when creating account nicknames or other titles.
  • Never leave a computer unattended while using Business Express.
  • An FBI recommended best practice is to suggest that company users dedicate a PC solely for financial transactions (e.g., no web browsing, emails, or social media).

Administrative Users

  • Prohibit the use of "shared" usernames and passwords for Business Express.
  • Limit administrative rights on users' workstations to help prevent the inadvertent downloading of malware or other viruses.
  • Ensure computers are equipped with the latest versions and patches of both anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Delete online user IDs as part of the exit procedure when employees leave your company.

Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware and Malware

  • Do not open e-mail from unknown sources. Be suspicious of e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information.
  • Never respond to a suspicious e-mail or click on any hyperlink embedded in a suspicious e-mail.
  • Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if using a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable.
  • Install anti-virus and spyware detection software on all computer systems. Update all of your computers regularly with the latest version and patches of both anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Bookmark the Financial Institutions website and only use the bookmark to access the site to avoid phishing.

Tips for Wireless Network Management

  • If your device offers encryption, secure your wireless network by enabling encryption. Purchase a device that supports the latest encryption standards.
  • Change the wireless network hardware (router/access point) administrative password from the factory default to a complex password.
  • If only known computers will access the wireless network, consider enabling MAC filtering on the network hardware. Every computer network card is assigned a unique MAC address. MAC filtering will only allow computers with permitted MAC addresses access to the wireless network.
  • Avoid using unsecured, public Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts.

Mobile Guidelines

  • Add the Financial Institutions short code and customer service phone number to your contacts and only initiate SMS and phone calls from your contact list. Do not reply to SMS messages that do not exist in your contact list.
  • Only download apps from stores, such as Apple and Android, which are submitted and branded by the Financial Institution.
  • Know that the Financial Institution will not ask users to provide confidential information over an email or SMS message.
  • Password protect your smartphone and always lock your phone when it's not in use.
  • Clear data from your smartphone frequently. Delete text messages from Financial Institution, especially before sharing, discarding, or selling your phone.

Internet Safety

1. Virus Updates -  Update your virus protection software regularly, or when a new virus alert is announced. If your virus protection software does not cover malware, also use an anti-malware software to protect your computer. Computer viruses can have a variety of damaging effects, including introducing program code that causes your computer to send out files or other stored information. Be on the alert for security repairs and patches that you can download from your operating system's web site.

2. Security Patches  - Install security patches when issued by the software (operating system and browser) vendor. Some applications have the ability to alert you when updates are available for download.

3. Firewall Protection  - Use a firewall program, especially if you use a highspeed Internet connection like cable, DSL or T-1, which leaves your computer connected to the Internet 24 hours a day. The firewall program will allow you to stop uninvited guests from accessing your computer. Without it, hackers can take over your computer and access your personal information stored on it or use it to commit other crimes.

4. Use a Secure Browser  - Software that encrypts or scrambles information you send over the Internet - to guard the security of your online transactions. Be sure your browser has the most up-to-date encryption capabilities by using the latest version available from the manufacturer. You also can download some browsers for free over the Internet. When submitting information online, there are two ways to see if you are on a secured web site:

  • Look for the padlock in the lower right (Internet Explorer) or left (Netscape) corner of your browser window
  • Look in the address window above, the letters https:// should appear in front of the address of the form screen (instead of the non-secure http:// address).

5. Disconnect Internet  - Shut off or disconnect your computer from the Internet when not in use.

6. Logout -  Always log off from your Internet Banking session using the 'Exit' button.

7. Computer Disposal  - Before you dispose of a computer, delete personal information. Deleting files using the keyboard or mouse commands may not be enough because the files may stay on the computer's hard drive, where they may be easily retrieved. Use a "wipe" utility program to overwrite the entire hard drive. It makes the files unrecoverable.

Downloading & Storage Tips

1. Download With Caution  - Do not download files sent to you by strangers or click on hyperlinks from people you don't know. Opening a file could expose your system to a computer virus or a program that could hijack your modem.

2. Storing Financial Information  - Try not to store financial information on your laptop unless absolutely necessary. If you do, use a strong password - a combination of letters (upper and lowers case), numbers and symbols.

3. Automatic Login Information  - Do not use an automatic login feature which saves your user name and password so you don't have to enter them each time you login or enter a site. (Turn off through IE - Tools - Internet Options - Content tab - Personal Information section, choose AutoComplete button)

4. Log Off  - Always log off or exit when you're finished. That way, if your computer gets stolen, it's harder for the thief to access your personal information.

Surfing Web Sites & Shopping Online

1. Privacy Policies  - Look for web site privacy policies. They answer questions about maintaining accuracy, access, security, and control of personal information collected by the site, as well as how information will be used, and whether it will be provided to third parties. If you don't see a privacy policy, consider surfing elsewhere.

2. Background Check  - Shop only at reputable Web stores. If you've never heard of the company before, ask around before sending in your credit card. The National Fraud Information Center ( http://www.fraud.org/ ) keeps an eye out for shady Internet dealings and offers consumer tips on its web site.

3. Secure Servers  - Most legitimate Web merchants offer secure transactions. There are two ways to see if you are on a secured web site:

  • Look for the padlock in the lower right (Internet Explorer) or left (Netscape) corner of your browser window
  • Look in the address window above, the letters https:// should appear in front of the address of the form screen (instead of the non-secure http:// address)

4. Secure Certificates  - Legitimate Web sites maintain current certificates for secure pages or applications (see #3 - padlock or https). To authenticate the site's secure Web page, follow these steps:

On the secure Web page, click on the File menu and go to Properties

Click on the button at the bottom of the screen called 'Certificates' - it should include the Web address (URL) with which the security certificate was issued and the validity dates.

5. Charge It  - Use a credit card rather than a check or your ATM card when you shop online. By law, you are liable for no more than $50 for unauthorized charges, in the unlikely event that someone does steal your account information. You can also designate one credit card specifically for online purchases so it's easier to track the activity. NEVER give your bank account number to a Web merchant. It's just too tempting...

6. Too Good To Be True  - Avoid purchasing a product from a merchant or an auction site where the deal looks 'too good to be true' because it usually is.

7. Healthy Skepticism  - If you receive an email from an unknown address that bursts with vague promises of wealth and glory, you know what to do:

Trash it. Ditto for Web sites offering the latest greatest way to make thousands of dollars a week by working from home. It's easy to fake an email address, so pay more attention to the message contents rather than to the domain it supposedly came from.

Fraud

Who is 'Phishing' for Your Personal Information?

Recently, some consumers have been receiving emails that seem legitimate and request updated billing or personal information. These emails are designed to trick you into revealing your private information - possibly a Social Security number, ATM PIN, bank account or credit card numbers. This practice has become known as "phishing".

To make emails seem more realistic, the senders often duplicate the company logo and familiar formats. These emails are often masked under the name of a trusted source such as the FDIC, a trusted financial institution or an Internet Service Provider.

What Should You Do if You Think You've Been Phished?

If you get an email that warns you that one of your accounts will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the email. Report any suspicious activity to the company where you maintain your account and to the Federal Trade Commission, immediately.

Avoid Becoming a Victim

The Federal Trade Commission and Privacy Right Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, also advise:

  • Review and verify credit card and bank statements as soon as you receive them.
  • Report suspicious activity through the Federal Trade Commission Web Site. Avoid filling out forms in email messages. Internet fraud complaints also can be filed with the FBI.

Peoples National Bank is committed to helping you protect your personal information.

ID Theft

Ten steps you can take to help protect your identity

1. Guard Your Numbers - Don't give out your social security number or bank account numbers over the phone unless 'you' initiate the call and know the person or organization on the other end. Never give this information to a stranger, even one claiming to be your bank. Don't write your personal identification numbers (PIN) down - memorize them. Refrain from printing your social security number or credit card numbers on your checks.

2. Report It Immediately - Lost or stolen checks can be blocked by your bank, just give them the numbers involved. Don't leave new check orders in your mailbox for extended periods of time and verify new deliveries are complete (assure none have been stolen). If your Debit card is stolen, contact us immediately at 1-618-241-6550.

3. Store in Safe Place - All cancelled or new checks should be kept in a safe place. Leave your social security card, passport, or birth certificate in a safe place - don't carry them with you.

4. Notify the Bank - If anyone suspicious calls asking for account information to 'verify a statement' or 'award a prize.' Banks have your account information and don't need to call you. BEWARE: Of fraudulent web sites and e-mails requesting personal information - refer to SPOOF web sites and phishing information for further details.

5. Guard Your Info - ATM personal identification numbers (PIN) and receipts are access tools for thieves. Don't write your PIN down. Keep them protected.

6. Mail Solicitations - Don't just throw pre-approved credit offers away, tear or shred them up so thieves cannot use them to assume your identify. Tear or shred any other financial information before it is disposed in the trash.

7. Mailbox Protection - Don't leave your mail in the mailbox for pickup. Drop them in a secure, official drop box of the U.S. Postal Service. Thieves could use your mail to steal your identity.

8. Bills in the Mail - As much as you hate receiving bills in the mail, be sure they are arriving on time. If not, contact the company to find out why. Someone may have put a false change-of-address notice on you to divert your personal information to another address for his or her access.

9. Review Bills Carefully - If they include suspicious items, investigate them immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.

10. Review Credit Reports - Periodically contact one of the major credit reporting companies to review your file and verify the information is correct. As part of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to an annual free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies through www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You can obtain a copy of your credit report at any time for a small fee through the three major credit bureaus:

Your Identity Has Been Stolen - What Should You Do?

If you suspect you are a victim of fraud or identity theft, follow these steps:

1. Immediately contact your bank and credit card providers by calling the phone number listed on your statements.

2. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by one of the following methods:

  • By Internet www.ftc.gov
  • By Phone Toll-free 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338)
  • By Mail Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20580

3. Contact the three major credit reporting agencies to put yourself on 'Fraud Alert' and request a copy of your credit report:

4. Cancel all accounts that have fraudulent activity or are at risk

5. Contact your local law enforcement agency

6. If your mail has been stolen, contact the U.S. Postal Service

7. Keep detailed records of your efforts to resolve any theft of your identity, including:

  • Log the date, time, and amount of any unauthorized activity on your accounts
  • Log the date, time, duration, and cost of any phone calls
  • Log the date and cost of any mailings

Additional Resources on ID Theft

{endAccordion}

Here, the Golden Rule still applies.