Everything is online these days, which makes life convenient, but also presents challenges when it comes to personal safety and protecting your information. The good news is, taking some simple proactive steps can help to keep your personal data safe and secure. We’ve assembled this guide of personal cybersecurity tips to get you started.
How to Keep Your Financial Data Safe and Secure
When it comes to your money, you want to keep it as secure as possible. At Jovia, we’re honored that you’ve chosen to entrust us with taking care of your finances; and we know we’re in this together. To ensure the highest level of cybersecurity for your personal banking information, we recommend that you take the following steps to help us protect your data.
- Keep your contact information up to date and leave an email address for us to reach you. By keeping your information current, it will be easier for us to get in touch with you as needed. We highly recommend adding an email address to your accounts at Jovia because it’s the quickest way to send you important updates.
- Keep your password unique.
Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols. It helps to select passwords that you will remember, but that would be difficult for others to guess. To keep track of your passwords, write them down physically and keep them safe on a list that's stored in a secure place away from your computer. For Jovia accounts, we require the following parameters for usernames and passwords:
- Username: Must be 6 or more characters (letters, numbers, or special characters), but cannot be all numbers.
- Password: Must be a minimum of 8 characters and a maximum of 32 characters. Your password must contain a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Never write your PIN on your Card or keep it in your wallet; don't share it with anyone. For your own memory, consider adding your PIN to the hidden written list of passwords.
- Monitor your accounts. Carefully review statements and notify us promptly of any unusual activity or identity theft so we can address the situation as quickly as possible.
- Set up Direct Deposit. Have your paychecks, dividends, and other recurring credits deposited directly to your account - you won't have to worry about checks getting lost or stolen in the mail and you'll receive your funds more quickly.
- Set up automatic payments. Automatic payments help protect you from being late but also from losing a check, which can cause identity theft concerns. With our free Bill Pay service available through Online and Mobile Banking, you can pay both your recurring and one-time bills quickly and easily.
- Stay alert when using any ATMs. Be on the lookout for strange "equipment" on or around the ATM, and if you see something that doesn’t seem right at our facility, let us know. While performing your transaction, cover the pin pad with your hand if possible. Once your transaction is complete, take your money, card, and receipt and leave the area. Verify your cash later when it is safe to do so. Check your ATM receipts against your statements to identify unauthorized transactions.
- Traveling? Let us know first. Whether you're taking the family to Europe or hopping a plane for business, fill out the Travel Notification form found in Online Banking before you leave. This will aid us as we monitor your transactions and avoid unnecessary blocks on your account.
Your credit union will never ask you to provide your personal information, such as account numbers, passwords, social security numbers, debit or credit card numbers via email, phone call or text message.
How to Keep Your Personal Information Safe Online
Outside of Online and Mobile Banking with Jovia, we frequently use the internet for virtual transactions like online shopping and paying bills which creates opportunities for stolen personal information. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it’s important that you take steps to protect your personal data across the web.
- Keep a secure list of all your debit and credit card account numbers. Place the list in a safe and secure place and include the telephone numbers to call if your cards are ever lost or stolen. Never provide anyone with your personal or financial information unless you initiated the contact.
- Report Crime. If you suspect fraud within your Jovia account or have had a debit or credit card lost or stolen, click here to review the steps you should take immediately. You should also place a fraud alert on your credit report.
- If you experience stolen finances, identities, or other cyber-crime, inform www.ic3.gov (Internet Crime Complain Center) and your local law enforcement agency or state attorney general.
- Regularly check your credit report for incorrect information. Consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
- Consider additional monitoring services. For added visibility into your credit status, learn more about Jovia’s Credit Monitoring service.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Never download a file or attachment in an email unless you are absolutely certain what it is, and who sent it. Do not click on an advertisement asking for personal or financial information. Scams will often start with a targeted email that could include a link to an internet site. Even if the site looks real, avoid entering your personal information through an email link. Contact the company directly, or go directly to the company site if you have questions.
- Avoid viruses and other software designed to infiltrate or damage your computer system. Many programs will automatically correct and update to fight known risks; turn on automatic updates on your laptop or desktop if that's an option. Otherwise, keep your security and system software up-to-date to consistently protect your computer from these threats.
- Use secure sites. Always look for the lock in the address bar, this indicates a site is secure. Additionally https indicates a site is secured using certificate vs an http site, which is not.
These days, just as much personal information is stored on our smartphones as on our computers - if not more! Keeping your personal phone data secure is equally important.
- Lock your phone with a strong passcode and be aware of where your device is at all times.
- Use only secure and trusted Wi-Fi. Try to avoid Wi-Fi networks found in coffee shops or other public places when possible.
- Accept Bluetooth connections solely from people you know and turn your Bluetooth off when you are not using it.
- Download applications from trusted sources such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- When downloading new applications, read the permission form and determine if it makes sense for your needs before installing.
- Never respond to an SMS text message that requests financial or personal information.
- Beware of “juice jacking” when using public phone charging stations. Plug directly into an AC power outlet instead of the charging stations, use your own device chargers or rely on your own portable charger in case of emergencies.
Taking these proactive steps and keeping these personal cybersecurity tips in mind will help your personal information stay safe online.