Keeping your personal information safe from cyber criminals
When you go on vacation, you lock your doors and windows. You put your mail on vacation hold and stop newspaper delivery. You make the effort to make sure your property is secure.
Do you put the same effort into your personal cybersecurity? “No one leaves their house unlocked when they go on vacation, so why aren’t we making the same effort to protect our financial assets online?” asks Amy Foulks, Chief Information Officer for First Utah Bank. She offers this checklist of concrete steps every person can take to boost their personal cyber security.
- Secure all devices with a strong password. Better yet, experts recommend, use a passphrase, which is a longer, 20-30 character sequence of words or text.
- Do not create login credentials that contain information people can find on social media (names of pets, children, grandchildren).
- Avoid using the same password for your various systems, such as your phone, computer, tablet, accounting software, and most importantly, financial sites.
- Do not use the same passwords at work as you do at home.
- Store your passwords using a good password management service instead of on sticky notes or unsecure files on your computer.
- Change passwords and passphrases to critical systems every 60-90 days, or immediately if you believe your credentials have been compromised.
- If you are offered multi-factor authentication, make sure your responses to the questions are as difficult to guess as your password.
- If a system offers it, sign up for extra security features such as text authentication.
- Don’t open emails you are not expecting, or from unfamiliar companies or individuals.
- Scrutinize the sender’s domain. Sometimes, a phishing attack will tweak the name of a legitimate domain so that it looks familiar. For instance, they might use firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com.
- Hover your mouse over, but do not click on, embedded links. It is best to copy and paste any links into your browser.
- Do not open an email attachment if you do not know exactly why you received it or what it contains. Malicious software can be embedded in any type of file attachment except a TXT file.
- When in doubt, contact the sender directly via known contact information. Do not simply reply to the email or use the phone number in the email itself.
Using financial websites
- Enroll in account alerts and notifications for your accounts, including credit and debit cards.
- Monitor your credit, and consider freezing your credit. Take advantage of your free credit report annually and look for signs of identity theft or unauthorized purchases.
- Shred account documents at home.
- Do your research before using any personal financial management tools. Verify they are from a trusted source before providing access to your financial accounts and personal information.
At First Utah Bank, we want to help you keep your information secure. This page offers news of the latest threats as well as fraud prevention tips and credit reporting links. Our website also details how we keep your information secure as your trusted banking partner.