Bank First is recognizing Cybersecurity Awareness Month by focusing on social media safety. There is an abundance of social media platforms offering the benefit of personal connection with family and friends, interacting with common interest groups, education, games, shopping, and so much more. As we are well aware, fraudsters take advantage of every opportunity to steal personal information or money. Let’s review four safety tips to help you keep your personal and financial information secure while on social media.
- Review Privacy Settings. With software updates, changes can be made to the privacy and security options. Check these settings regularly to be certain you are only sharing the information you want to share as well as help control who sees your information. Are your settings set to be seen by friends only, friends of friends, public?
- Keep it personal. Keep your personal information personal and check your profile settings. Do not give out identifying information like your birthdate, passwords, address, phone number, social security number or financial information like bank account numbers, loans, or credit card information. If you’re making a purchase from an advertisement on social media, be sure to verify the company (check reviews, too) and only pay for your items on a secure site.
- Avoid oversharing. Be cautious with what you post as information can be gathered by scammers and used to target you. Even the fun quiz you are taking could be an information gathering tool for scammers. Are you going on vacation? Don’t announce it online or tag your locations far from home. If sharing photos online, wait until you return. You don’t want to advertise the fact that your home is empty and readily available for thieves to break in while you’re away.
- Beware of scams. From online shopping to phishing and romance scams, opportunities to be conned are endless. Romance scams have steadily been on the rise over the past several years and while initially these scammers used dating sites, now they use social media to their advantage. How it works… First, the scammer creates a fake profile to woo victims online. Second, the relationship quickly progresses and trust is gained. Third, the scammer asks or blackmails the victim into giving them money and then disappears.
We urge you to be cautious while online and safeguard your personal and financial information. Do not give out your financial information or give money to someone you haven’t met face to face. Never wire money to a stranger or pay anyone with gift cards. Once you are scammed, it’s nearly impossible to get your money back.
If you believe you may have been the victim of a scam and have provided your Bank First account information, passwords to your online banking accounts, or paid funds as a result of a scam, please reach out to your local Bank First office right away. We’re here to help with your next steps regarding your account and provide additional resources to help you protect your information.