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Cybersecurity Month: 10 Tips to Fortify Your Defenses

Posted in Security

In today's digital world, financial scams have become increasingly sophisticated, posing a constant threat to both individuals and businesses. From deceptive emails to investment fraud, these scams target vulnerabilities with precision. Consider the following cybersecurity tips that will help you identify and steer clear of scams, and safeguard the security of your financial and personal information.

  1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is your best defense. Stay informed about common financial scams and how they work. The more you understand the tactics scammers use, the better prepared you are to spot and avoid them.
  2. Verify the Source: Always check the legitimacy of any unsolicited communication. Whether it's an email, phone call, or text message, double-check the sender's identity and contact the organization independently using their official contact information.
  3. Protect Your Personal Information: Guard your personal and financial information like a treasure. Never share sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, or passwords with unknown or unverified sources.
  4. Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts, and enable two-factor authentication when available. This extra layer of security can thwart scammers attempting to access your accounts.
  5. Beware of Email Phishing: Email phishing is a common scam tactic. Be cautious of unexpected emails requesting sensitive information or urgent actions. Check the sender's email address for authenticity, and don't click on suspicious links or download attachments.
  6. Avoid Unsolicited Phone Calls: Scammers often impersonate trusted organizations over the phone. If you receive an unsolicited call requesting personal or financial information, hang up and call the organization directly using official contact information.
  7. Research Investments: Before investing your money, conduct thorough research. Be wary of investments promising guaranteed returns and consult a financial advisor for guidance when considering investments.
  8. Monitor Financial Statements: Regularly review your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized or suspicious transactions. Report any discrepancies immediately to your financial institution.
  9. Shop Securely Online: When shopping online, use reputable websites and payment methods. Look for secure website indicators like "https://" and a padlock symbol in the address bar. Avoid making purchases on unsecured websites.
  10. Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect a scam or have fallen victim to one, report it to relevant authorities, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), your local law enforcement, or your bank. Reporting scams can help prevent others from becoming victims.

At Bank First, we strongly encourage you to be proactive by staying informed, verifying sources, and protecting your personal information. Please be sure to contact your local Bank First office right away if you have provided bank account information, passwords to your online banking accounts, or paid funds as a result of fraud attempts or scams.

Take full advantage of our built-in and supplementary fraud prevention tools designed for both individuals and businesses. Explore services such as Online and Mobile Banking (Personal and Business), Card Management (CardValet for Business), Account Alerts, Debit Card Alerts, ACH and Check Positive Pay (for business use), and many more. Reach out to your local Bank First office to learn more today!

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