Checking Account Security Tips
How to boost your bank account security and avoid identity theft
As new checking account security measures are established to protect consumers and banks, criminals are developing increasingly sophisticated strategies for breaching them. With the broadening scope of electronic avenues for crime, it's more important than ever to make sure the security of your bank account isn't compromised.
Minimize your risk for checking identity theft
Checking identity theft is growing with the technological adeptness of criminals. Using stolen account and personal information, scam artists are able assume others' identities for economic gain. Here are steps you can take to guard yourself against checking account fraud:
- Only provide your checking account and routing number to a person or company you know and trust.
- Carefully review your monthly account statements. If you bank online, frequently check your account activity. Notify your bank immediately about any unauthorized transactions.
- Shred or secure in a safe any documents that contain your account number, including voided checks, statements and deposit slips. This information can be used to create demand drafts, which work like checks for withdrawing money from your account. Also, be sure to safeguard or destroy documents that contain sensitive personal information, such as your Social Security Number, which can be used for checking identity theft.
- Use a ballpoint pen when writing a check. The ink is less water-soluble, which makes it far more difficult to erase.
- Print everything on the check besides your signature. Print is much harder to duplicate than cursive.
Online bank account security
If you are going to take advantage of online or mobile banking technology, be sure to find out how safe online banking is ensured at your bank. Most banks have a published policy detailing the security measures in place to protect your account and how fraud will be handled in the event that it does occur.
It is also good practice to make sure you are taking precautions on your own whenever you are using online applications:
- Do not choose a password that other people could guess. Passwords are most effective when they contain a combination of lowercase and capital letters as well as numeric characters. Also, try to use a unique password for each of your financial accounts.
- Refrain from saving your password and other identifying account information on your computer.Manually type it in each time you want to access your account.
- Make sure only to access your account over a secure internet connection.
- If you ever feel the security of your password has been jeopardized, change it.
- Keep your antivirus software up to date.
- Always log out of your bank account after completing your online banking.
Likely targets for checking account fraud
Criminals often target senior citizens for checking identity theft, believing them to be more trusting and less technically savvy than younger populations. Many seniors may opt to receive their account statements through the mail. If scam artists get their hands on account correspondence, they can quickly squander the nest egg and creditworthiness that someone has spent a lifetime building. To make themselves less likely targets for checking account fraud, it's important that seniors maximize their bank account security.
Get a bank account with security from Citizens Bank
Read more about check fraud protection and take advantage of checking account security from Citizens Bank. Learn more about our checking account options, or open a checking account online today. If you still have questions, you can speak with a customer service representative at 1-877-360-2472.