Protecting Your Possible
We have access to so many payment methods these days. There are traditional ways to pay like writing checks, using your debit/credit card, or using cash, and there are digital options like Paypal, Venmo, and Apple/Google Pay. All of these are great options, but they all come with risks. To protect yourself from identity theft, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to help keep you safe.
Protect your data on mobile devices: Always use a password to lock your phone when not in use and don’t share that password with anyone. Many phones come with fingerprint or facial recognition, but even a code or a password can help keep thieves from accessing your information. When your phone is unlocked, don’t leave it unattended. Identity thieves can easily access your personal information which put you at high risk for fraud and identity theft.
Use strong passwords: Create passwords that are hard for people to guess. Don’t use birthdays, names of family members, or words that people can easily figure out. Also, make sure you include uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols whenever possible. For example, if your name is Grace, and you love spending time in your garden, don’t choose gracesgarden1. Instead, try a phrase that uses numbers in place of letters like: Gr33nThumb$ or Flow3rPow3r!
Always review your statements/transaction history: Before the internet, you used to have to wait until your monthly statement arrived to view our transactions, match your check register with our statement, and see if they balanced. You can (and should) still do that, especially if you write checks. However, with online and mobile banking, you don’t have to wait for the statement. You can log in anytime you want to check balances, pending charges, and cleared checks. If you see anything that you didn’t authorize, contact us immediately to dispute the charge.
Identity theft can happen to anyone. Fraudsters are smart, and finding new ways to get what they want all the time. The good news is that NextMark has your back. Use these tips to protect yourself, but if you do become a victim of identity theft, we can help stop it from going further. Let us know as soon as you can, so we can block cards, close accounts, or dispute charges by calling us at 703-218-9900.