Protect Yourself Online:

  • Protect your personal information such as your account numbers, PIN numbers, social security number, login and password information. Never share this information online. Do not reply to or click on links in any email asking for your personal information.
  • Be aware of phishing emails and internet pages that look like legitimate websites. They may even have a fake padlock icon, which usually indicates a secure site. If you did not initiate the communication, you should not provide any information.
  • Do not be intimidated by an email or caller who suggests dire consequences if you do not provide or verify your personal information.
  • Protect your passwords. Keep them in a secure area and change them regularly for better protection.
  • Know who you are dealing with online. Look for a physical address and working telephone number. Read the fine print before downloading.

Protect Your Computer:

  • Use a firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your computer.
  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and update them regularly.
  • Make sure your operating system and Web browser are set up properly and update them regularly.
  • Back up important files onto a removable disk and store the disk in a safe place.
  • Erase, or better yet, destroy the hard drive before discarding an old computer.
  • Change your wireless network default password as well as the default SSID (name used to identify your network). Do not broadcast your SSID.
  • Consider using encryption on your network.

Other General Tips:

  • Retrieve mail promptly.
  • Shred private documents such as receipts, applications, etc.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year at
  • Review account statements regularly to ensure they are correct

What to do if you fall victim:

  • Contact your financial institution immediately and alert them to the situation
  • If you have disclosed sensitive information you should also contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss the need to place a fraud alert on your file.
  • Report all suspicious contact to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet at , or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
  • Contact information for the three credit bureaus is:

    PO Box 105069
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

    PO Box 9554
    Allen, TX 75013

    PO Box 2000
    Chester, PA 19016

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