In recent years, criminals have largely refocused their tactics towards the end user — in effect, you. They have developed multiple schemes designed to electronically compromise your hardware and in the process gain access to your personal information (or in a worst case scenario, your money). As a result, North Shore Bank has compiled the following list of recommendations:
- Choose a good anti-virus program and keep it up-to-date. Besides weekly system scans, use it to scan downloaded files as well.
- Keep your operating system and programs patched. You are strongly advised to apply all security-related patches for your software as soon as they become available.
- Never select the option on web browsers for storing or retaining username and password. This puts your personal information at risk in the event of a data compromise.
- Only download and install software from websites you know and trust. Downloading free games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars may sound appealing, but free software can come with malicious software.
Read more about malicious software
- Only give personal information over encrypted websites – those using the https:// at the beginning of their address.
- Avoid using computers or devices that cannot be fully trusted (for instance the local library computer or the Internet café).
- Be leery of WI-FI hotspots, most do not encrypt the information that you send over the internet and are therefore not secure.
- Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of the site you want directly into your browser. Criminals often send phony “phishing” emails that appear to be from companies you know and trust. The links may look legitimate, but by clicking on them could download malicious software or be sent to a spoof site which is designed to steal your personal information.
Read more about email schemes
- Do not open attachments in email unless you know who sent it and what it is. Opening attachments — even in emails that seem to be from friends or family — can install malicious software on your computer.
- Do not use the "Unsubscribe" feature of spam emails or ever reply to spam mails. By doing so, you confirm the validity of your email address and the spammer can keep on sending you unsolicited email.
Source: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Information: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov
If you suspect identity theft or fraud involving your North Shore Bank account:
- Contact North Shore Bank at (978) 538-7000.
- Contact the following three credit bureaus to have a fraud alert placed on your credit report.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov
- File a report with your local law enforcement agency