Identity theft is today's number one crime and technology just expands the criminal opportunities. Protecting your identity and financial assets from identity thieves and cyber-criminals requires consistency and discipline. These basic guidelines will go a long way toward protecting your identity.
- Be very discerning when revealing any personal financial information, especially your social security number (SSN). Know who you are communicating with. You are only required to provide your SSN for income tax records, medical records, college records, loan applications and vehicle registration.
- If your bank or the IRS is contacting you, they should already have your social security or account number.
- Don't carry your social security card in your wallet.
- Most ID theft uses information obtained via the trash or your mailbox. If you have a street-side mailbox, consider sending your bills and statements to a P.O. box.
- Keep items with personal information in a safe place. Shred anything you don't need, such as bank statements and paycheck stubs (yearly), checking/share draft copies and credit card receipts (every 45 days), insurance forms, and credit card solicitations (immediately).
- Order a free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency every year. Verify the accuracy of your credit report and any credit activity.
Phishing scams continue to fill the headlines these days. Phishers use spam (unwanted e-mail) to lure people to bogus Web sites to obtain personal information and commit identity theft. Be advised: Phishing scams and their Web sites often appear authentic, using a company's proper logo, colors and design elements. Use these measures to avoid being hooked by a phisher:
- Install and use a firewall, antivirus software and anti-spyware programs on your computer.
- Delete e-mails requesting personal information. Note: 1st Mississippi will never send you an e-mail requesting personal information.
- Don't visit a Web site listed in an unsolicited e-mail if you have any suspicion about its authenticity. And never use a link within an e-mail to visit a Web site-instead, open a new browser and type in the URL.
- Change your online banking and shopping account passwords every three to six months.
- Only enter credit card or account information via a secure Web site -- one that begins with "https" in the URL and has a padlock icon on the browser frame (click on the browser frame to view the security certificate).
- If you have online access, monitor your accounts frequently.
Internet Security Tips
The Internet banking service has several effective security techniques that we encourage you to implement when you use the Online Banking service:
- Never reveal your password to anyone or leave your password anywhere that someone else can obtain and use it.
- Change your password on a regular basis.
- Use the Exit button to end each Internet banking session. Do not use the Back button to exit the site.
- Change your session timeout in User Options to a time that meets your needs.
- Balance your account on a regular basis. Online Banking makes it easy!
- For more security tips and information, please visit the Security section of our web site