Protecting Your Bank Account

Protecting personal bank account information is crucial. Even though personal bank account information by itself may not harm you, it will be easy enough for anyone to get additional information using basic common sense, and be able to steal your identity and possibly access your bank account.

According to Financial Web, you can safeguard your bank account information by taking the following basic precautions

Never disclose your bank account information over the telephone or Internet:
Regardless of how trustworthy the other party may be on the telephone or email, a bank will never require your bank account information over the phone. This type of information-gathering fraudulent activity is known as ‘phishing.’  Phishing has become more innovative and prevalent as scammers try to get you to divulge your bank information through email or unsolicited phone calls. They pretend to be part of the company that you may trust.

Use password on your phones, laptops:
A lot of individuals tend to keep sensitive information such as account numbers, PIN codes and passwords in files on computers and cell phones. However, cell phone and computers can be stolen.  Try to password protect the files where you store this data so that even if a thief manages to steal the computer or cell phone, your personal information is safe.  A good rule of thumb is to store your passwords in a secret or “hidden” file.

Use different passwords to secure information:
A lot of people tend to keep the same password for different accounts since it is convenient and easy to remember. However, a common way for fraudsters to get your bank account information is to get passwords to your social networking site or your email account where you may have stored bank account information. You can avoid this by having separate passwords for each account.  Try using different passwords for your banking needs, make the codes differ completely from your personal account.

Do not leave your chequebook lying around:
Chequebooks and deposit slips have your bank’s routing information and the account information. Anyone who is able to access your chequebook has instant access to this information. Avoid leaving your chequebook on your work desk. If you need to keep it with you at work, try to leave it under lock and key in a secure place, or keep it in your purse or pocket at all times.

Dispose of your bank statements, financial documents properly:
Identity thieves are well known to go through the trash of unsuspecting people who do not properly dispose their bank statements. The bank statement has not only your account number, but also your mailing address, which are two very important pieces of the puzzle for identity theft.


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