April 29, 2011 6:55 am
By John Voket, RISMedia Columnist
RISMEDIA, April 29, 2011-Whether through a smartphone, or with a click of a computer mouse, your RIS Consumer Confidant knows more Americans are bringing their banking, and their bank, home with them than ever before. They are shopping, ordering prescriptions, medical products, furniture and even cars, all through the Internet.
This is why David Nelson, an FDIC fraud specialist, warns the time to get serious about your own identity protection is NOW-and he offers these basic tips to protect yourself:
If you bank online, frequently check your deposit accounts and lines of credit to spot and report errors or fraudulent transactions, just as you should with traditional banking.
Never give your Social Security number, credit or debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs) or any other confidential information in response to an unsolicited e-mail, text message or phone call, no matter who the source supposedly is.
Don't open attachments or click on links in unsolicited e-mails from anyone you don't know or aren't sure about. And watch out for sudden pop-up windows asking for personal information or warning of a virus.
Be on guard against scams hiding behind online coupon offers. Beware of any coupon site that asks for personal, financial or payment information, which can be misused by criminals.
Be careful if you download banking software onto a cell phone. Many cell phones called "smart phones" allow consumers to add computer-like features ranging from video games to "mobile" banking. The latest emerging threat comes from criminals selling malicious software for mobile banking, some even falsely displaying bank logos. These applications may contain spyware, and downloading them could be giving a hacker access to your bank account or payment card information.
Nelson's last word: "Only download mobile banking applications from a safe site, such as your wireless provider, phone manufacturer or your bank." When in doubt, he added, "contact your bank before downloading any banking applications to your cell phone."
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