Never give out personal information online or over the phone unless you have initiated the contact. Pioneer Trust Bank will never request you to submit confidential information over non-secure channels such as e-mail or phone calls.
- Don't include information such as your driver's license or Social Security Number on your pre-printed checks.
- Memorize all Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), such as your ATM card PIN and online passwords. Do not keep such numbers in your wallet or purse.
- Avoid using easily guessed or learned information such as your online password, PIN or Telephone Access Code (TAC).
- We offer you the ability to select a TAC to be used as identification when accessing our automated phone system. We encourage you to select a TAC rather than using your Social Security number.
- Store new and cancelled checks in a secure place and shred unnecessary financial documents. Consider signing up for a check safekeeping service.
- Avoid writing your account number on envelopes or other items that may be thrown away later.
- Register your credit cards, ATM, check and debit cards with a liability protection service.
Protect Your Mail
- If you stop receiving bills, statements or other monthly mailings, or if a bill is not received when expected, contact the issuing company immediately.
- Promptly collect incoming mail, and use a locking mailbox if possible.
- Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or a post office; try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox.
- Shred all unwanted pre-approved offers for credit cards, convenience checks or loans.
E-mail viruses and worms are fairly common. Here are steps you can use to help you decide what to do with every e-mail message attachment you receive. You should only open and read a message that passes all of these tests:
- The know test - is the e-mail from someone you know?
- The received test - have you received e-mail from this person before?
- The sense test - does the e-mail subject make sense based on who is sending the e-mail? Would you expect this type of attachment from this person?
- The virus test - does this e-mail contain a virus? To determine this, you need to install and use an anti-virus program.
Backups: How Important?
It is a good practice to back up important files and folders on your computer. To back up files, you can make copies onto media that you can safely store at another location or use a cloud service provider to provide offsite backups.
For more information on home computer security, visit http://www.cert.org/.
Personal Computer Security
One way a thief can get personal information about you is from your home computer. The following tips detail how you can add to the security of personal information on your home computer. For each computer or online service you use, you should have a user ID and password. Try to create the most bizarre and original password, and make sure you protect it. Commit your password to memory and don't share it with anyone.
The following easily-identifiable items should be avoided when creating passwords:
- Your birth date or a family member's birth date
- Names of family members or pets
- Social Security number
- Phone numbers
- Dates of important events, such as anniversaries
Tips for creating strong passwords:
- Use a combination of numbers, letters and punctuation.
- Longer passwords are better.
- Make sure it's something you can remember without writing it down.
Install and Use Anti-Malware Software
Viruses can infect a home computer in many ways: various media, e-mail, web sites and downloaded files. Anti-Malware software help protect your computer against most viruses, worms, trojans and other unwanted invaders that can make your computer "sick."
Viruses, worms and the like often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, accessing personal data or using your computer to attack other computers.
If a file is found to be infected with a virus, most anti-malware applications provide you with options of how to respond, such as removing the harmful item or deleting the file. Installing an anti-malware application and keeping it up-to-date is the best defense for your home computer.
Firewalls: What Are They and How Do I Use Them?
Before you connect your computer to the Internet, you should install a firewall. A firewall can be generally described as a security guard for your home computer. The guard is a piece of software or hardware that helps protect your PC against hackers and many computer viruses and worms.
With a firewall, you define which connections between your computer and other computers on the Internet are allowed and which are denied. There are firewall programs, both free and available for purchase, that provide the capabilities you need to help make your home computer more secure.
Purchasing and Installing Programs
Apply these practices when you select software for your home computer.
- Learn as much as you can about the product and what it does before you purchase it.
- Understand the refund/return policy before you make your purchase.
- Buy from a local store that you already know or a national chain with an established reputation.
Keep Your System Up-to-Date
Most software vendors provide free patches to fix problems in their products. You can usually download these patches from the vendor's website. When you purchase a program, it's a good idea to find out how the vendor provides customer support.