The First National Bank of Ava does not share or sell your personal information. We urge you to learn about the dangers of Identity Theft and take precautions to protect your identity. Here are a few tips to consider in your daily life to help protect your identity:
- Keep your social Security Number safe, secret and secure! Do not carry your SSN in your purse or wallet. If your health care plan card, other than Medicare, uses or displays your SSN, ask for another number or card.
- “Phishing”: don’t take the bait! Scam artists use “phishing” techniques to steal personal and financial identification from innocent people, like you. Many “phising artists” pretend to be banks, stores, government agencies or other trusted organizations. They can contact people using any means at their disposal: telephone, web sites, emails, postal mail, etc. DO NOT give out your personal or financial information unless you made contact first and only if they are a confirmed part of a trusted group. Do not respond to requests to verify your account number or passwords – legitimate companies will not approach you in this manner. Check any link that you visit online that requests any personal or financial information: sometimes the name of the link you click is not always where you end up! Make sure that the URL in your browser’s address bar matches the location that you believe you should be at, and that the security symbol denoting a secure internet connection is there and unbroken. If you have any doubts about the identity of a person or website requesting your information, call a recognized support line for your trusted organization to verify that they are the ones making the request and to report the phishing scam if they are not.
- Credit Reports: Your lifeline! Check your credit reports regularly and make sure that each and every request to view your credit history is legitimate. Watch for changes on your credit report that could tell you someone has stolen your identity or financial information, such as unrecognized reports from agencies you have not dealt with recently or negative marks for payments you did not agree to make. You can check your credit report free online once a year at AnnualCreditReport.Com and many other agencies offer real time credit monitoring for a reasonable fee.
- Identity in shreds! Shred or rip up any papers with personal information before you throw them away. Shred or cut up credit and other cards before they get thrown away. Shred or rip up credit card offers and any “convenieice checks” that you do not use.
- Postal mail needs immediate attention! Check your mailbox daily and remove new letters you receive. Handle letters containing personal information securely: Bills and Bank Statements contain strong personal information! They must be removed from your mailbox immediately and when it is time for them to be disposed of, always shred or rip them up. If there are charges on your account(s) that you do not remember making, call the credit card company or bank IMMEDIATELY! This could be a tell-tale sign that someone has stolen your credit card or bank information and is using it without your permission! If your bills or statements do not arrive on time, call the issuing institution and find out why. This could mean that someone has changed your address on their records to hide their illegal activities on your account.
- Computers: The doorway into your life. Protect your computer with virus scanning software regularly and make sure that your virus definitions are up to date. Use strong passwords that contain both letters and numbers and that are not easy to guess. Use a firewall on your home computer and protect your PC from spyware. Download free software only from sites that you know and trust, and scan new software installation files for viruses and spyware beforeyou install them. Never install software that you do not know what it is and set your Internet Explorer browser security settings to at least “Medium”. Ignore links in popup windows and in spam emails and do not send a “Read Receipt” for emails whose sender you do not know. Never include confidential or sensitive information in unsecured emails.
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