Forte Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) are reminding customers of simple steps to safeguard their personal account information and what to do if they suspect they have been affected by a reported breach.
“You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to protect yourself against hackers and identity theft. Small actions like creating strong passwords, using different passwords for different accounts, and exercising caution when sharing personal information online, can make a huge impact in your risk exposure,” said Tony Andereck, vice president and security officer at Forte Bank. “By working together, we can ensure a safer, more resilient internet for everyone, while fighting against the rising tide of cyberattacks.”
Reduce Your Risk Exposure
While there is no foolproof way to avoid online identity theft, you can minimize your risk by:
- Limiting information disclosed—Never respond to text messages, emails or phone calls that request sensitive personal information such as your banking ID, account numbers, user name or password, even if the messages appear to originate from your bank, government agencies or officials or companies with which you have a relationship.
- Taking advantage of security features—Update your computer security software and apply software updates to your computer system, mobile devices, web browsers and operating system to defend against viruses, malware and other online threats.
- Monitoring account activity—Pay attention to your statements and check your credit report regularly for suspicious activity, such as unusual or unexplained charges, unknown accounts in your name, or unexpected denials on your card. Contact your bank immediately if you notice anything unusual.
Respond to a Data Breach
In the unfortunate event of a data breach, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:
- Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access to your credit file.
- Set up a fraud alert which directs banks to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account.
- Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.
- Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to your local law enforcement and/or state attorney general.
Learn more about how to protect your digital life by visiting the Stay Safe Online website.
If you have concerns about your Forte Bank account, contact our Deposit Operations team at 262-670-3878, or use our secure contact form.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 760,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties. Holding more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.