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Helpful Tips to Protecting Your Account in 2019

December 26, 2018

Protecting Your Account

Misplaced your debit card?
It happens to all of us one time or another. We misplace our debit card, call the bank to get a new one, then find it 20 minutes under the seat of the car and it is too late to reactivate it. If you download the Sterling State Bank App, you can block your card from making any further transactions until you find it. Then you can simply log back in and unblock your card. If you truly misplace your card or see charges that shouldn’t be there, immediately block your debit card through our mobile app or give us a call so we can help at 1-800-396-6800.

Know the App
Familiarize yourself with our mobile app so you know what to do when changes are needed. You can update your password, block your card, set limits, mobile deposit checks, view transactions, and more. Knowing how to use the app can allow you to act quickly the second you realize your debit card is missing or to monitor transaction activity in a time of need.

Contact information change?
Keep your information current so we can contact you about your account if there is any suspicious activity. You can update your information at any branch or by calling our main line 1-800-396-6800.

Traveling long distance in 2019?
Planning a vacation in 2019? To best protect your debit card from unauthorized fraud, some countries and destinations may not be turned on for purchases. Let us know if you have travel plans so we can make sure your debit cards work when you arrive!

Check your account daily
Checking your account daily may seem kind of extreme but taking steps to protect yourself is that important — especially when it comes to fraud associated with a debit card and/or checking account.

Monitoring your accounts on a daily basis will not only allow you to always have a good idea of what’s going on with your money, but it will also help you spot any potentially fraudulent activity immediately.

If you ever see something that looks suspicious in your transactions, contact our team immediately at 1-800-396-6800 so we can take immediate action.

Use strong passwords
No matter what account you are logging into, Amazon, Target, or your bank, criminals could be watching without you even realizing it. Create a unique password comprised of letters, numbers, and symbols. It is important to not use the same password for every account and to try and change the password regularly. In addition to changing your password regularly, take it a step further and try using numbers and characters in place of letters.

Don’t access your financial account from just anywhere
Ideally, you should have one solid device (computer, phone, tablet) that you log into for personal finances and banking. Have you ever noticed when you log into your Google Account from a different device, Google emails you asking if you logged in from somewhere other than your registered device? Or have you tried accessing your bank account on a different device and been prompted to enter an access code from your phone before you can log in? There are reasons those security measures are set in place and it adds one more step to protect your account and identity.

Check your credit report often
No matter the service you go through, Credit Karma, Transunion, LifeLock, etc. . . check your credit score and credit account monthly. There should be no penalty for checking your reports. If you don’t use any of those, Annualcreditreport.com allows free report from each of the three credit bureaus once per year. Through many services, you can sign up for email alerts when there are changes to your credit report. The moment you notice a line of credit opened in your name that you didn’t do, dispute it immediately through your credit provider.

Avoid making purchases online over open Wifi Networks
This seems silly as there is WIFI everywhere we go. But if the public WIFI service you’re using doesn’t have a secured line, then you make yourself more vulnerable to hackers. If your online purchases can wait until you get home to use your own trusted network, then do so to eliminate the risk of being hacked.

Only buy from secure sites
Ever notice the “S” after the HTTPSThe “S” stands for “secure site.” Purchases made through a site with “HTTPS” should mean it is secured and encrypted from those trying to steal your credit card information. Note that this does not mean you are 100% protected from hackers. If a site doesn’t say “secure checkout” or have the “S” in the HTTP line, buy from somewhere else. Even if it is a “must-have” item, it isn’t worth getting your information stolen.


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