In this day and age, identity theft is something none of us can afford to ignore, but it's also relatively easy to protect yourself from. With a few basic practices, you can take steps to reduce your risk from online identity theft schemes and keep your information secure.
Set Strong Online Passwords.
Don't use passwords an identity thief can guess. A generic password like "1234" is one example. Also, your birth date or the birth date of someone close to you might be relatively easy for someone to figure out. Instead, simply use a combination of both upper- and lower-case letters plus numbers and symbols. "1234" may be a bad idea, but something like "I.t0.Thr33-4" is a little harder for someone bent on identity theft to guess. Vary your passwords from one online account to another and if you write them down, keep them in a safe place.
Avoid Phishing Scams.
Be suspicious of any email you receive requesting sensitive information. This is one of the very easiest identity theft threats to avoid. Companies you already have an account with typically won't ask via email for information they already have.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit.
All three major credit bureaus will provide a free copy of your credit report once per year. Take advantage of this, and check your credit report for any activity that you have not unauthorized, or that appears to be incorrect.
Use Secure Software and Sites.
Make sure your computer has virus and spyware protection programs installed, and keep up with software updates. Before entering username and password information, make sure the website's URL begins with "https" rather than "http." (It's okay if a site's homepage begins with "http," but "https" should be present on pages where you log on.)
What We Do to Help.
When it comes to online banking, it's important to select a financial institution with strong online security policies. Ally Bank uses the following protocols to protect customers:
- Anti-virus protection.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.
- Automatic log-out from your secure session after a period of inactivity.
- Activity monitoring for potential fraud.
- The Ally Bank Online Banking Security Guarantee.
At Ally Bank, we are committed to helping you keep your personal information safe. Learn more about our practices and products at Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer care at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.