It’s officially the start of the holiday season. We know the holidays are really for celebrating family, but there’s still a pretty good chance you’ll be doing a little shopping for loved ones over the next few weeks.
While this is a truly wonderful time of year, scams and data breaches are common and impact thousands of holiday shoppers every year. Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect you and your data from getting into the wrong hands.
Create safe passwords
By creating secure passwords, you give your accounts an extra safeguard from hackers using advanced software to access your accounts and therefore your personal information. Strong, safe passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include a variety of letters with mixed capitalization, numbers, and special characters. Your passwords should be somewhat memorable for your own sake, but not predictable.
*Tip: For added security, use different passwords for all your different accounts and leverage a password manager tool, like lastpass.com or keepersecurity.com
Don’t give too much information
When shopping online, one of the easiest ways to keep your information safe is to not give it out. Only give out what you’re comfortable with, avoiding your birthday, social security number, and things that could be used to answer your account security questions.
Check your statements regularly
You probably already keep a close eye on your statements, but you should pay extra special attention to your accounts during this time. By checking your accounts regularly via your Alliance Bank mobile banking app, you can catch strange, unknown purchases quickly.
Use secure and private WiFi networks
One of the best ways to keep your information safe is by using private networks, preferably the one in your own home. As you scroll the web, your personal data becomes available to the network you’re using. While public WiFi is available in many places, these networks are insecure. Most don’t require passwords to access their services and even ones that do can have multiple people using them at the same time. People using networks are able to access the information provided to that network and trace it back to your device, compromising your data.
As you do your holiday shopping, Alliance Bank is there to keep you safe. We are always striving to exceed expectations regarding your privacy and security. We keep your data secure and encrypted using industry standards and don’t ask for personal information we don’t need.
You can learn more about our secure methods and keeping your data safe here. If you suspect your account and personal information has been compromised, please contact us at 573-334-1010. Remember, Alliance Bank isn’t just our name, it’s how we do banking.