banking tips and tricks

Type your internet banking URL

It is a safer to type your bank URL in the address bar of the browser than clicking on links given in an email. There are instances of fraudsters sending emails with fraudulent websites links that are designed exactly like the bank’s original website. Once you enter your login details on such a website, they may be used to access your account and steal your money. While logging on, check for ‘https://’ in the URL and ensure that it is your bank’s authentic website.

banking tips and tricks

Disconnect the internet connection when not in use

Most broadband users do not disconnect the internet connection on their computer when they are not using it. Malicious hackers can access your computer via an internet connection and steal your confidential banking information. To keep your data protected, ensure that you disconnect from the internet when you do not require it.

banking tips and tricks

Always use licenced anti-virus software

To protect your computer from new viruses, ensure that you always use licenced anti-virus software. Pirated versions of anti-virus softwares may be available for free, but they may fail to protect your computer from new viruses prevalent in the online world. In addition, you will get notifications for updates in the software periodically. Make sure that you keep your anti-virus updated, so that your confidential information is always protected.

banking tips and tricks

Keep checking your savings account regularly

Check your account after making any transaction online. Verify whether the right amount has been deducted from your account. If you see any discrepancies in the amount, inform the bank immediately.

banking tips and tricks

Do not share your details with anyone

Your bank will never ask for your confidential information via phone or email. So whether you get an apparent phone call from the bank or an email requesting your details, do not give out your login information. Use your login ID and password only on the official login page of the bank, which should be a secure website. Look for ‘https://’ in the URL when logging in; it means that the website is secure.

banking tips and tricks

Do not use public computers to login

Avoid logging in to your bank account at common computers in cyber cafes or libraries. These are crowded places, and there are more chances of your password being traced or seen by others. If you have to login from such places, make sure you clear the cache and browsing history, and delete all the temporary files from the computer. Also, never allow the browser to remember your ID and password.

banking tips and tricks

Change your password regularly

For the first time you login to your internet banking account, you will need to use the password provided by the bank. However, you need to change this password in order to keep your account safe. In addition, keep changing your password at regular intervals. More importantly, keep the password confidential at all times

banking tips and tricks

Social Security Number Tips

5 Don’ts to help protect your SSN

  1. Do not carry your SSN card with you daily or any documents that display your SSN – Keep them in a safe place and only bring them with you when you need them
  2. Do not put your SSN on your checks or other identifying documents
  3. Do not give out your SSN (or any other personal information) if YOU did not initiate the conversation with the contact.
  4. Do not use your SSN as an ID number on payroll or any other documents
  5. Do not use your SSN as your pin or the last four digits as a pin.
banking tips and tricks

Online Fraud

On the Web, there are new types of criminals called “phishers”. These people may send very realistic e-mails pretending to be from your bank or some other organization you trust.

They are also using screens that pop up while you are on someone’s website trying to place an order. They may tell you your account is blocked until you update your files. Then they may ask you to provide sensitive account information like a PIN, social security number, accounts and card numbers or passwords.

Email Use:

  • Be alert for fraudulent emails, even though they appear to be from a reputable source.
  • Delete any email that requests your personal information immediately. Do not respond to it. Reputable businesses never request personal information in an email.
  • Never send your personal information via an unsecured email.
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown or unsolicited senders.
  • Be careful when clicking on a link in an email. Even though it is identical to the actual company’s website, it could be fraudulent. To check, open a new browser window and manually type in the URL provided in the email. If they don’t match, delete the email with the suspicious link immediately.

Online Safety:

  • If you visit a website that is not what it claims to be, leave it immediately.
  • Be sure to do business only with companies you know and trust.
  • Watch carefully for imitation websites designed to trick you into giving out personal information.
  • Any sites that you do business with should have their Privacy and Security Statements listed on the website. Read them carefully.
  • Only provide sensitive personal or financial information when you have initiated it and only if the page is secure.
  • Choose passwords or Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) that are difficult to guess and use a different password for each of your Internet accounts. Change these passwords often.
  • Make sure the website is certified with a digital security certificate by clicking on the “closed lock” or “solid key” image located in the bottom bar of your browser window. A small frame with site security information will appear. Click the word “Subject” for Internet Explorer to verify that you are on the correct website. To verify the site certification authority, click the “Issuer” tab.

Online Crime Prevention Tips:

The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online.  Here are a few tips for staying safe:

  • Be cautious if you lose an auction on an auction site, but the seller contacts you later saying original bidder fell through.
  • Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before you purchase an item online.  Use only well-known escrow services.
  • Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
  • Be wary if the price for the item you would like to buy is severely undervalued; if it is, the item may be fraudulent.
  • Scan files before downloading them to your computer.
  • Keep your computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
  • Ensure your anti-virus software and firewalls are current – they can help prevent malware infections.

Virus Protection:

  • Keep current versions of you computer’s operating system and Internet browsers.
  • Make sure you promptly disconnect from the Internet when you are not online.
  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date to guard against new viruses. Download the anti-virus updates as soon as you are notified.
  • Always back up the files on your computer.
banking tips and tricks

Social Engineering

Every year millions of dollars are lost to Social Engineering. It’s a type of fraud that’s hard to detect and stop; it’s based on a criminal’s ability to exploit the basic human tendency to trust. It’s fraud by deception. 

The fraudsters pose as trusted sources and manipulate victims into taking specific actions, like sending wire transfers or giving out confidential information. 

Social Engineers use a wide array of tactics to get information that helps them win over their victims’ trust. They do things like phishing or dumpster diving, website spoofing, retest calling, or impersonating a company employee or business associate. It could look like an email, phone call, or a text from a friend or other trusted source. Once the criminals gather enough information to appear legitimate, they contact their victims to set the scheme into motion. 

How can you stop it?
Become a human firewall. It’s important to be vigilant. Slow down. Spammers want you to act first and think later.  NEVER EVER provide any sensitive financial information until you have verified to whom you are speaking. One easy way of doing that is by reaching out to us. If someone calls you saying they are from Macatawa Bank and you’re suspicious, ask their name and location and hang up the phone. Then you call us back at (877) 820-2265. You can do the same if you receive a text or an email. 

Don’t ever get pressured into giving out sensitive information.  It’s important to remember to never, under any circumstances give sensitive information like User Name, Password, debit card PIN or Secure Access Code.  Macatawa Bank does not ask for that information.