Protecting Yourself Online and Off

Important Information, Tips and Tricks
to Help Safeguard You and Your Information

First National Bank is committed to safeguarding customers’ privacy, confidentiality and account information. Here are some the many practices and means we employ to do this as well as protect you and the bank from fraud:

  • First National restricts access to your information to only those staff who need it to do their job.
  • The bank restricts access to buildings and specific areas within our buildings to those staff who need to be in those areas to do their job.
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware protection help us detect and prevent viruses and malicious software from infecting our systems;
  • Firewalls help block unauthorized access;
  • The bank’s web site uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption which creates a secure connection with your browser and helps prevent the interception of information you may share or see when you use the bank’s web site; 
  • Usernames and passwords are never shared – and you are strongly encouraged to never share them either;
  • The bank automatically logs you out of your online banking session after a period of inactivity and locks you out of online banking after a series of failed log-in attempts – to help protect you from another person seeing or using your online account;
  • The bank monitors online account activity for potential fraud as well as other areas online to help detect phishing, malware and fraudulent software and apps that may be targeting the bank and its customers.
  • All financial companies need to share customers’ personal information to run their everyday business and 1st National Bank is no different. Please refer to our Privacy Policy to see the reasons we may choose or need to share customers’ personal information and, if you would like to do so, whether you can limit this sharing.
  • Always remember – 1st National Bank will NEVER contact you using email, phone, fax or text to request personal information like your account number(s), personal identification numbers (PINs), user names or passwords, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you receive a call, text or email from someone claiming to be from 1st National or from someone who claims to represent the bank and is asking for such personal information, do not provide it. Ask for their name and contact information and tell them you will confirm this request by contacting the bank yourself. You may reach 1st National at 517.546.3150 to do so.
  • Regularly monitor your account activity. Report any suspicious account activity immediately. Report lost or stolen ATM and Debit cards immediately.


Protect Your Personal Information 

Before you provide personal, financial or account information, make sure you know who is asking and why they need it. Be very cautious when such requests are made in an urgent manner. ID thieves often use urgency as a means to get personal information and gain access to your accounts.

First National Bank will NEVER send you an email, text or call you asking for personal information, account information, or your username or password. If you receive an email that appears to be from us requesting this type of information, contact us (Opens in a new Window) (Opens in a new Window).

Follow Up On Suspicious Requests

When you are suspicious of a request, you should first confirm that the contact information is legitimate by checking your account documents or visiting the company’s web site. Then directly contact the company whose name is used in the request and ask if the request is valid.

If you think you provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent phone call, email, text or website, be sure to change your password and any other authentication information like challenge questions and secret questions. Also, notify the financial institution where you have the account and monitor your account activity frequently.

Use Secure Online Services

Going paperless and using online-only access can help ensure that your accounts stay more secure. Here are ways you can use online services to reduce your risk of fraud:

  • Access your accounts online to help detect identity crime earlier than if you only received paper statements periodically.
  • Set up e-alerts to be notified promptly about financial account activity that may indicate potential fraud or just to help better manage your finances.
  • Receive your statements online instead of in the physical mail to reduce the risk of lost, stolen or misdirected mail.

Use Social Media Responsibly 

Think carefully before you provide personal details on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Never share information that financial institutions might use to identify you like your Social Security number (including the last 4 digits), date of birth, personal phone number, home address, where you were born or schools you attended. Fraudsters and ID Thieves can use this information to gain access to your account or use it to open accounts in your name.

Tips To Make Your Social Media Experience Safer:

  • Never post photos that might include your debit/credit card, driver’s license or other personal information.
  • Turn off location tags on social sites and post vacation photos AFTER your trip to avoid alerting thieves that you are away from home.
  • Monitor your privacy settings and carefully review the privacy policy of your social networks to make sure that they don’t disclose information you intend to be private.
  • Be selective about people you connect with on social media and only share posts with friends and known connections.
  • Remember that once it’s online, it is often online forever or, at a minimum, until you spend significant time and effort to try and delete or get it deleted. 

Use Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

Protect your computer against malicious software (‘malware’) and computer viruses. It’s best to utilize both types of protection to cover non-virus malware such as worms, Trojan horses and spyware. Set up your security software to automatically update daily and scan all email attachments. Note that many Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) provide this software as part of their services. Talk to your ISP to confirm what you may or may not need.

Ensure Software and Operating Systems on Your Laptop, PC, Tablet and Phone are Up To Date 

Updated software helps protect against vulnerabilities. Install updates and use the most current versions of your operating system, software and web browser.

Avoid Downloading Files from Unknown Sources

Malware and computer viruses can be hidden in email attachments and downloaded files. Before you download anything, make sure you trust the sender and look to see where them may be sending it from (be very wary of forwarded emails and files). Even when you receive files from friends and family, ALWAYS use anti-virus software to scan the files before opening them.

Handling Suspicious Messages

Look For and Do NOT Respond to ‘Phishing’ e-Mails

Fraudsters and ID Thieves send fake emails that appear to be from real businesses, hoping to reach unsuspecting customers. These are called ‘phishing’ emails. It’s one of the ways criminals try to trick customers into giving personal information like account numbers and passwords. Phishing emails don’t just target bank account holders. Be on the lookout for fake emails from fraudsters pretending to be online retailers, utility companies and other businesses that use secure login systems.

Do NOT open email attachments or click links in emails if you do not personally know the sender. Instead of clicking a link in an email, type the URL you normally use for that company into your browser or use favorites/bookmarks to access the website of your favorite financial institution and retailers.

Watch for ‘Smishing’ Texts

Just like ‘phishing’ or fake emails, fraudsters and ID Thieves also send out fake text messages with a link to a fraudulent website or a phone number. They do this to try and collect your personal information and use it to commit fraud or ID Theft. Just like in emails, 1st National Bank will NEVER ask you to confirm or provide personal information in an unsolicited text message.

Do NOT reply to any suspected ‘smishing’ texts or click on any links within a suspect text message. You can send scam text messages to 7726 (SPAM) to notify cellphone carriers to have the number blocked.

Beware of ‘Spoofed’ Websites

Criminals create fake websites that look like real company websites in order to steal your personal information. Remember, be cautious of links sent to you in emails and texts. ‘Phishing’ emails and ‘smishing’ texts include links to these fake sites.

The best way to know that you are going to the real website is to type the URL directly in your browser or use favorites/bookmarks to access the websites you use most often. As a rule of thumb, look at the website address to be sure it starts with “https” before entering personal information. A green security status bar and padlock icon next to the web address are additional visual indicators that confirm you are on a secure site.

Listen for ‘Vishing’ Phone Calls

Fraudsters aren’t just using emails and texts for scams. They still resort to tried-and-true tactics like ‘vishing’ – an email or voicemail request asking you to call and provide personal information that can be used to access accounts or open new fraudulent accounts. If you suspect vishing, you should look up the organization and contact them directly to ask if the request is legitimate.

Verify Requests for Money by Friends, Relatives and Contacts

Be extremely wary when people you’re connected to on social networks (or even just your friends and relatives) ask for money through text, email or even a phone call. Fraudsters have been known to hack social networks and assume the identity of real users, then send messages to their contacts stating the person has been robbed or is stranded somewhere and needs you to wire money in order to get home. They often target the elderly (i.e. Grandparents) by phone too. If you receive one of these requests, verify the request is real by contacting the person directly on your own or if they are not available, their family or friends before taking any other action.


Always Verify Site Security

Always make sure you’re on a secure site before you enter your username and password. The address of a secure site begins with “https,” rather than “http.”

A green security status bar and padlock icon next to the web address are additional visual indicators that confirm you are on a secure site. You can read the security details of a site by selecting the padlock icon located at the top or bottom of your browser window. You can also view the security certificate and make sure it matches the site.

Be Cautious with Public Wi-Fi and Shared Computers

Staying connected and doing business while we’re on the go is made more convenient by public Wi-Fi and shared computers. But they also present significant challenges to keeping your personal information protected. Both are easy targets for hotspot hackers and a dangerous place to manage your banking and finances online. Protect yourself by: 

  • Always trying to make financial transactions, like banking and shopping, on a trusted network with your own device that’s protected by security software.
  • Don’t set up your devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi, turn off your sharing settings and use a VPN when possible. This will help protect you from security risks in public spaces.
  • When you are using Public Wi-Fi or a shared computer, avoid transactions that require you to enter personal information.
  • For mobile banking and other secure transactions, use your phone’s data plan to connect wirelessly when entering passwords, credit card information or other details that you need to keep secure.

Always Log Out

Remember to log out from your online session when you’re done, no matter where you are or what you are doing – banking sites, retailers, etc. This helps prevent other users from accessing your information.

Create Strong Passwords

Use passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) that are easy for you to remember and hard for others to guess. Use a combination of upper case and lower case letters along with numbers and special characters to make your password more secure. Don’t use easy-to-guess birthdays or the names of your children, pets or high school sweetheart. You should also avoid common passwords like sequential numbers or phrases like Password123. Create different passwords for each of your online accounts and change them periodically.

Simple Tips and Tricks for Stronger Password Creation:

  • Make your passwords at least 8 characters in length;
  • Exchange numbers and special characters for certain letters. For example, use the number 1 instead of l or L and 3 instead of e or E; (for example, instead of “First National” use “F1rstN@t10nal”
  • Remember to use some upper case and lower case letters;
  • Remember to include numerals
  • Think of short phrases important to you and then use a variety of upper, lower case letters, numerals and special characters to spell the phrase, (for example “MyWifeSue” could be “MyW1feSu3”)

Protect Your Passwords

Be cautious about sharing your usernames and passwords with people, companies and services – especially when your personal information and money are involved. Never store your passwords in a note, memo or file on your computer or mobile device. If you do need to save your passwords, use a more secure location like a password manager app.

Opt for Additional Authentication

Some financial institutions, like First National Bank, and retailers offer 2-step or 2-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication offers another layer of protection by asking for an extra piece of information in addition to your password, like a security code that’s sent via text or a fingerprint ID. You can usually enable 2-factor verification in your password and security settings where it is offered.

At First National, your multi-factor authentication for Online Banking includes your Password and recognizing the image you select to associate with your account log-in. Each time you log-in, both of these must be accurate in order to access your account.

Multi-factor authentication can take many forms and requires the use of 2 or 3 different authentication factors that could include:

  • Something you know - such as a password, PIN, personal security question or images you choose to associate with your account;
  • Something you have - like a computer, phone or tablet, a debit or credit card, or a device that generates a security code; 
  • Something you are – which includes fingerprints, retinal scans, facial recognition or other biometric information.

Companies use a variety of verification factors, typically based on the degree of risk. They may ask the user to go through these authentication steps every single time they log in or they may use a behind-the-scenes approach that evaluates the risk of suspicious behavior for each interaction before asking for additional authentication. Security is not a one size fits all solution and multi-factor authentication will look different from company to company.

Keep Devices Updated

It is recommended that you keep your device's operating system and applications up to date. These updates can help you protect your device against new vulnerabilities.

Manage Privacy Settings 

Monitor how apps use your personal information. Make sure you feel comfortable with the way they use these details. For example, some apps share your location and phone number with other people in your vicinity.

Password Protect Devices

Set your device to lock when it's not being used. This will help prevent someone from getting access to your personal data.

Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are easy targets for hotspot hackers. Don’t set up your devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi, turn off your sharing settings or, when possible, use a VPN. When using mobile devices, it’s safer to use your data plan to connect wirelessly when entering passwords, credit card information or other details that you need to keep secure.

Download Apps Only From Trusted Sources

Fraudsters post links to fake apps to get malicious software on your device. You should only download apps from your device’s authorized app provider like the Apple App Store℠ and Google Play™. Before downloading an app, make sure you know and trust the app publisher or seller (i.e. The 1st National ‘Mobile’ app comes from 1st National Bank in Howell).

Log Out of Apps That Use Your Personal Information

Remember to ALWAYS ‘log out’ when you finish using apps that require you to login with personal information, like banking and bill pay apps (or apps that use any other personal information like a credit card or account number).

Use Mobile Security Software on Your Devices

Using Mobile Security Software helps protect against malicious software (malware) and computer viruses. Several are offered in the Apple App Store℠ and in Google Play™.

Consider Software To Find and Remotely ‘Wipe’ Your Device

This software can help locate your device via GPS and/or remotely remove all data from your device, if it’s lost or stolen. There are a variety of security apps available that offer this feature in Apple App Store℠ and Google Play™.

Do NOT Modify Your Device’s Operating System

Known as ‘jailbreaking’, modifying your devices operating system is strongly discouraged. It likely violates your device's warranty and exposes you to significant security threats.

QR Code Caution

Use CAUTION when using ‘Quick Response’ Codes (QR Codes), especially in public spaces. QR Codes are images that contain data and are able to be read by the camera in your device. Scammers have been known to create fake QR codes that automatically download malware onto your mobile device. Fraudsters will often place a fraudulent QR code sticker on top of a legitimate advertisement in public spaces.

Securing Your Personal Information

Only carry the identification, credit/debit cards, and other items you need or use on a daily basis. Do NOT carry your Social Security Card unless you need it for a specific purpose. A very helpful tip is to make copies of all of the information that you regularly carry (credit cards, driver's license and insurance cards) and keep the copies in a secure place such as a safe, locked drawer, or safe deposit box. If they are stolen or you lose them, you’ll have a record of who to call. If you travel abroad, always keep a copy of your Passport behind with a relative or friend so that you can access it in the event it is lost or stolen during your travels (you can contact them for all the information within it).

Protecting Social Security Numbers

Use caution whenever using your Social Security Number and verify the reason it is being requested. Never write the entire number or even the last four digits on anything unless it is required (i.e. never write your SS number on a check). Keep documents that contain your Social Security number in a secure place such as a safe deposit box or home safe. Remember to also protect documents with such information belonging to your children, parents and other members of your family.

Use Online or e-Statements

Reduce the chances of having your identity or confidential information stolen by using online statements. Doing so requires that you use usernames and passwords to access your account information (i.e. banks, utilities, retailers, and other companies) instead of having an account statement mailed to you and the potential for it to be lost, stolen or mis-delivered. If a company doesn’t offer online statements or you do not use them, make sure you review all of your banking, credit card, and all other account paper statements regularly. Regular review is the easiest way to catch unknown activity.

Use Direct Deposit and Electronic Payments

Use direct deposit to have paychecks and other recurring deposits placed directly into your accounts. This reduces the risk of a paper check being lost, stolen or mis-delivered. It also reduces the risk of a fraudster obtaining your account number from a paper check. In addition, using electronic or automatic payments will allow monthly or recurring payments to be automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account. For example, your mortgage, utilities, auto loans, credit cards, etc. can usually be set-up to automatically transfer each time they are due. Doing so removes yet another source that contains your private information (i.e. mailing a paper check) and saves you the time and cost of stamps to mail your payments.

Managing Your Mail

Always shred anything that contains personal information (instead of placing them in your trashcan or recycling bin). This is especially true for pre-approved credit card or other loan offers. Fraudsters look for personal information in trashcans and may try to use it to access your accounts or open new accounts using your identity. It is also suggested that you be cautious and aware of documents that could be accessed by babysitters, guests and other people who visit your home.

As an extra precaution, you can opt out of receiving pre-approved credit and insurance offers, as provided for within the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.

Securing Checks

Always store blank and cancelled checks (if you receive them back from your financial institution) securely. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Always use your checks in numerical order – this makes looking for and recognizing checks out of sequence on statements easier. A check clearing out of the range you are using could be an indicator of fraud. Consider using online bill payment or electronic funds transfers instead of writing checks to reduce check fraud – and save yourself some time and money (for stamps).

Regularly Review Your Credit

Check your credit report annually. Look for accounts that you did not open or for errors in accounts on your record. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies once a year. Request these reports at www.annualcreditreport.com (Opens in a new Window). There is information there to help you read the reports and what to look for on your report to identify potential issues.

Protecting Your Debit/Credit Cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Always keep your credit and debit cards in a safe place. If your card is lost or stolen, contact the issuing company immediately. Memorize your PIN. Do not write it down (especially on the card or on something with the card) or share it with anyone including bank employees or police agencies.

Use caution at the ATM

Always be aware of your surroundings and especially near any ATM you are using. Make sure others cannot see the keypad while you enter your PIN… but also look for anything at or on the ATM that doesn’t belong there – like a device trying to capture your keystrokes or card information. If you print a receipt, take it with you and keep it in safe place until you reconcile your account or shred it. The receipt may contain information about your account balance and a partial account number, which may be used for fraud. 

Monitor Your Accounts

Regularly monitor your accounts for anything unusual. View your accounts online to detect fraud earlier (instead of waiting for statements to be mailed) and contact your financial institution immediately if you see anything suspicious. Also, keep an eye on accounts that belong to your children, parents or other family members (especially those that may not be used regularly and may become dormant or inactive). 

Use Account Alerts 

Enroll for account alerts within Online Banking to notify you when certain events occur within your account(s). For example, when balances reach a certain level, specific transactions take place or other account activity. Alerts can help protect you against fraud and they help you better manage your finances, even avoid fees.

Consider Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection

Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that notifies you when changes are posted to your credit report. This is one of the fastest ways to find out if someone has opened new accounts in your name. You may also want to consider Identity Theft Protection. 1st National offers a valued added amenity on any checking account for a small fee – GenGold provides over 60 time and money saving services and includes FREE Identity Theft as well as credit monitoring. Ask about GenGold with free ID Theft protection today!

Fraud Warning Signs

If any of these happen to you, it is time to contact your financial institution immediately as all are indicators that fraud may be occurring on your accounts or Identity Theft is taking place:

  • Charges on your account that you do not recognize;
  • Statements for accounts or bills that you normally receive by physical mail stop arriving in that manner (this could mean that an identity thief has changed your address on these accounts);
  • Checks clear your account that are outside of the range of checks you are currently using;
  • Your account(s) are unexpectedly frozen or held;
  • You receive debit or credit cards that you did not apply for;
  • Notification that you have been denied credit for which you did not apply is received;
  • Collectors contact you about a debt that you did not incur or merchandise that you did not purchase;
  • Notifications regarding an address, password or other account information change that you did not initiate is received;
  • Your credit reports shows accounts that you do not recognize or inaccurate information;
  • You are denied credit unreasonably or unexpectedly.

Be Aware of Scams

Basically, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Scams are NOT limited to the Internet. Fraudsters use the phone, texts, social media and even email to perpetrate fraud and/or Identity Theft. Fraudsters change their tactics every day and stay abreast of new technology and opportunities as well as any business might. Here are a few more common identity theft and fraud scams:

The ‘too good to be true’ scams:

  • You receive a phone call, text, or email that you’ve won a contest or lottery – but you don’t remember entering any contest or purchasing a lottery ticket.
  • You’re offered an opportunity for making extra money working at home in return for using your bank account to send or receive money.
  • You’re offered money in return for transferring funds, often internationally.

The ‘requests for money’ scams:

  • In order to claim a prize or winnings, you must pay ‘administration fees’ or ‘taxes’ in advance.
  • A relative or friend urgently requests money by phone, email, text or social media. For example, one common scam scenario leads you to believe that your friend has been unexpectedly arrested locally or is traveling in a foreign country or has unexpectedly been detained by the authorities and needs money wired to them immediately (this particular scam often targets older individuals and the benefactor is often a grandchild or niece/nephew).
  • You receive an email or letter that you are entitled to a distant relative’s inheritance – but you must send money in advance in order to claim your portion.
  • You are contacted about your mortgage and an advance fee is required to stop a foreclosure or to modify your loan – even receive advice on how to stop paying your mortgage. The FTC provides an informative video on mortgage foreclosure at www.ftc.gov/yourhome (Opens in a new Window).

Shady Sellers and Buyers Scams:

  • While buying or selling a car, you’re asked to transfer funds or pay by mail via a cashier’s check or money order.
  • A buyer overpays you with a check and asks you to refund the difference (their check then bounces when you try to cash or deposit it later and you are out the money you refunded).
  • Before paying off loans or delivering items to a buyer, make sure the funds for payment have cleared and are good funds.
  • Never trust a buyer or seller who refuses to talk on the phone or meet in person – and always meet in a public area like a Police Station lobby or parking lot.

Do Your Homework

Stay in the know about the latest scams and tactics by visiting www.Onguard Online.gov (Opens in a new Window). This is a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintained site that provides credible information and practical tips on how to guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information. 1st National Bank also provides a link to this site on the homepage of the bank’s web site.

Take the time and make the effort to verify any calls or emails that you receive about your finances by contacting your financial institution directly. Do NOT use the links or information provided in the email or the web site address or phone number left in a voicemail – they may be fraudulent. Locate the contact information from your bank’s company website, your online statements or other materials directly from the company.


Report Fraud/Identity Theft Immediately

If you think your account(s) have been compromised (unauthorized access has taken place or may take place) or you suspect fraud on your account(s), contact your financial institution immediately. They can assist you in confirming what has happened and help resolve any issues as well as provide guidance on additional steps you will need to take.

Order a credit report

Review your credit reports carefully looking for anything inaccurate. Verify that your personal information (SSN, mailing address, accounts listed, etc.) are correct. Look through your credit report for accounts you didn’t open or debts you can’t explain. If you find information on your credit report that you think is the result of identity theft, you can ask the credit bureau to remove that information from your credit report.

Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover identity theft, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can request your free credit reports at www.ftc.gov/freereports (Opens in a new Window).

If A Victim of Identity Theft or Fraud – Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies

Report Identity Theft incidents as quickly as possible to one of the three major credit bureaus and ask about placing a fraud alert on your credit report. You only need to contact one – the credit bureau you call is required to contact the other two. With a fraud alert on your credit report, any new credit requests or changes to existing information will require additional scrutiny to confirm the request is legitimate – often requiring you to be contacted first. Here is contact info for the credit agencies:

Contact the Social Security Administration

If you believe your identity or Social Security number has been used without your consent, you can reach the Social Security Administration Fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

Close Fraudulent Accounts

Should you find accounts have been opened in your name without your knowledge, contact the company directly and ask to have them closed. Inform the company that the account was opened fraudulently. Keep detailed notes of your conversation and ask for documentation showing the account has been closed.

Report ID Theft to the Federal Trade Commission

Report ID Theft to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (877-438-4338) (TTY 1-866-653-4261) or online (Opens in a new Window). Reporting it helps law enforcement with its investigations. The FTC has a helpful resource in their guide titled ‘Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft’ (Opens in a new Window).

File a police report

Contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report on your Identity Theft. Your financial institution or other creditors will often require a copy of your police report.


OnGuardOnline

www.onguardonline.gov (Opens in a new Window)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) partners with other government agencies to provide a wide range of tips that include protecting your computer, teaching children how to stay safe online and using public Wi-Fi networks safely.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Home

www.ftc.gov/idtheft (Opens in a new Window)

The FTC hosts this site as a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect, and defend against identity theft.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Scam Alerts

www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts (Opens in a new Window)

Scam alerts are the focus of this FTC-sponsored site that helps you stay a step ahead of the latest scam tactics. Get details about recent scams in the news and sign up to receive FTC scam alerts by email.

Free Credit Report Information

www.ftc.gov/freereports (Opens in a new Window)

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Ask a different credit agency for a report every 4 months to stay up-to-date on your credit status. For example, ask Experian in January, Equifax in May and TransUnion in September.

FDIC Consumer Protection

www.fdic.gov/consumers (Opens in a new Window)

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides a comprehensive resource center for protecting your finances, understanding financial privacy and avoiding identity theft and fraud. This includes an online presentation titled “Don’t Be an Online Victim: How to Guard against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams” that highlights steps you can take to prevent becoming a victim of financial fraud.

National Cyber Security Alliance

www.staysafeonline.org (Opens in a new Window)

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a public-private partnership focused on promoting Internet security and safe behavior online.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

www.ic3.gov (Opens in a new Window)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Its mission is to give victims an easy-to-use method to report suspected Internet related crime so that law enforcement agencies across the country have access to these reports to identify trends to solve crime.

Specifically for the Children and Young Adults in Your Life
i-SAFE

www.i-safe.org (Opens in a new Window)

Endorsed by the U.S. Congress i-SAFE is a proactive prevention-oriented Internet Safety Education and Outreach program, dedicated to empowering the youth of America to safely and responsibly take control of their online experiences.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Kids Online Safety

www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/kids-online-safety (Opens in a new Window)

A wide range of kids’ online safety issues is covered here. Topics include cyberbullying, staying safe on social networks and mobile security. This site also provides information about parents’ rights under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Child Identity Theft

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0040-child-identity-theft (Opens in a new Window)

This site focuses on protecting your child’s identity with tips on how to limit the risk of identity theft at school, check credit reports for fraud attempts and repair damage if identity fraud occurs.