Social media channels have become a source of entertainment. They are places where people go to connect with family and friends, to learn about current events and to find and share recipes. Fun quizzes in social media newsfeeds have become increasingly popular. It may seem like a harmless activity and a fun way to bond with friends but authorities are warning that you may be putting yourself at risk of identity theft and fraud.
A lot of the questions on these social media quizzes are similar to security questions asked by financial institutions, insurance agencies and health care providers when setting up online accounts. Fraudsters can easily hack established accounts or create new ones, if they have access to answers to questions like the following:
Who was your childhood best friend?
What was the name of your first grade teacher?
What was the name of your first pet?
No one is exempt from being a victim of fraud, so it’s important to safeguard personal and financial information and to think twice about revealing personal information online.
Best Practices When Answering Online Security Questions
When providing answers to security questions for online accounts it is important not to use answers that can be easily guessed or found online. Here are a few best practices to consider following when setting up online accounts.
Avoid choosing questions that can be answered by accessing public records. For example the city you were born in or your date of birth. This information can be easily researched.
Try not to give answers that can be found on social media sites, such as the name of your pets or the company where you work.
Don’t answer questions truthfully. Come up with a phrase that can be easily remembered.
Use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters when answering questions.
Give answers that don’t correspond with the question. If you don’t think you’ll remember the answers, make an offline record and file in a safe place away from your electronic devices.
When establishing online accounts the security questions are a second layer of protection in addition to the account holder’s password. Here are some tips to help create strong passwords:
Think of a phrase as the base of your password.
Use the phrase to create a memorable password.
Put together a complex but easy to remember sequence of words and letters.
Use a combination of numbers, special characters and upper and lower case letters.
Update passwords regularly and make sure passwords vary for each account.
Scammers go to great lengths to try and steal identifying information.Creating secure passwords and carefully choosing answers to security questions are only a couple of ways to help protect against fraud. CNB strongly encourages our customers to take extra precaution when responding to unfamiliar emails, text messages, telephone calls and mail, and while reviewing financial statements. The bank has a variety of electronic banking and account monitoring services to help reduce fraudulent activity on accounts.
CNB’s Available Services
At CNB we are always upgrading our security measures to protect our customers’ information. Our secure electronic banking services allow customers to review account activity at any time. We also offer two additional account monitoring services to reduce fraudulent activity on debit cards.
Fraud Center Monitoring Service
Our Fraud Center monitoring service uses technology to recognize purchasing patterns and can detect transactions that occur outside of normal activity on debit cards. This service is automatically available to our customers that have been issued CNB debit cards. For this service to work we must have your current phone number and email address on file.
™ Text Alert Service for Debit Cards
The smsGuardian™ notification service sends text message alerts to mobile phones or to sms-enabled devices each time specific card activity is detected. If the activity is fraudulent, you will need to respond to the text within 12 hours to have your card immediately closed to prevent any other fraudulent transactions from occurring. If you authorized the transaction in question, do nothing and continue to use your card. You must enroll to receive this service.
To learn more about account monitoring services visit the Products & Services section of our website or call your local CNB office to speak with one of our representatives. If you suspect that you may have become a victim of fraud, please contact your financial institution right away. We are dedicated to the security of your personal and financial information.