Internet Security

Scammers, hackers, and identity thieves are looking to steal your personal and banking information and your money.  There are steps you can take to help protect yourself, like keeping your computer software up-to-date and give out your personal information only when you have a good reason.

  • Use security software that updates automatically.
  • Treat your personal information like cash.
  • Check out companies to find out who you're really dealing with.
  • Give personal information over encrypted websites only.
  • Protect your passwords.
  • Back up your files.

 

Phishing

When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it's called phishing.  Don't reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information.  Don't click on links within them either, even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust.  Legitimate businesses don't ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels.

 

How to deal with Phishing scams:

  • Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information.
  • Don't reply and don't click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message.

 

Steps to avoid Phishing attacks:

  • Use trusted security software and set it to update automatically.
  • Don't email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
  • Only provide personal or financial information through an organization's website if you typed in the web address yourself and you see signals that the site is secure.
  • Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other malware that can weaken your computer's security.

 

Report Phishing emails to:

Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-438-4388.

Forward Phishing emails to spam@uce.gov

Report Phishing emails to reportphishing@antiphishing.org

Malware

Malware is short for "malicious software".  It includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer, phone or mobile device without your consent.  These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity.  Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam and commit fraud.

How to avoid Malware:

  • Keep your security software updated.
  • Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of the site you want directly into your browser.
  • Don't open attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.
  • Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.
  • Use a pop-up blocker and don't click on any links within pop-ups.
  • Backup your data regularly.

 

Report malware to:

Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-438-4388.

Online Scams

Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people around the globe every year.  They often combine sophisticated technology with age old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information.  Many scammers insist that you wire money, or pressure you to make an important decision on the spot.  Don't fall for such tactics.

What you need to do:

  • Know who you are dealing with.
  • Understand that wiring money is like sending cash.
  • Read your monthly statement.
  • Give only to established charities after a disaster.
  • When investing, remember there's no sure thing.

 

What not to do:

  • Don't send money to someone you don't know or you just met on the Internet.
  • Don't agree to deposit a check and wire money back.
  • Don't reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.
  • Don't play a foreign lottery.

 

Report online scams to:

Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-438-4388.

State Attorney General's Office

Stay safe with Commercial Bank Michigan.