In this past couple of weeks, we have been sharing exceptionally valuable information with you through our series, “Successfully Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft”.  All of us here at Somerville National Bank feel that it is critical that consumers know and understand how to protect themselves from the most common ID theft crimes currently affecting the nation. You have learned what identity theft is, how thieves access your personal information, basic ID theft statistics, and common financial crimes. This week, you will learn about protecting yourself from identity theft that could occur by mail and/or online.

Identity Theft through Traditional Mail
In today’s world, most people handle their financial matters over the internet; however, in some instances – especially the baby boomers and the older generation – many will still handle these affairs by mail, as that is what they are most comfortable with. Unfortunately, thieves that have an interest in obtaining your identificationfor criminal activity are known to invade your mailbox in order to succeed in their crime. Adhere to the following steps in order to avoid this complication:

  1. If you use the mail system to send out bill payments and other types of sensitive information, never place these in your personal mailbox. It is best to place them in a box situated at your local USPS office, or take the mail inside of the post office that you need to send.
  2. If you must use the mailbox at your home, sure that it is the slot-type that includes a lock.
  3. If you are sending information out regarding a specific account, be certain to avoid writing it on the inside of the envelope or mailer.
  4. Finally, when leaving town or if you will be unable to retrieve your mail for one reason or another, request that your local post office hold the mail.

Identity Theft through e-Commerce Websites
If you are reading this, chances are, you have performed various tasks online, such as ordering products. When doing so, it is important to protect yourself from identity theft. The following steps will help you:

  1. Always make sure that you perform financial transactions on a secure website. In most instances, the website will have an “https” in the web address, as well as a symbol of a lock.
  2. Never provide bank account information, debit card information, or credit card information online unless you are sure that the information is secure and completely encrypted.
  3. If doing business on a mobile device in the general public, be certain that no one around you is able to see the screen.

In Conclusion
Somerville National Bank thanks you for continuing our series, “Successfully Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft”. Now, you are fully aware of just how serious this particular crime is and have a solid understanding of the steps that you may take to protect yourself. Be sure to stay tuned as we release further installments in this series. Remember, keep all of your personal information private, check your statements each month, and do not provide passwords or PINS to anyone. If you would like more information, call us today at: 513-726-6471