Consumer Safety Tips

The Pennsylvania Bankers Association is working for consumers to ensure your financial information is protected at all times. Check out the tips below to help you safeguard your bank account, identity and credit card.

Cybersecurity

10 tips to safeguard your financial information online:

  1. “Snack on your balance” – check your account at least once a day so you notice suspicious activity faster.
  2. Report any suspicious purchases ASAP.
  3. Change your online banking password regularly.
  4. Use passwords that combine letters, numbers, and symbols.
  5. Never share your username and password.
  6. Avoid doing online banking or shopping over public wi-fi.
  7. When shopping online, use reputable merchants and make sure the webpage payment screen begins with “https” and has the tiny padlock symbol at the bottom of the page.
  8. Don’t open emails that appear suspicious – especially if the message contains links to websites.
  9. Always log out of your online banking website when you’re done.
  10. Lock your computer or your smartphone when you’re not using it.

Identity Theft

Learn how to protect yourself against identity theft. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office offers this toolkit.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Consumer Information

Federal Reserve Consumer Information
View the information
 you need to know about Credit Reports and Credit Scores, Identity Theft and Mortgage Foreclosure.

Card Skimming/ATM Safety

There are several things you can do to improve the safety of your debit and credit card transactions. Listen to the 7/27/17 SmartTalk radio show about card skimming, featuring the Pennsylvania Bankers Association.

10 Tips to Protect Yourself from Card Skimmers & Improve the Safety of Your Transactions:

  1. BE ALERT: Check your surroundings when conducting a transaction, and where possible, avoid ATMs or gas pumps in low-traffic areas, as well as those that are not well-lit or are out of sight of store or bank employees.
  2. LOOK:  When using an ATM, look closely at the machine and if anything seems off (i.e., the card slot is usually lit up, but is not), report it immediately to the bank. 
  3. FEEL:  Touch everything on the ATM and make sure it's in place. If anything wiggles or moves, report it immediately to the bank for further investigation. 
  4. Use an EMV chip-enabled card at a chip-enabled payment terminal whenever possible to provide an added level of security for your card.
  5. Use your opposite hand to shield your hand as you type in your PIN at the ATM. This will prevent any unauthorized cameras from capturing your PIN.
  6. Never supply your PIN to anyone you don't know.
  7. Keep an eye on your account for any unusual transactions.
  8. Many banks have real-time monitoring with automatic fraud alerts, which you can elect to receive via text message, email, etc.
  9. If you find a skimmer, report it to the local law enforcement agency immediately.
  10. When possible, do your transactions inside (i.e., pay the clerk at the gas station, use an ATM inside the bank).

Travel Tips

Learn how to protect your money when traveling with these travel tips from the State Department, and these 15 Ways to Protect Your Money on Vacation from Bankrate.com.