How to protect your financial information

Each and every financial company is responsible for protecting their customers’ information and transactions and as such they imply remarkable resources for the security and protection of the same. Now it is your job to find out such banks that adopts these kinds of measures and help you protect your account. Do take steps to protect yourself as well.

Following are some of the ideas to formulate safe banking.

Step 1: Choose a bank with high-level of protection.

While reviewing your bank’s security protection program, be sure to consider these questions:

How difficult would it be for someone to pretend to be you and obtain access to your accounts and bank branch over the phone or online?
Does your bank offer special security features for sensitive transactions? For example while wiring a large amount of money for the down payment on your new home, does it provide any security?
Does your bank offer automatic security alerts via e-mail or text message to notify you to change your personal information, such as your address or of suspicious activity on your account?
Does your bank guarantee that you will not be held responsible if some fraudulent charges on your debit or credit card come up? For instance, Bank of America has come up with $0 Liability Guarantee.

Step 2: Adopt careful banking habits.
Try to be proactive always. It will help in protection against financial fraudulent behavior. Below are a few tips:

Ensure safe internet usage.
Keep on updating your anti-virus and anti-spyware software on a regular basis.
Delete spam emails immediately.
Use only those online shopping sites that have secure Web pages. (Check the bottom of your browser for an image of a lock or look for “https” in the URL address bar.)
Avoid sending credit or debit card information, social security numbers or personal information by e-mail.
Lock your home’s mailbox, if possible, and empty it frequently, as many identity thieves gather information by swiping their victims’ mail.
Use online banking to pay bills and  use direct deposits for your paychecks.
Safeguard your social security number. Don’t give it out strangers and avoid writing it on checks.
Keep the card and the number in a safe deposit box or in some other secure place.
Retrive credit reports from major credit bureaus on a regular basis. Check them carefully to spot unauthorized activity on your accounts. (See “Credit Bureau Contact Information”)
Protect yourselves for scams.

Remember that your bank, government agencies and other legitimate organizations will never ask for personal information such as your social security number by phone or e-mail provided you start the call. So never do that!

If for instance, someone offers you an attractive business opportunity and you need to pay your share, do not send money to them by check or make a deposit in any unknown bank account. Go for professional aid. Let your lawyer or accountant make your due diligence.

Always be skeptical of low priced deals from unfamiliar companies offered by phone or email. Also avoid those sites that offer you access to work-at-home opportunities for a certain fee.

Take action now

Frequently, check your bank’s Web site and remain updated on the measures taken to keep you away from frauds. Also try adopting some of the above mentioned anti-fraud practices on your own.