Identity Theft Online Security

Identity Theft

This is a compilation from may sources. This first part is edited from Bank of America information. This post is the first in a continuing series.

  • What you need to know:
    • Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraudulent acts (like withdrawing money from your account, opening new credit cards or applying for loans or employment)
    • Common signs of identity theft include:
      • Unauthorized withdrawals from your account
      • Bills for unfamiliar debt or failure to receive bills
      • Suspicious charges on your account
      • New accounts or loans you didn’t apply for
      • Being denied credit unexpectedly
      • The IRS notifying you that more than 1 tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for
  • What you need to do:
    • Review your statements for unusual transactions or suspicious charges
    • Be sure to keep your contact information (especially your cell phone number and email address) current.
    • Enroll in Verify Your Visa Card is With You layer to allow us to approve transactions when you travel.
    • If you use the Bank of America Mobile Banking app, allow push alerts and be sure to review and respond to alerts promptly
    • Review our fraud prevention checklist for steps you can take to help establish a strong defense against fraud
    • Learn more about online security and privacy
    • Make the default ID for your internet router unique to you; change the password to make it more difficult for hackers to access your network

Taking proper precautions helps to make sure your personal and financial information — as well as your identity — remains safe.

  • What you need to do:
    • Use a strong, unique password for each of your accounts. Memorize them and use multi-factor authentication where available. Learn more about creating strong passwords
    • Only download software or applications from well-known or reputable sources, such as Apple, Google Play or Microsoft. Check the logos, developer names and reviews to spot fake applications. Scammers count on users being too busy to see differences that can make fake software easier to spot.
    • Install any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs)
    • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services when you’re not using them, and avoid using public Wi-Fi for financial transactions unless you use a secure, private connection, like VPN software.
    • Back up your data regularly. If you use online or cloud storage, be sure you understand your provider’s privacy and security policies and keep your access codes safe.
    • Use the administrator log in on your home computer only for creating new users and installing software. If you use administrator accounts when browsing the internet, banking or reading email, the risk of malicious code entering your computer without detection is much greater. Create standard user accounts for yourself and everyone in your family to limit your exposure.
    • Review our fraud prevention checklist for steps you can take to help establish a strong defense against fraud


  • How you can help protect your smartphone
  • What you need to do:
    • Be sure to keep your contact information (especially your cell number and email address) current
    • If you use the Bank of America Mobile Banking app, allow push alerts, and be sure to review and respond to alerts promptly
    • Set a security code/PIN or fingerprint sign-in and enable remote wipe and find my phone features to make sure you’re covered if your phone is lost
    • Only download software or applications from well-known or trusted sources–and never click a link from an unknown source or sender
    • Install system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs)
    • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services when you’re not using them, and avoid using public Wi-Fi for financial transactions unless you use a secure, private connection, like VPN software.
    • Never root or jailbreak your own mobile device to gain access to unofficial applications. This practice may lead to security vulnerabilities and the inability to apply future software updates from the vendor.
    • Review our fraud prevention checklist for more helpful steps


  • How you can identify and avoid scams
  • What you need to know:
    • There’s a growing type of fraud called business email compromise. Learn about business email compromise on the FBI website
    • Business identity fraud has become surprisingly common because of the easy accessibility of business information, including website data, company name and staff rosters
  • What you need to do:
    • Minimize the risks by using your work computer for business, checking your domain name regularly and reviewing your business credit report
    • Know your customers’ habits, including their payment amounts, reasons and details. Look out for any significant changes to those habits – they might signal a fraud issue.
    • Ensure all business data is securely and regularly backed up. Test the recovery function of your backup procedures regularly to make sure your data is always retrievable.
    • Develop a plan for cybersecurity and fraud disaster recovery. For more fraud prevention best practices for small businesses, check out our Small Business Online Community.
    • For resources for larger businesses, explore information from our Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Banking and Markets fraud page
    • Engage a trusted advisor to review your security controls and policies on at least an annual basis


Online Security Tips

How secure is your password?

Use the following link to view the security of your passwords:


Miscl Online Security

Net Neutrality and Privacy

Last year Obama created new rules that regulated the way consumer data could be exploited by your ISP. They were scheduled to go into effect this December. President Trump scuttled this. The future of your broadband privacy is at risk more than ever.

Please contact your congressman/woman to protect the internet and don’t let our President allow companies like ATT and Comcast to control what we do on the internet. This is called net neutrality and is most likely the next thing president Trump and Congress will try to destroy. This is voted on each year, and this year could be the end of the open internet. Whether you like this Administration or not, set aside your political ideals and protest the end of net neutrality. This will only end up costing us little guys more cash to use the internet. You have let the administration take away our privacy, don’t let them allow us to be charged more for it’s use.



Online Security

How Cyber Criminals Use Social Media

All Facebook users should read the following link:




Online Security

Facebook Security

In this note I am going to explain Facebook’s latest security features. The first thing is your privacy settings. To see them, click the padlock icon at the top right-hand corner and a drop-down list containing the most popular privacy settings is displayed. At the bottom of this drop-down box is a “See more settings” link for more privacy tools.
Before you start changing your privacy settings, you should check how much information and with whom, you are sharing. Click the arrows next to “who can see my stuff?” and “What do other people see on my timeline?” then click “View as”. At first, you’ll see what your profile looks like to people you don’ t know. Make note of any information you do not want to share with others.
Now that you know what you are sharing, you can do something with that information. First, limit who sees what you post. Status updates can include what you are doing, who you are with, and where you are. It’s a good idea to limit that to people you know. Click the privacy icon and click the arrow by “Who can see my stuff?” and under “Who can see my future posts?” select Friends.
You want to be careful about what you post about yourself, however, what about friends who tag you in their posts? You can set Facebook to alert you when that happens, and if you are happy with what the have posted, you can allow it on your timeline. If, not, you can choose to un-tag yourself. To get started, click “See more settings,” then “Timeline and tagging.”
There is an option on this screen called “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline?” click “Edit” and select “Friends”. For more security select “Only me.” Next, by “Review tags people add to your own posts before they appear on Facebook?” click “Edit”, then “Enabled.”
From now on, when someone tags you, you will be asked to review the tag. This appears as a notification or you can check manually by clicking the “Privacy Icon, expanding “Who can see my stuff?” and selecting “Use activity log.” Click “Tag review” to see things you have been tagged in, then “Add tag” to be associated with it (which other people can see), or “Ignore” to keep it off your timeline.

Choose who can friend you and find you in a search:
It can be dangerous to let everyone see all your information. From the privacy menu expand “Who can contact me?” then under “Who can send me friend requests” you can choose only “Friends of friends” that is,people your friends know, to be able to send a friend request.
If you want to make sure your account is only accessible to people you know you can limit who can search and find your account. From the privacy menu click “More settings.” Next to “Who can look you up using the email address you provided” and “Who can look you up using the phone number you provided,” click “Edit” and select “Friends” or “Friends of Friends.” If you do not want to be found in a Google search, From the same screen as before where it says “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline” click “Edit” and make sure the box next to “Let other search engines link to your timeline” is unchecked.

Additional Security Measures
You may want to make sure your online activity is secret. This is where secure browsing happens. When on Facebook, make sure the address bar begins with https:// and not http://.
Enable “Login notifications” from the Security Settings menu to notify you if someone tries to log in to your account. This will email or text you if your account is accessed from a device you have not used before. There is also a list of all the devices you have allowed access under “Recognized Devices.”
Of course the best security measure is to have a strong password.
For more security enable “Login Approvals.” Whenever you log in from a new device, a message is sent to your phone allowing you to approve the login. Make sure you pay attention to any notices you receive telling you someone has logged into your account. If you do not recognize the device then change your password. To do this go to “More Settings”, “General” and click “Edit” next to “password.

This note has explained some of the new security feature implemented by Facebook and how to use these features for a more secure Facebook experience.