A digital footprint is the information about a particular person that exists on the internet as a result of their online activity. Each of us has a digital footprint whether we want one or not. That means some combination of your personal information is floating around in cyber space in some form; secured, unsecured, or in the cyber-criminal underground. This puts you and your account information at risk of identity theft and impersonation.

45 percent of Americans have had their personal information compromised by a data breach in the last five years

Depending on the depth of information that’s available it can be used in many ways. Large deposits of information can be used for impersonation to apply for credit, a loan, a job, and health benefits to name a few. Smaller bits of information can be used to gain more information about you.

At First Bankers Trust Company, N.A., we continue to improve our authentication of customers who contact the bank for requests. If it feels as though you are going through a gauntlet of questions, you probably are. We do that intentionally to keep your information safe from those who may be using it against you.

Here are tips to help you stay safe from identity theft and impersonation.

Be aware of common scams

Cybercriminals continue to use more advanced techniques to steal your identity, personal information, and money. Common scams include:

  • COVID-19 scams in the form of emails with attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
  • Imposter scams are when you receive an email or call from a person claiming to be a government official, family member, or friend requesting personal or financial information.
  • COVID-19 Economic Payments scams target your stimulus payments.

Be careful with emails.

If you get an email from an unknown sender, do not click on any links or attachments and do not respond to them. Be on the lookout for misspellings and content that looks out of place. If you accidentally do click on an email like this, contact your bank and they will help monitor activity with your account.

Limit public information on social media.

Limit what information you post on social media. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans.

Monitor your apps.

Your phone or tablet may have suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved. Many apps have legal language that is extremely long and is typically not read by consumers. Check your app permissions and disable location services.

Avoid public WiFi.

Use extra caution with public Wi-Fi. If you do use an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, avoiding sensitive activities that require passwords or credit cards – like accessing your checking or savings account.

Double your login protection.

Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. And take advantage of biometrics with your device like Face and thumbprint ID.

Shake up your password protocol.

As we mentioned in our last blog post, Why Password Management Is Important, One of the easiest and most effective ways to defend yourself and your account information from cyber security risks is to prioritize strong, unique passwords.

Stay up to date.

Whether it is your computer, phone, tablet, or any other device, be sure to always update to the latest software version. These updates are intended to help keep your devices protected from attacks.

Cyber Security with First Bankers Trust Company, N.A.

We understand the importance of your bank accounts and to do our part to help keep your information secure, our customers can use our encrypted site (look for https in the url), user name and password authentication plus behavioral and device multi-factor authentication, detailed verification at time of sign up, and additional security questions at account access. Plus with the FBTC Mobile App, you can safely use biometrics like face or fingerprint ID.

For tips like these and more, visit our Security and Alerts page. Have questions or need help? Submit a Contact Us form and our team will be in touch!