Online Security Best Practices
Online fraud and identity theft are real. Consider these simple steps to help stay safe online.
At First Republic, keeping your information safe and secure is our priority. That’s why we’d like to share the following best practices with you to help keep your banking and other online accounts safe.Use unique, strong credentials.
- Don’t use the same username or password across multiple online channels (e.g., social media, email or online merchants).
- Choose a complex password that is over eight characters long and uses both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols in nonobvious arrangements.
- Don’t include identifiable information like your name, address, Social Security number or date of birth in your online banking username or password.
- Pick a unique username that is easy for you to remember but difficult for someone else to guess.
- Don’t store your username or password in your email account or in places that can be easily accessed by others, including on paper that can be found by others.
Fraudsters are constantly evolving the ways they attempt to gain access to your personal information. Adding additional layers of security can help.
- Use biometric identification or multifactor authentication, preferably via text message or an authentication application, when signing in to your online mobile banking account or other online accounts. Enabling touch/face identification adds an additional layer of security.
- Always keep your devices and apps up to date with the most current software and operating system available.
- Install mobile apps only from trusted sources (i.e., Apple App Store or Google Play Store), and research the app for its reputation and reviews before installing.
- Protect your computers with reputable security software.
- Call your mobile phone carrier to institute a SIM PIN or a passcode to protect your phone account and number.
- Install Trusteer Rapport on computers used for online banking to help protect against financial malware.
- Perform routine backups of your data to protect against system failure and ransomware attacks. Disconnect external backup drives from your machine when not in use.
- Lock your computer screen (or put it to sleep) before stepping away from your computer.
- Consider purchasing a cable lock for your laptop or computer as a physical security measure against theft.
- Be mindful of what people can see on your screen when using mobile devices in public places.
- Consider using a webcam cover on your devices that have cameras when not in use.
- Lock up financial documents and records in a safe place.
- Shred documents you no longer need such as bank statements, insurance forms, checks, credit applications, etc.
By way of social engineering and other misrepresentations, fraudsters may try to trick you into providing them with your personal information. Don’t fall for it.
- Verbally validate recipient information using a trusted phone number when initiating payments from your account, especially if instructions were provided via email.
- Always be cautious of suspicious emails (even from people you know) that ask you to click on links, to perform urgent or unusual requests or provide sensitive information.
- Be mindful of “lookalike” email addresses and domains, and be on the lookout for misspellings (e.g., firstrepublic.com compared to firstrepubliic.com).
- The same applies to lookalike website addresses that may differ slightly from the genuine website address by a few letters or characters.
- Be wary of unsolicited pop-ups, emails, text messages or phone calls warning you of computer viruses or suspicious fraudulent charges. Scammers may try to trick you into believing there is a problem with your device(s) and will request remote access to your machine(s).
- Be wary of clicking on online ads or obtaining information (e.g., customer service phone numbers) from online ads. Scammers can pay for fake information to appear in common online search results.
- Routinely review and reconcile your bank accounts and credit reports for fraudulent activity.
By controlling how you conduct your digital activities, you can help stop cyberattacks before they start.
- Avoid logging in to public, unsecured wireless networks in places such as restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, etc. This also applies to using public computers in hotel business centers, libraries and print-and-ship service centers.
- If you must use public Wi-Fi, use a VPN service or opt to use a mobile hotspot instead.
- Use caution and try to avoid sending your personal information and bank account information via email, whenever possible.
- Use caution when saving personal/financial/confidential documentation on your desktop and consider filing in a secure documents folder away from your desktop.
- Regularly empty your (digital) trash/recycle bin.