Online Security Best Practices
Online fraud and identity theft are real.
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, Complex Credentials
- Choose complex and unique usernames and passwords that are over eight characters long and use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and avoid obvious arrangements (e.g., 1234).
- Don’t use the same username or password across multiple online channels (e.g., social media, email accounts, accounts for banking or online merchants).
- Don’t include identifiable information like your name, address, Social Security number or date of birth in your online banking username or password.
- Don’t store your usernames or passwords in your email accounts or in places that can be easily accessed by others, including on paper that is not locked away in a safe place.
- Consider using a password management solution to securely store your passwords and help create complex and uniquely different passwords.
Fraudsters are constantly evolving in the ways they attempt to gain access to your personal information. Implementing layers of security can help.
- Use biometric identification or multifactor authentication, preferably via text message or an authentication application, when signing into your online mobile banking account or other online accounts. Enabling touch/facial recognition identification provides an additional layer of security.
- Always keep your devices and apps up to date with the most current software and operating system available to ensure you have the latest security patches. Protect your devices with reputable security software.
- Install mobile apps only from trusted sources (e.g., Apple Store or Google Play Store), and research the app for its reputation and reviews before installing.
- Install Trusteer Rapport on computers used for online banking to help protect against financial malware.
- Call your mobile carrier to implement additional security such as a verbal password or PIN to protect your wireless account and phone number. Ask your mobile carrier about available spam protection.
- Perform routine backups and restoration tests of your data to protect against system failure and ransomware attacks.
- Disconnect external backup drives from your devices when not in use.
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, perform urgent or unusual requests, or provide sensitive information.
- Be mindful of “lookalike” email addresses and domains, and be on the lookout for misspellings. The same applies to lookalike website addresses that may differ slightly from the genuine address by a few letters or characters (e.g., firstrepubliic.com compared to firstrepublic.com).
- 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 and will request remote access.
- Be wary of clicking on online ads or obtaining information from online ads (e.g., customer service phone numbers). Scammers can pay for fake information to appear in common online search results.
- Routinely review and reconcile bank accounts and credit reports for fraudulent activity.
By controlling how you conduct digital activities, you can help stop cyberattacks before they start.
- Avoid logging into 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 services 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 password protected secure documents folder away from your desktop.
- Be mindful of what people can see on your screen when using mobile devices in public places.
- Lock your computer screen (or put it to sleep) before stepping away from your computer.
- Consider using a webcam cover for devices with cameras.
- Consider purchasing a cable lock for your laptop or computer as a physical security measure against theft.
- Regularly empty your digital trash/recycle bin.
- 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.