Since the beginning of the New Year, we’ve heard a lot about the data security breach that occurred at the Target stores around the country. Some First County Bank clients were affected as we have a Target here in Stamford. At the time, we chose not to reissue our debit cards being concerned that our customers would be inconvenienced during the holidays. We did, however, increase the level of monitoring on these cards and, to date, no unauthorized activity has been detected.
Just like with website credentials and account information, it is important to safeguard your debit and credit card information. Memorize your personal identification number (PIN) and avoid writing it on a sticky note attached to your monitor. This is a case where sharing is NOT good.
Here are a few things you can do to help safeguard your on-line credentials:
- Before you shop on-line be sure you know the site is secure and who you are doing business with.
- Always log off after completing an online transaction, or close the browser window
- Regularly check to make sure you have your cards with you.
- Report lost or stolen cards immediately and
- Regularly check your statements for unfamiliar transactions.
The last point is important. Regularly check your account statements to ensure the listed transactions are legitimate. First County Bank provides free online banking services so you can track your day-to-day purchases and closely monitor transactions charged against your accounts. Our online banking service also provides a variety of alert capabilities, helping you to catch any unusual activity on your account. Take advantage of these email or text messages and protect yourself.
Unfortunately, these data breaches are becoming all too common. You should know that banks have significant safeguards in place to protect your data and your accounts. Still, it’s important for all of us, as consumers in today’s digital world, to be on the alert and take the appropriate precautions.