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Published:

Metairie, LA (May 7, 2020)—In recognition of World Password Day, Metairie Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) are reminding customers of simple steps to safeguard their personal account information and what to do if they suspect they have been affected by a reported breach.

A ransomware attack occurs every 14 seconds in the world, but with each security measurement enacted, we’re one step closer in winning the war against cyber-criminals. We all have a part to play in creating a safer online experience, and with simple actions that safeguard sensitive data and monitor account activity, we can truly make a difference and ensure a more resilient internet for everyone.

Reduce Your Risk

While there is no foolproof way to avoid online identity theft, you can minimize your risk by:

  • Limiting information disclosed—Never respond to text messages, emails or phone calls that request sensitive personal information such as your banking ID, account numbers, username, or password, even if the messages appear to originate from your bank, government agencies or officials or companies with which you have a relationship.
  • Taking advantage of security features—Update your computer security software and apply software updates to your computer system, mobile devices, web browsers, and operating system to defend against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Monitoring account activity—Pay attention to your statements and check your credit report regularly for suspicious activity, such as unusual or unexplained charges, unknown accounts in your name, or unexpected denials on your card. Contact your bank immediately if you notice anything unusual.

Respond to a Data Breach

In the unfortunate event of a data breach, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access to your credit file.
  • Set up a fraud alert, which directs banks to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account.
  • Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.
  • Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to your local law enforcement and/or state attorney general.

Learn more about how to protect your digital life by visiting the Stay Safe Online website.