Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)
reminds consumers to protect their personal
information, particularly during the holiday
season when Americans flock to their computers
to shop online.
"Even though the most common ID theft or account
fraud comes from someone you know, online
shoppers need to also be cautious about giving
out personal information or leaving it where
someone has access to it," said James P.
Ghiglieri, Jr., ICBA chairman and president of
Alpha Financial Group, Inc., Toluca, Ill. "By
following some simple precautions, ICBA reminds
consumers that they can have a better online
shopping experience and not place their personal
information in jeopardy.."
ICBA offers some tips to help consumers have a
more secure Internet shopping experience:
you shop, bank or use credit cards online,
avoid creating passwords that include
easily accessed personal information,
such as motherís maiden name or date of
birth. Instead, use something unique that
only you know.
Don't give out personal information over
the phone, through the mail, or on the
Internet unless you know who youíre
dealing with and preferably only if you've
initiated the contact. As a general rule,
never give out your Social Security or
driverís license numbers. If you must share
personal information, confirm that you are
dealing with a legitimate organization.
Banks will not ask you to verify your
personal account information over the phone
or via email. They already have that on
file. If you receive a phone call or
email asking you to verify such information,
don't respond. Instead, contact the bank
If you receive an e-mail asking for
personal information, do not hit the reply
button or click on any website link in
the e-mail. Instead, go directly to the
sender's website by typing in the sender's
Donít leave sensitive documents
containing personal information where people
can see it.
Look for secure sites that feature https://
with the "s" in the URL as well as a closed
padlock icon on the webpage.
Always double check the URL to be sure you
are shopping with the company you intended
to shop with. Thatís especially important
during the holiday rush when a simple typo
could help out identity thieves.
Know the company youíre dealing with. If you
are doing business on a companyís website
for the first time, do your homework.
Consider checking out the Better Business
Bureau website (www.bbb.org).
Consumer protections under the federal Fair
Credit Billing Act apply to Internet credit
card purchases. Keep records of the
Avoid providing superfluous information like
annual income, spending habits, hobbies and
Shop with U.S.-based companies. Domestic
state and federal consumer protection laws
apply. Youíll be protected and have recourse
should something go awry.
Register your credit and debit cards at "www.verifiedbyvisa.com"
and/or "mastercardsecurecode.com" for a more
secure online shopping experience.
Learn more about preventing identity theft at
the federal governmentís website