Ways to Protect Yourself
July 7, 2022
It is important to us to help you keep your information safe. Here are some easy ways for you to protect yourself.
Protecting your debit or credit card information
- Review your account statements regularly and promptly report any errors to your card issuer or bank. Report lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately. If you have a Sandy Spring Bank card, call us at 1.800.399.5919 and press 2 for our Client Service Center.
- Sign up for text or email alerts to inform you when a change in your account occurs, such as low balance or irregular account activity.
- Keep your PIN separate from your card.
- Be aware of ATMs that appear to have been altered. If anything on the front of the machine looks crooked, loose or damaged, it could be a sign that someone attached a skimming device.
- Cover the keypad with your other hand to block another person or a camera from viewing your PIN entry.
- Notify us immediately if your card is retained or gets stuck in any ATM machine, so we may block your card.
- Provide us with your updated phone numbers, so you can be contacted if suspicious activity is detected.
- Use caution when giving out personal information. Never give your credit card, Social Security, or any other account number over the phone unless you initiate the call and know to whom you’re talking. Don’t give out personal information over the Internet, either, unless you entered the Web address and are using a secure browser.
- Consider downloading the SecurLOCK™ Equip mobile app to manage your debit and/or credit card from your smartphone.
Protecting your mail
- Don’t mail bills from your mailbox.
- Keep an eye out for any missing mail.
- Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Review your monthly bills and statements regularly for any unauthorized charges.
- Get off mailing lists. Pre-approved credit offers can do a lot of harm. Remove your name from the marketing lists of the three major credit bureaus by calling 1.888.5OPT.OUT (1.888.567.8688).
Protecting your personal information online
- Create strong passwords. The strongest passwords are long and contain a combination of mixed-case letters, numbers and special characters. The more complex the password, the harder it is to crack.
- Thieves who breach websites attempt to use stolen credentials on other sites, hoping to gain access to bank and email accounts. Without unique passwords, your accounts may be at risk.
- Secure your email account. Set up two-factor authentication, which requires a PIN or other verification in addition to your password as part of your login. This extra step prevents crooks from gaining access to those valuable ‘forgot password’ links and changing your password. If your email provider doesn’t offer two-factor authentication, consider switching to one that does.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. A savvy user with some tech knowledge can jump on that same network and intercept what you send and receive. Sitting at your local coffee shop and browsing the web is one thing, but you should avoid entering card data or logging into any sites when using public Wi-Fi.
- Remember: If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. Did you find just the right item at an incredible price? Make sure you’re on a reputable seller/store site before checking out. If you’re shopping on eBay, read all of the fine print and the description carefully to ensure you’re buying the item and not just an empty box. Rogue sites exist simply to collect your card information.
- Do not click on links provided in emails from untrusted or unknown sources – especially ones related to COVID-19. Use trusted resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for updates.
- Protect yourself while using video conferencing services such as Zoom. Keep your meetings private by requiring a password to join, control the admittance of participants by using the waiting room feature, and change screen-sharing capabilities to “host only.”