Safe Internet Practices
We take our responsibility to provide a safe online experience for our customers very seriously. That's why we're constantly working behind the scenes to provide state-of-the-art protection. But you are the first line of defense for your online account security. We've provided the safe Internet practices frequently asked questions below to help you better protect yourself.
What is identity theft and Internet fraud?
Identity theft occurs when another person uses, for unlawful activities, your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, mother's maiden name, etc. These activities can include such things as accessing your existing bank and other accounts, setting up credit card accounts without your knowledge, getting a mortgage using your identity, and even getting arrested using your name.
Two forms of identity theft at the forefront of Internet fraud include phishing (pronounced fishing) and pharming (farming). Phishing emails lead consumers to 'spoofed' websites that trick the unwary into providing personal financial information that in turn allows access to accounts and other sensitive information.
Pharming is similar to phishing but more sophisticated. A pharming email contains a virus or Trojan horse that installs a software program on the users' computer which tracks keystrokes, allowing the thief to have access to passwords and other sensitive information.
How can I protect myself from Internet fraud and identity theft?
- Do not conduct transactions on websites that do not display the padlock icon on the lower right bar of your computer screen—click on the padlock to display the security certificate and confirm its validity
- Do not use obvious passwords, especially your mother's maiden name, or the last four digits of your Social Security number—all are obvious passwords
- Change your passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) regularly
- Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails
- Never disclose your user names or passwords in an unsolicited email
- Do not put personal information on a computer home page or personal computer
- Do not allow your computer to ‘save' your log in credentials to your financial accounts or other sensitive sites
- Never put your Social Security number or credit card numbers in an email message
- Do not give out personal information on the phone (unless you initiate the call), through the mail, or over the Internet unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with
- Keep your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help, or are having work done in your home—a locked filing cabinet is best
- Always review credit card, bank, and other statements promptly and take steps to correct any inaccurate information immediately
- Request and review your credit report at least twice a year
- Always take your credit card receipts with you and, once you receive and review your statement, shred them
- Always be mindful of the security of your wallet or purse to protect your personal information and account numbers
- Keep a minimum number of credit cards and carry only the ones you need
- Consider a post office box if you can't collect your mail promptly—credit card offers and bank statements are highly prized by identity thieves
- Shred offers for pre-approved credit card offers you do not intend to use, especially from companies you do not recognize
- Do not throw paperwork with personal information and financial documents in the trash—always shred them first
- Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write the number on a check
- Beware of anyone asking for your Social Security number
- Give out your Social Security number only if absolutely necessary—you can always ask to use another identifier
- Do not print your drivers license number on your checks—it is another key piece of information identity thieves want
How can I keep my online banking information safe?
You are the first line of defense for your online account security. Treat your Granite Online user name and password just as you would your ATM or debit card PIN. When you have completed your online banking session, always exit the system by clicking the logout option in the upper right corner of the page. We recommend that you clear your Internet browser's cache and history after visiting Granite Online, particularly if you are using a public computer.
What is Bank of Granite doing to protect its customers online?
We take our responsibility to protect your accounts and safeguard the confidentiality of your personal information very seriously. We utilize several layers of technology to ensure the security of your transactions on Granite Online. All account information entered and displayed is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. Only authentic connections are allowed. Granite Online also utilizes multi-factor authentication to detect any uncharacteristic or unusual requests involving your online account. If detected, procedures are in place with our new identity verification feature to ensure your identity before online transactions and requests can continue. Also, after a period of inactivity while you are logged on to Granite Online, you will be required to log in again thus further protecting you from unauthorized access if you should step away from your computer.
What procedures are in place to prevent hackers from accessing my account information online?
Your trust and the security of your banking information are of the highest priority to us. Bank of Granite uses state-of-the-art Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to secure communications using an advanced encryption algorithm. Firewalls are in place between the Internet and our network to ensure that your accounts are as safe as they can be.