Wells Fargo has made a list of their top tips for online and mobile fraud prevention public. The 2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report states that the number of identity fraud incidents in 2010 declined 28% from 2009 and the bank is encouraging consumers to follow these tips in order to keep this figure down.
Wells Fargo has released a number of tips covering various aspects of online security in regard to banking. These include general tips for online banking such as using a current version of a supported web browser. The Wells Fargo site currently only offers security support for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. Customers are also advised to never download programs from unknown sources.
There are also a number of useful tips for keeping your passwords private. It is not recommended to use anything easily connected to you as a password. For example using social security numbers and birthdates makes your password very simple for malicious people to guess if they already have your personal details.
Passwords should be changed fairly regularly and should contain a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters for maximum security. It is important to never share your passwords, or write them down. The same rules apply to security questions required to access your account. It is advised that you do not use the same security question for several online accounts.
With the increasing use of mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android phones being used to monitor bank accounts and carry out mobile banking, it is also important to keep security tips in mind for those devices too. Consumers are advised to regularly delete text messages received from their bank or other financial institution, especially before allowing anyone else to use your device.
If making use of mobile banking applications, also known as “apps,” it is important only to use official apps from reliable sources. Customers should be aware that no bank or financial institution should ever ask you to disclose personal information such as account numbers or passwords via text message. If you receive a text message requesting such information it should be reported to your bank.
In a similar fashion, credit card holders and customers should be vigilant when it comes to email communications. Customers are urged never to respond to emails from suspicious or unknown sources. They should also avoid opening attachments or clicking on links in these emails. Attempts to collect account information from fake email communications are known as “phishing” and you should forward any suspicious mail to your bank.
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