Scammers, hackers, and identity thieves—they get more sophisticated every year. Which means we need to get smarter and stay vigilant about keeping our financial and personal information secure. Tax season is a good time to refresh your data security knowledge, see what new tips the security experts are recommending, and be aware of the new tools you have available to you. Here are nine things you can do to help keep your money and personal data safe.
Protect Your Sensitive Information
You can help protect yourself against fraud such as tax-related identity theft by taking steps to keep your Social Security number and other sensitive information secure. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card with you. Make sure your tax records are secure at home. Protect your debit and credit card information by only shopping at online retailers you trust.
Shred Your Financial Documents
Instead of tossing bills, credit card offers, and other financial documents in the recycling bin when you’re finished with them, put them through a paper shredder. Identity thieves can use documents like these to open fraudulent accounts in your name.
Watch Out for Phone and Email Scams
Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls, and texts from thieves posing as your credit union, credit card company, or even the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from suspicious emails. Remember that the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. Be wary of giving out personal information over the phone, especially if you weren’t expecting the call. The IRS doesn’t call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests.
Don’t Share Your Sensitive Data Through Unsecured Channels
When possible, avoid emailing your debit card, credit card, social security number, or other account information. If hackers break into your email account, the sensitive data is there for them to take. And, of course, never share any sensitive financial information over social media, even as a private or direct message.
Make Sure Your Passwords Are Strong
Having a strong, unique password is your first line of defense for protecting your sensitive data online. Avoid using one simple password for multiple sites and accounts (unfortunately, “123456” and “password” are still among the most widely used passwords). Try this tool to create a unique password.
Secure Your Devices
Make sure your computer’s firewall is turned on. Consider using security software to protect against viruses and spyware. Make sure you run the latest updates on your computers, phones, and tablets. And password protect all your devices in case they are misplaced or stolen.
Use Mobile Wallets
You can use your Salal debit or credit card with Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay™. These mobile payment apps use encryption and tokenization, which provides an extra layer of security for your card information. Learn more about Mobile Wallets.
Monitor Your Accounts
Checking your transaction history often is a good way to catch fraud quickly. Setting up email or text alerts can help you keep an eye on your account activity.
Take Control of Your Cards
Protect yourself from fraud by easily locking and unlocking your Salal debit or credit card if you have lost or misplaced them. Just log in to Mobile or Online banking and select Card Control.
What to Do if Your Card is Lost, Stolen, or Fraudulently Used?
If you detect suspicious activity on your account or you suspect that your debit or credit card is lost, stolen, or is being used fraudulently, please call us immediately at 800.562.5515. If your card has been declined and you’re in the US, call 888.526.0404. If outside the US, call collect to 206.352.4954.