Electronic Account Hijacking

This is one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft and can be very devastating.  Account Hijacking occurs when a criminal obtains personal banking information and uses it to take over your bank accounts.  Sometimes it can take weeks or months before they are noticed.  Here are some steps to help protect yourself. 

Understanding the threat

Hijacking by Phishing – a classic example of phishing involves a deceptive email pretending to be from a financial institution or another business you use frequently.  The e-mail will inform the customer that there is a problem with their account and gives instructions to click on a link included in the email to fix the problem.  In reality, the link goes to a fake web site that collects the customer’s user name and password to be used for ID theft.

Hijacking with Spyware – works when malicious software is downloaded to a person’s personal computer.  Spyware is usually loaded when a person opens an attachment in email or clicks on a popup. The spyware runs from the time it is downloaded, collecting information (user names, passwords, and account numbers) and sends that information to the fraudster.

Fortify your system

Password protection – A strong password is a necessity.  Chances are that if you can easily remember your password an internet hacker will be able to figure it out.  Experts advise a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  It is also important to avoid using pet or family names, birthdays or any other easily guessed information relating to your life. 

Anti-Virus Software – Virus software on your PC is very important to your electronic safety.   Just because you have Anti-Virus software downloaded doesn’t mean you are protected.  You must download the latest version of the program to keep yourself protected against any new threats.  This is easily accomplished by turning on auto update inside the program itself.

Anti-Spyware – These programs are easily available to everyone, and every computer connected to the internet should have some sort of Anti-Spyware software installed and updated regularly.

Protect through Vigilance

Monitor your bank accounts, credit card statements – Always look over your statements and if something seems odd or incorrect contact your financial institution as soon as possible to discuss the transactions. 

Check your credit report at least annually – Everyone is allowed one free credit report annually from each of the three major bureaus.  All activity will be listed and give you clues if someone is using your identity. 

If you have any questions or concerns about Identity theft feel free to call KansasLand Bank and we will be more than happy to answer your questions.