Online & Identity Safety

At West Plains Bank and Trust Company, we want our customers to continue browsing the Internet safely and have a secure Internet Banking experience. Here are some basic tips to help you gain peace of mind.

Protect Your Yourself

  • Protect all online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone.
  • When shopping online, use secure websites to make purchases. Look for secure transaction signs such as a closed-lock icon and “https://...” in the address bar.
  • Don’t overshare on social media by providing information used by your bank or other companies to verify your identity.  Don't share information about your current whereabouts or when you will be away from your home. Review the privacy options for the social media platforms you join to understand how to limit the amount of information you share.
  • Always log off from any website after a purchase transaction is made with your credit or debit card. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
  • Protect your email passwords. If scammers gain access to your email account, they can reset your passwords for other financial websites, locking you out of your own account. Note: Password resets for West Plains Bank and Trust Company are conducted on the website and do not involve your email account.
  • Do not immediately open email attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious-looking emails.  Often a legitimate website is copied and linked to through spam or phishing email messages, tricking you to disclose information about you and your family or voluntarily handing over your private information to scammers.
  • Do not store your information on cloud based websites that lack security features such as required log in, data encryption, https, etc.
  • Storing your financial documents in cloud based systems may make them searchable and accessible to others, exposing your sensitive information. If you need to download a financial document, save it locally on your computer or on a ‎secure storage device.
  • West Plains Bank and Trust Company retains tax documents and account statements for up to seven years and can produce them upon your request.
  • Protect yourself from scams.  Use caution when suspicious of IRS or tech support impostors, an unknown person claiming to be a friend of family member in need of financial assistance, or Internet window pop-ups saying your computer is infected with a virus. 


Protect Your Accounts

  • Store your Social Security card, financial documents, and unused credit cards in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box.
  • Never provide payment or sensitive information on a call that you did not initiate.
  • Do not send any personal or sensitive information through email, as the channel is typically not secure.
  • Shred documents that contain personal or financial information before discarding.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year to look for unauthorized accounts that are opened in your name. Receive a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.freecreditreport.com
  • Use a unique username and password for your West Plains Bank and Trust Company online banking account, as well as any other online account.  Update them regularly, and do not use any part of your email address as your username or password. Ensure that your West Plains Bank and Trust Company online banking username and password differ from those you use for other online accounts or activities.
  • Report lost or stolen checks and debit or credit cards immediately to the issuing bank.
  • Monitor your transactions online regularly and report suspicious activity promptly. Consider paperless options for all bills and financial statements to eliminate the opportunity for mail theft.
  • Set up online banking account alerts so you will be notified of withdrawals and deposits to your account as well as suspicious activities.
  • Limit the amount of information printed on your checks to your name and address.
  • Always keep your debit and credit cards in a safe and secure place.
  • Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call using the phone number on an account statement or published on the company's legitimate website.
  • If you receive a replacement debit or credit card, destroy your old card immediately.
  • Use extreme caution when using unsupervised card terminals which could have card skimming devices installed to capture your card data.  If it appears there is a device attached to a card reader, do not use it and report it to the owner of the device.
  • When selecting a Personal Identification Number (PIN), do not use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, or phone number.
  • Cover the keypad while entering your PIN at an ATM, grocery store, or any other location.
  • Do not write your PIN anywhere, especially on your card, and never share it with anyone.
  • Safely store or securely dispose of your transaction receipts.

Protect Your Devices

  • Safeguard your devices to help protect your accounts. Use the security functions that come with your device, such as the keypad lock or desktop password screen savers when it is not in use.
  • Do not access your financial accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, such as in a coffee shop, hotel, or library.
  • Delete text messages from your financial institution before loaning out your device.
  • Wipe all devices before discarding or selling them.
  • If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, sign on to your West Plains Bank and Trust Company online banking access to remove the old number from your mobile banking profile.
  • Avoid storing your banking password or other sensitive information on your computer, smartphone, or in an app where it could be discovered if your device is stolen.  Utilize any bio-metric readers if available for additional security. 
  • When you finish banking online or on your mobile device, always log off - do not simply close the browser or app. For your security, West Plains Bank and Trust Company's mobile apps and online banking site will automatically log you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Do not alter or "jail break" your mobile device. This may make your device vulnerable to malicious software.
  • Avoid downloading programs and apps from unknown sources. Download programs and applications from a trusted source, like your phone’s app store or the manufacturer’s website.
  • Keep security patches, anti-virus and malware software, browser versions, and plugins up to date for your devices.
  • Configure your devices to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your devices or home network. For example, if you use a home wireless router for your home internet connection, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to configure the router with appropriate security settings.
  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Make sure it gets updates daily and does a periodic scan of all files on the hard drive. Do not rely on free downloadable virus and spyware protection. You can purchase Internet security software anywhere computer software is sold.
  • Make sure your Internet connection is protected by a firewall. The best type of firewall is a device that sits between your computer and the Internet, but a firewall program which runs on your computer will help.
  • Protect your email with anti-spam software, or use an email provider that scans your email for you. Not only can this block out many unwanted, often improper, advertisements, but it can also prevent some phishing emails from reaching your inbox.
 

Continue to Learn More 

Learn more about computer security and online safety at:

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Hometown Value Checking comes with $2,500 in Identity Theft Protection. Click here to learn more or visit a full-service location for details.