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In recognition of National Cybersecurity Month in October, Western Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) are reminding consumers of simple steps they can take to safeguard their sensitive data when making purchases online or via a smart device and what to do if they suspect their information has been compromised. 

“Educating customers about account security and cyber threats is something we all must be conscious about if we want to reduce the risk of sensitive information being exploited for criminal use,” said Mike Martin, CEO at Western Bank. “We take great care in handling our customers’ sensitive information and want to equip them with practical steps they can take to help strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem and avoid falling prey to identity theft and fraud this holiday season.” 

There are steps consumers can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud. ICBA and Western Bank encourage consumers to:

  • Enable the strongest authentication tools offered by their bank. Popular authentication methods include biometrics, security keys and single-use codes.
  • Use complex passwords and differentiate them across multiple platforms. For example, customers should use one password for their online bank account and another for their email account. 
  • Do a system check. Purge unused apps and outdated or sensitive information stored in old files and emails and ensure all software on internet-connected devices is current.

Consumers can also make sure their account has not been compromised by taking the following steps: 

  • Check bank statements regularly to ensure the purchases are legitimate. 
  • Read the fine print when purchasing items online. Often a website or application will ask for permission to save account information. 
  • Stay vigilant. Be mindful when shopping online and look for signs of illegitimate websites. Spelling or grammatical errors, missing contact information, and suspicious URLs or email addresses are all red flags. Learn more about how to protect your digital life during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by visiting the Stay Safe Online website.

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