Educate members on online banking best practices

As consumers increasingly rely on the convenience of online and mobile banking options, their comfort level with this technology grows. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes it all too easy for them to become lax when it comes to online safety best practices.

Community financial institutions (FIs) should periodically reiterate online banking safety tips to consumers to help prevent identity theft and other financial loss.

Some FIs have developed new and creative ways to inform consumers about the dangers of “over-sharing” their personal and financial information online. However, emphasizing the importance of protecting one’s identity and finances online does not require a massive marketing budget. There are other less expensive, but equally effective, ways FIs can re-educate consumers on the importance of being proactive in protecting themselves online.

Community FIs should consider posting the tips below on their websites and in their branch locations:

  1. Create strong passwords —Passwords should have at least eight characters and include a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, special characters and numerals. Do not use the same password for more than one financial institution, and do not write any of your passwords down. Change them periodically. FIs should consider working with online/mobile banking vendors to require strong passwords.
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