At Univest, we are committed to protecting your personal and
financial information. We also believe that keeping our customers
informed is one of the best ways to help protect against online
fraud and identity theft.
8 Tips to Protect Your Identity
Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes
in the United States. In the U.S., 12.6 million people - or 1 out
of every 20 consumers - were victims of identity fraud last year.
Univest recommends following these tips to keep your information -
and your money - safe.
1. Do not share your secrets.
Do not provide your Social Security
number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or
over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share
them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your
passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or
personal information on social networking sites.
2. Shred sensitive papers.
Shred receipts, banks statements and
unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
3. Keep an eye out for missing mail.
Fraudsters look for monthly bank or
credit card statements or other mail containing your financial
information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the
likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, do not mail
bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
4. Use online banking to protect yourself.
Monitor your financial accounts
regularly for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email
alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as
online purchases or transactions of more than $500.
5. Monitor your credit report.
Order a free copy of your credit
report every four months from one of the three credit reporting
agencies at annualcreditreport.com.
6. Protect your computer.
Make sure the virus protection
software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting
business online, make sure your browser's padlock or key icon is
active. Also look for an "s" after the "http" to be sure the
website is secure.
7. Protect your mobile device.
Use the passcode lock on your
smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for
thieves to access your information if your device is lost or
stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be
sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the
manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to
wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
8. Immediately report any suspected fraud to Univest by
How to Protect Yourself Against Scams
- Stay suspicious − Be wary of any offer that sounds too good to
be true, and always look for telltale signs that an email or
website may not be legitimate, such as low resolution images,
misspellings, poor grammar, or odd links.
- Practice safe surfing − Find out if a website is
potentially dangerous before you click on it by using a safe search
plug-in such as McAfee SiteAdvisor®. SiteAdvisor uses easy-to-read
red, yellow, and green check marks to rate websites when you search
- Practice safe shopping − Stick to reputable e-commerce
sites and look for a trustmark that indicates that the site has
been verified as safe by a trusted third-party, like the McAfee
SECURE™ mark. Also, look for a lock symbol and "https" at the
beginning of the web address (as opposed to just "http") to see if
the site uses encryption to protect your data.
- Use strong passwords − Make sure your passwords are at
least eight characters long and contain a variety of letters,
numbers and characters that don't spell anything. Avoid using the
same password for your important accounts, and never share your
passwords with anyone.
- Be careful when clicking − Don't click on any links in
messages from people you don't know, and if you come across a
shortened URL, use a URL expander to see where the link is directed
to before you click.
- Use a comprehensive computer security − You need complete
protection that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, and a
firewall and make sure it is up to date. Online security and
safety protection, such as McAfee All Access, can help protect all
of your devices - PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets - from
holiday-related malware, phishing, spyware, and other common and
- Educate yourself − Keep up-to-date on the latest scams and
tricks cybercriminals use so you can avoid potential attacks. You
can find helpful information on the McAfee Blog and the McAfee