How to Protect Yourself and/or Your Business

At Univest, we are committed to protecting your personal and financial information. As your financial partner, we strive to provide you with the tools you need to manage and safeguard your assets. Awareness is one of the best ways to help protect against fraud and identity theft.

LEARN

What is fraud?

Fraud is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent a company in an effort to gain access to your personal, confidential information and illegally conduct transactions on your behalf.

How does fraud happen?

Fraud can happen in various ways:

  • Dumpster Diving - criminals search through the trash to find any documents with your personal information.
  • Phishing (Fraudulent Emails) - criminals attempt to send what look like legitimate emails with the intent recipients will open and act on something in the email content.
  • Counterfeit Websites - criminals create fake websites to interject in transactions on the internet with hopes you'll enter personal information.
  • Pop-Up Windows - criminals plant pop-up windows on legitimate websites in an effort to gain access to your personal information.

PREVENT

In an effort to safeguard against online fraud and identity theft, the following best practices can help minimize your risk.

Tips for consumers and businesses

  • Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware Software - Installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software can protect against malicious programs that may be planted in emails, documents or websites. These programs can damage your computer, send unsafe emails to your contact list, capture confidential information such as your passwords or cause other harm. Set the software to run automatically and update regularly.
  • Firewall Software/Hardware - Firewall software/hardware checks the information coming from the Internet to your computer. Depending on the firewall settings you have established, the firewall will either block or allow the information to pass through to your computer.
  • Keep Computer Software Current - Manufacturers offer patches which are small pieces of software to fix flaws in software and they also provide software upgrades. If your computer notifies you of available patches or security upgrades you should consider downloading them.
  • Protect Your Personal Information - Do not provide passwords, account numbers or answers to security questions unless you are sure of who you're dealing with and why they need the information. If your computer has multiple users consider changing passwords every 90 days as well as implementing controls offered by software manufacturers and Internet service providers. Also be mindful of the information available through social media.
  • Pop-Up Windows - Never enter personal information in pop-up windows. Identity thieves plant pop-up windows on legitimate websites in an effort to steal your identity by acquiring all of your personal information.
  • Email Links - Know where your emails come from and be wary of emails from unknown contacts. Do not click on links in emails that ask for your personal information. Harmful programs could be embedded in emails and the links provided may lead you to fake versions of what you understand to be legitimate websites. Fake emails and websites are created by criminals in an attempt to gather your personal information.
  • Credit Report - Check your credit report periodically from the three credit bureaus to ensure nothing is abnormal.
  • New Computer - If you plan on purchasing a new computer make sure to use a "wipe" utility program on your old computer to permanently delete all of your personal files before disposing of it.
  • Statements/Applications - Shred any bank statements, credit card bills, credit card applications or account information that is no longer needed.
  • Credit/Debit Cards - Never write the PIN on the card and make sure to cut up/shred when disposing of old cards.

Additional business tips

  • Dedicated Computer - Designate a computer as well as a separate network connection for financial transactions to minimize the risk of obtaining viruses or malware that could result from opening emails or Internet links. In addition, lock or turn off the computer when left unattended.
  • Risk Assessment - Conduct a periodic assessment of your computer's protections to ensure it is fully protected. Consider the version of software(s), frequency of system updates and patches, the number of employees with access, etc. If you're unsure or need assistance, consult a third party firm to evaluate your protections.
  • Financial Applications - Restrict financial applications to employees with a business need for access. The fewer number of people involved can provide added security.
  • IDs & Passwords - Never share IDs or passwords and for greater security, consider changing passwords on a periodic basis. (i.e. every 90 days)

If you have questions regarding the security measures Univest has implemented, please contact us at 877.723.5571.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM

If you believe you are a victim of fraud or identity theft, contact us at 877.723.5571.

In addition to contacting Univest, you should also report the incident to the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus. You'll want to indicate you are a victim of fraud and/or identity theft and want to request a "fraud alert" to be placed in your file.

Additional Steps to Take if You Are a Victim of Fraud or Identity Theft

  • Close the accounts you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
  • File a police report as proof of the crime and obtain a copy or report number.
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