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.
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
- 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
- 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
In an effort to safeguard against online fraud and identity
theft, the following best practices can help minimize your
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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
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
Additional Steps to Take if You Are a Victim of Fraud or
- 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