Here at Century Bank of Georgia, your online safety is our top priority. Our system ensures that data exchanged between our computers and your PC is encrypted with 128-bit encryption. Your information then passes through a "firewall" which is specifically designed to keep out unauthorized users. The firewall controls and limits outside access to the banks' internal database. Our firewall is setup to block unauthorized traffic so that you can feel confident that your information is secure while banking at Century Bank of Georgia.
During your enrollment process, you will set up your unique user ID, security questions and password. The combination of your unique user ID and password enables you to be uniquely identified to Century Bank's online banking. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure. Your password should not be shared with anyone.
General Fraud Tips
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud.
- Do not provide any of your personal information to anyone in person, over the phone, or over the internet, unless you trust them.
- Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your social security card and unused credit cards at home in a safe and secure location.
- Do not provide your Social Security number to anyone unless absolutely necessary.
- Do not give out any personal information on any web sites that are not secured or encrypted.
- Make copies of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure location. This information would come handy, if your purse or wallet was stolen.
- Limit the information on your checks. For example, do not have your social security number printed on the checks.
- Do not put your trash out until shortly before the trash is picked up.
- Promptly retrieve your mail to limit the opportunity for theft.
- Instead of receiving paper statements, invoices and checks asked if these can be received electronically.
- Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. This can prevent theft by dumpster divers.
- Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company’s customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement. Also, notify the bank if you do not receive your bank statement. This could indicate fraudulent activity by identity theft.
- If you are traveling, ask the post office to hold your mail or have someone that you trust to retrieve your mail daily from your mailbox. Place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox to reduce the chance of mail theft.
- Examine your credit card, debit/ATM, and bank statements immediately when you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized transactions. Report any that you find immediately to the financial institution.
- Review your credit report at least annually, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. The Credit Bureau will provide one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. For a small fee you can request a credit report anytime directly from:
- Use a firewall to protect your identity online. The software can be purchased at any software retailer or online.
Identity Theft Prevention
How Identity Theft Occurs
Thieves use a variety of ways to gain access to your personal information. For example, hacking into records; bribing information out of employees; stealing information while at work. Or:
- They may steal your wallet or purse.
- They may steal your debit card/ATM or credit card number by capturing the information in a data storage device in a practice known as “skimming”.
- They may go through your trash in a practice known as “dumpster diving”.
- They may steal your personal information through e-mail or the phone by saying they are from a legitimate company. This practice is known as “phishing” online, or “pretexting” by phone.
- They may get your credit reports by posing as an employer or someone else who may have a legal right to your credit report.
- They may use personal information found in your home.
- They may steal your mail.
- They may complete a “change of address” form to divert your mail to another location.
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they may use it to commit fraud or theft. For example:
- They may call your credit card company to change the billing address on your account.
- They may open new credit card accounts in your name.
- They may establish phone or wireless service in your name.
- They may open a bank account in your name.
- They may buy a vehicle in your name.
- They may get a driver’s license in your name.
- They may give your name to the police during an arrest.
- They may file bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts.
How Can You Tell if You're a Victim of Identity Theft?
- You may notice new account activity on your credit report.
- You may notice that you are not receiving your bills or other mail.
- You may receive credit cards that you did not apply for.
- You may receive calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services you didn’t purchase.
How Can a Responsible Consumer Minimize the Risk of Identity Theft?
- Place passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts.
- Secure personal information in your home.
- Ask about information security procedures in your workplace or at businesses, doctors’ offices, or other institutions that collect your personal identifying information.
- Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you are dealing with.
- Treat your mail and trash carefully.
- Opt out of receiving credit offers in the mail that are based on your credit report, call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
- Do not carry your social security card in your purse or wallet.
- Only carry credit cards that you actually need.
- Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work.
- When ordering new checks, request them to be delivered to the bank for pick up.
If Your Personal Information Has Been Lost or Stolen:
If you act quickly you can minimize identity theft by doing the following:
- If you suspect identity theft of your financial accounts – close the accounts and open up new accounts with a password. Avoid using common names such as mother’s maiden name, etc.
- Call the toll-free fraud number of any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place an initial fraud alert on your credit reports if your social security number was lost or stolen.
- Contact the agency that issued your license or other identification document. Follow their procedures to cancel the document and to get a replacement if your license were lost or stolen.
- Ask the agency to flag your driver’s license or other identification file so that no one else can get a license or any other identification document in your name.
- Watch for signs that your information is being misused, and that your identity has been stolen.
- If your information has been misused, file a police report about the theft, and file a complaint with the FTC, as well at ftc.gov.
Online and Mobile Threats
Cyber-fraudsters want to earn their money the easy way — by stealing yours. Understanding how criminals try to trap you is your first line of defense:
- Phishing – This is the criminal attempt to steal your personal information through fraudulent emails or smart-phone texts. They are often very believable, luring the victim to a site that asks them to provide (or “verify”) personal financial details such as account numbers and social security numbers. A variation is called Spear Phishing, which are electronic messages that appear to come especially to victims from their employer, usually a large corporation. Cyber-security experts often term the mobile phone version of phishing Smishing, playing off the SMS, or Short Message Service terminology used in text messaging. Remember: your bank will not send emails asking for your personal information—they already have it.
- Card Skimming – This is a criminal’s attempt to gain a victim’s personal information by tampering with ATM machines. Fraudsters set up a device that can capture magnetic stripe and keypad information, such as PINs and account numbers. Using ATMs you know and trust — as well as examining the machine closely—can help thwart this type of theft.
- Spyware – This is the term used for criminal software that a victim unknowingly loads on a personal computer. Once there, the spyware collects personal information and sends it to the criminal. Up-to-date security software is the best defense.
Identity Theft Victims: Immediate Steps
If you are a victim of identity theft, take the following four steps immediately. Keep records of your conservations and copies of all correspondence.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports frequently.
- Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a report with your local police where the identity theft happened.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can file a compliant online at consumer.gov/idtheftOpens. If you don’t have internet access, you can call the FTC’s Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).
- Internet Crime Complaint Center: ic3.gov.
- Consumer Fraud (Department of Justice Homepage): justice.gov.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Response Center: ftc.gov.
- Consumer Guides and Protection: usa.gov.
- Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force: stopfraud.gov.
- On Guard Online: consumer.ftc.gov.
- Do Not Call Registry: donotcall.gov.
- Better Business Bureau: bbb.org