Fraud & Identity Theft
The Provident Bank takes protecting our customer's information very seriously. We institute precautionary measures to keep your information safe and secure such as:
Multiple layers of security on your Provident Bank debit card
We have multiples layers of controls in place to detect potential fraud occurring on your debit card. We employ a system called PRM (Proactive Risk Manager) which scans for unusual or suspicious transactions on your debit MasterCard. When a known data-compromise occurs, the parameters are automatically adjusted to scan for any fraud trends specifically associated with the compromise.
In addition, MasterCard also utilizes multiple layers of security protection which are stepped up when a known compromise exists. As a MasterCard holder, you are protected with MasterCard's Zero Liability policy, so that in the rare event fraud does occur, you are not liable for fraudulent activity, as long as you let us know within 60 days.
Protecting customer information in our branches
All paper containing customer information of any kind is disposed of in a locked shred bin. Customer information retained in the branches is secured out of site or in locked drawers. Computer monitors are strategically positioned to prevent unauthorized viewing of customer information.
Account opening information
You'll find, when opening a bank account today, that we will ask you for a lot more information than we did years ago. Many things have changed. The Patriot Act, established after 9/11, added many information gathering requirements for financial institutions, intended to protect everyone and keep the US Financial System safe.
With the added threats of identity theft and fraud, this increased information gathering gives us the tools to make sure we can properly authenticate your identity, whether it be in person, on the phone, or over the Internet.
Protecting Your Computer
Taking the following steps will greatly increase your computer’s protection against Online viruses and spyware that can damage your computer or invade your privacy. They are:
- Use a firewall
- Keep your operating system up to date
- Install and maintain antivirus software
- Install and maintain antispyware software
Use a firewall
Using a firewall is important no matter how you connect to the Internet—with a dial-up modem, cable modem, or digital subscriber line (DSL or ADSL). A firewall acts as a protective barrier between your computer and the Internet. It works by stopping unauthorized Internet traffic to and from your computer. This helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.
Keep your operating system up to date
Software companies release security updates to correct vulnerabilities in programs running on your computer. You should check the publisher’s website for updates and upgrades and download them. Microsoft users can visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com which automatically checks what is required for both operating system and browser, and downloads it at your request.
Install and maintain antivirus software
Antivirus programs scan everything that goes into your computer – emails, discs, attachments- for viruses and block any suspicious material. You should update anti-virus programs regularly to receive the most current protection. Many programs have automatic downloads that reflect the latest updates.
Install and maintain anti-spyware software
Spyware programs are software that installs on your computer without your knowledge or consent. They’re designed to monitor and record your Internet browsing history; often to share with other sites that want to generate marketing research data. Besides tracking your web activity, they can allow annoying pop-up ads, change your home page or, in severe cases, collect personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers you have typed in. Spyware is often installed as part of a free download of another service – for example a service that claims to improve the performance of your PC. Anti-spyware programs monitor your computer, looking for known spyware and programs that are trying to install themselves. Many antivirus software companies also make an anti-spyware programs, and it’s important to keep both current and updated.
Protecting Your Personal Information
Establish practices to increase your privacy and be selective about what information you share Online. Some ways to safeguard your personal information are:
- Create strong passwords
- Be aware of Phishing schemes
- Monitor personal information
- Practice Internet behavior that lowers your risk.
Create Strong Passwords
Creating strong passwords helps to keep your personal information and identity more secure. Below are some suggestions for developing better passwords:
- Passwords should have at least eight characters and include upper case (capital letters) and lowercase letters, and numbers.
- Instead of common words, try a memorable phrase, and write the first letters of each word in different cases and numbers – For example “My son Nate is four years old” could be “MsN8=4yrsO.”
- Don’t use personal information—name, children’s name, birth dates, etc. that someone might know or obtain.
- Use different passwords for each online account and change them regularly.
Be aware of Phishing schemes!
Don't reply to an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, and don't click on links in the message! To go to a bank or business's website, always type the web address into your browser yourself.
Don't respond if you get a message – by email, text, pop-up or phone – that asks you to call a phone number to update your account or personal information. Call the number on your financial statement or from a telephone directory and speak to customer service.
Remember, The Provident Bank will NEVER CALL YOU AND ASK for personal information such as your bank account number, Social Security Number, or PIN (Personal Identification Number) over the telephone; however, the only circumstance when we would ask you is IF YOU CALL US.
Monitor Personal Information
- Monitoring and limiting access to your personal / financial information reduces the chance it could be compromised – Online or Offline.
- Review bank and credit card statements and notify the bank immediately should you notice any discrepancies.
- Store documents in safe places, and consider shredding any personal information you discard. Using services like E-Statements eliminates paper copies of your financial statements.
- Avoid sharing passwords or login information with others and never via email.
- Read privacy policies. They should explain what personal information the company or website collects, how the information is used, and whether it is provided to third parties.
Practice Internet Behavior that lowers your risk
- If you can, avoid using Online Banking or other services which requires typing sensitive information on public computers, or public wireless Internet sites.
- When shopping Online, don't provide financial information through a company's website without checking for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a website URL that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure").
- Delete spam emails without opening, and be wary of opening attachments you’re not expecting.
- Only download software from websites you trust.
Protecting Your Business
- Please refer to the following document for steps you can take to protect your business accounts and your personal information: Protect Your Business
To Report an Internet-related Fraud Scheme:
If you believe that an unauthorized transaction(s) has occurred from your Online Banking or bill pay account(s), contact us immediately at 888-806-7768, or email us at email@example.com. In the event that a compromise has occurred, we recommend that you immediately change your password within Online banking to prevent unauthorized transfers or account access.
Also, the FBI has created an Internet Crime Complaint Center; the center serves as a vehicle to receive cyber crime complaints from private citizens and industry, and to develop and refer complaints to law enforcement - http://www.ic3.gov.
If you believe that your identity has been compromised, please click here to complete an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission.