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Top Tips of 2022: Privacy & Security

Review 2022's most popular articles to help keep your personal information and finances protected.

1. 7 steps to take after your personal data is compromised

Unfortunately, data breaches have become a common feature of our always-connected world. If your information is compromised in a data breach, there are key steps to take to contain the damage and keep your finances, credit score, and identity safe from criminals.

1. Change your passwords frequently. 
2. Use two-factor authentication when available. 
3. Sign up for updates from the company where the breach occurred to stay updated. 

Read the full article for more tips on protecting your information after a breach.

2. How to protect yourself from P2p payment scams

Zelle®, and other popular digital payment apps, make sending or receiving money convenient. But this convenience comes with a price. Scammers are using those apps to cheat you out of your money. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

1. Think of Zelle or any P2P payment as cash. While Zelle is a digital payment, it works like cash. Transactions are not reversible.

2. Never send money to yourself. 

3. Only use Zelle to send money to those you know and trust.
Do not use P2P payments for online purchases or to send money to anyone you don’t have a personal relationship with. 

Read more tips on how to protect yourself from payment scams.

3. 5 common social media scams

Next time you scroll through social media platforms, don't be too quick to click on a message or ad offering financial assistance, a great deal, or even a shot at romance. If you do, you might be inviting a scammer to steal your identity or exploit you financially. 

1. "Fun" Quizzes.  A Facebook quiz to determine "Which dog breed are you?" seems like harmless fun. But taking the quiz, you could be inviting a hacker to download malware onto your computer or other devices. 

2. Sellers That Fail to Deliver.
Before making a purchase related to an ad or post on social media, check out the company first. 

3. Romance Scams.
Often, the scam starts with a "friend request" or message out of the blue. Eventually, the scammer asks for money or help to cover a "medical emergency."

Read the full article to find out how to protect yourself on social media.

4. Charitable donations: 4 tips for safe giving

It's important to ensure that your donated dollars are going to the right place and being used appropriately. Use these four tips to help tell the difference between a reputable organization or a fraudster.

  • Research the charity's reputation. Technology has made it very easy for scammers to create sophisticated websites, or troll for dollars via text message or social media. Before donating, spend some time researching the organization to ensure it's authentic.
  • Be wary of door-to-door, telephone, and email solicitations.  Sophisticated scammers know how to replicate the practice or appearance of a bona fide charity whether in person, over the phone, or through an email request. 
  • Find out how charitable donations are spent. Charities on the up-and-up will set aside no more than 35% to administrative costs.
  • Report unscrupulous activity. If you uncover a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission and your state charity regulator. 

Learn more about how to donate safely. 

5. 10 ways to protect yourself online

Whether you’re working from home or communicating remotely with family and friends, it’s important to protect your online personal and financial information. Use these tips and best practices to help keep your information secure.

1. Make sure your devices are up to date. For your financial security, it’s important to keep your computers, tablets, and phones up to date.  

2. Create strong passwords. Choose passwords for your financial accounts that include a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

3. Opt in for alerts to track account activity. Set up email and text alerts for your bank and credit card accounts to notify you of new transactions, including debits, credits, and transfers. 

4. Be social media savvy. Set your account to private, only connect with people you know, and be selective about the personal information you share with your followers.

5. Avoid scammers in your inbox. If a suspicious email lands in your inbox, don't click on any links or reply to it, even if it comes from someone in your contact list. 

Read the full article for more tips to on how to protect your information online.

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