Even with tremendous investments in cyber security, the most prevalent way for hackers and fraudsters to gain access is to exploit human behavior through social engineering or simply uncovering information that hasn't been well protected by a consumer.
We understand it's hard to keep up with all your accounts and your distributed digital footprint, and that's why we have a simple cyber security checklist to help you avoid becoming an easy target for hackers and fraudsters.
1. Use strong passwords and protect them
- Create long passwords that contain symbols, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters
- Don't store your passwords anywhere
- Don't reuse or recycle your passwords
- Don't share your passwords with anyone
- Change your passwords using a randomly generated schedule
- Ensure that your passwords bear no resemblance to former passwords
2. Opt in to multifactor authentication where available
Multifactor authentication requires additional verifying information to grant access to an account. This gives your accounts an added layer of security. Multifactor authentication can include:
- SMS or email notifications
- Biometric identification
3. Avoid links from unknown sources in text, email, instant message, social media and websites
- Be suspicious of any message that asks you to provide personal information. BB&T never uses emails or text messages to solicit your personal information.
- Hover your mouse over hyperlinks to inspect their true destination
- Make sure you're on the right site before entering personal information—such as your name, address, birth date, Social Security number, phone number or credit card number
- Report suspicious email that claims to be from BB&T to InternetFraud@BBandT.com
- Learn as much as you can about phishing
4. Limit what you share on social media and who can view your profile
You should protect the following information in particular:
- Your birthdate
- Your street address
- Geotagged photos
- The time you're away on vacation
5. Secure your devices
- Always keep your device's software updated (use the latest operating system and browser versions available)
- Install security software and keep it up to date (BB&T clients are eligible for a Webroot offer)
- Download apps from trusted app stores
- Turn off Wi-Fi/file sharing/AirDrop options when not in use
- Avoid working with personal or sensitive data when you're using unsecured, public Wi-Fi
6. Secure your important documents
Protect your Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates by storing them in a secure place such as a safe deposit box, and only carry them when you need them for a specific purpose.
This information can be used by an identity thief to commit fraud like taking over your financial accounts, opening new loans and credit cards, and establishing utility services in your name.
7. Shred documents containing personal/financial information
When you're done reviewing your paper documents like your receipts, financial statements, or credit card bills, put them in the shredder instead of the trash.
8. Order your credit report annually from each credit bureau
Best practice: Order a free copy once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com and from a different bureau (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) every four months so that you're always covered.
9. Keep your contact information up to date with BB&T
Update your email, mobile phone and mailing address in U by BB&T, or visit your local branch.
10. Opt in to security alerts, and promptly respond to the notifications you receive
If you haven't done so already, set up alerts to keep tabs on your account.
Want a copy of this checklist?
Want to explore more on this topic?
Safe Deposit Boxes (Article)
When renting a safe deposit box, consider what size you’ll need, who else will have access, and appropriate items to keep in the box.
Social Engineering (Article)
Social engineering attacks can be difficult to detect. Learn how to identify this deception and avoid becoming a victim.
Protecting Your Internet Activities and Electronic Data (Article)
With more financial activity occurring online than ever before, it's essential to know how to reduce the risks to your data.
Protecting Against Internet Investment Scams (Article)
A healthy amount of skepticism and common sense can help protect you from investment and money-making scams.
The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. BB&T hopes you find this information useful but we cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. Financial calculators are provided to assist you in estimating the approximate costs associated with any bank activity. Your actual costs may vary. You should consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.
Branch Banking and Trust Company, Member FDIC.