Internet Banking Awareness & Education Program
As banking technology continues to improve, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks. At Synergy Bank, our top priority is to safeguard your confidential information and protect your assets. The best way to combat cybercrime is to educate our customers on best practices in cybersecurity that you can do at home or at your business. Synergy Bank uses the latest technology to secure your information when transmitted over the Internet. Here are some things you can do to protect your information:
Defend your computer
- Install antivirus and anti-spyware from a trusted source. These programs monitor your computer for viruses and spyware and will alert you if they find something.
- Keep all software up-to-date. Regularly install updates for all of the software on your computer and operating systems.
- Make sure the passwords for your router and wireless connection at home is strong.
User ID and Passwords
- Use strong passwords. Passwords should consist of long phrases that use a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Change passwords frequently.
- Keep passwords secret. Do not share passwords or PIN numbers with anyone. If you have to write them down, keep them in a locked and secure place away from your computer.
- Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Online banking.
- Review account balances and detail transactions regularly to confirm transactions and immediately report any suspicious transactions to Synergy Bank’s customer service.
- Take advantage of system alerts such as text notifications and daily balance notifications.
- Never leave a computer unattended when using Online banking
Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware, and Malware
- Do not open e-mail from unknown sources.
- Be suspicious of e-mails claiming to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious e-mails could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer.
- Never respond to a suspicious e-mail or click on any hyperlink embedded in a suspicious e-mail. Call the suspected source if you are unsure who sent an e-mail.
- If an email claiming to be from your financial organization seems suspicious, checking with your financial organization may be appropriate.
- Do not send sensitive information via email, instant messages, or text messages. These methods may not be secure.
- Be aware of phishing scams. Phishing is the use of emails, instant or text messages to convince you to divulge sensitive information. Synergy Bank will never ask you to give personal or account information in an email.
- Don’t be tricked into downloading malware. Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking links in an email or on social networks, even if you know the sender. Confirm with them that the message is legitimate.
Shopping Online Safely
- Check for evidence of encryption. A secure web address usually begins with “https” rather than “http” and has a closed padlock in the address bar or in the lower right corner of the window.
- Initiate transactions from your home computer. The security of a public computer and wireless connection may be unreliable. Monitor your account activity for suspicious transactions.
Mobile Banking Security Tips
Managing your finances using a smartphone or tablet can be very convenient. However, you should consider these safety tips to protect your account information:
- Be proactive in protecting your smartphone and/or tablet by installing anti-malware software on the device.
- Research any application (app) before you download it. Fraudulent apps are often designed with names that look like real apps. It’s best if you access an app using a link from the provider’s website.
- Use an auto-lock or time-out feature so your device will lock when it is left unused for a certain period of time.
- Upgrade your device to the latest operating system version.
- Do not jailbreak or root your mobile device. Doing so exposes the security controls and makes your device vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
- Check your account history periodically to make sure there are no fraudulent transactions.
- Before your device is lost or stolen, take precautions before hand. Avoid leaving your device unattended in public places.
- Consult your wireless provider to see if they provide a service to remotely erase your device or turn off access to your device and/or account in the event your device is lost or stolen.
- Always conduct your transactions in a safe environment. Use your cellular service or your own internet provider rather than unsecured/public Wi-Fi networks like those offered at coffee shops.
- Don’t send account numbers or PIN in emails or text messages, because those methods are not necessarily secure.
Act immediately if you are a victim of a scam
- Put a fraud alert on your credit reports. Contact one of the major U.S. credit bureaus so that no financial institution grants new credit without your approval. Confirm that they will contact the other two companies. The fraud alert can be placed for 90 days and then renewed afterwards. Get your free credit report and dispute any errors, such as accounts you didn’t open or debits you do not recognize. Also, contact the fraud department of each business that reported the errors.
- Close accounts accessed or opened fraudulently. Notify Synergy Bank and any of your other financial institutions to alert them of the fraud. Open new accounts with new passwords and PINs.
- You should file a police report. Get a copy to show your bank that you are a crime victim. Also, report to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1.877.438.4438.
- Keep records of your efforts as you go. Create a log of all telephone calls and the person with whom you spoke. Send letters by certified mail and ask for a return receipt. Keep a file of all documents.
Learn more about how to protect your bank accounts, prevent identity fraud, and other important financial information. Choose one of the links below for more information:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
- Synergy's Partnership for Safe Online Practices
Credit Reporting Companies
Equifax - 1.800.525.6285
Experian - 1.888.397.3742
TransUnion - 1.800.680.7289
Local Police Departments
Houma PD 985.873.6371
Thibodaux PD 985.446.5021