Protecting Your Credit From Hackers
MARION -- Target is just the latest company hit by hackers. We've seen these credit breaches before, like at Schnuck's earlier this year. Banking officials say there are steps consumers can take to stay safe. And during the holiday season, when many people are swiping their cards, It's a good time to be on guard.
"I think as consumers we're always going to have to be precautious on how we take care of our numbers and our credit cards and everything," says shopper Justin Elms.
But you'd be surprised how many people don't check their bank statements on a regular basis or have even an online banking account set up.
"It's something I need to start doing. I haven't done it, but I need to. So with this happening now, it's a good time to start it," admits shopper Marlene Naas.
Bank of Marion CEO Ray Altmix says consumers need to take some responsibility of keeping themselves safe from identity fraud, and it's not hard to do.
"There are so many avenues with electronic banking, internet-based banking, and mobile banking that all of your transactions can be tracked on a daily basis," he explains.
Online banking makes spotting unusual activity pretty easy. Altmix also says it's important for everyone to check their credit report at least once a year. If that seems daunting, your bank will help you go over it.
"What it will also show is inquiries," says Altmix. "So those merchants that inquired on your credit want to know how you pay your bills. That should only happen when you apply for a loan or a credit card. If there are other inquiries, then we need to be more careful."
Altmix says you don't want to share any personal information or pin numbers, and you also don't want to share bank cards, even with family members.
If you want to check your credit report, you get one free from each of the three largest credit reporting companies every year. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com.
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