How Banks Facilitate Identity Theft

While you may be aware that identity theft is a common problem in today’s information-saturated society, you might not realize how your bank could be facilitating this problem. Many larger banks are still using out-of-date security measures that allow unfriendly sources to tap into your personal information with relative ease. Here is a closer look at how banks are creating opportunities for identity theft.

Bank Vault

Too Much Access to Personal Information
If you need to contact your bank over the phone for any reason, you may be asked by several representatives for your personal information, which is stored over large and somewhat vulnerable networks. This means that your information is exposed to dozens of representatives every time you call your bank with no certainty of the ethical integrity of the people you are speaking to. When you handle your finances through a credit union, you will be able to speak directly to a banker whom you can trust with your personal and financial information. 

Outdated Methods for Online Banking Access
The last four digits of your  Social Security number  may be used to verify your identity over the phone or in person, but this is a risky method for online banking access that some institutions still rely on. Because credit unions are smaller organizations, they can more easily update online services for more secure access with up-to-date security measures to protect your information and eliminate exposure of your SSN.

Failure to Update Security Measures
Along with an overuse of customer SSNs for account access, banks often fall short in other methods of verifying customer identity. Security questions, for example, can be an effective screening tool for identifying an individual, but these questions need to be designed so that the answers are not easily obtainable through social media sites.

At  GCS Credit Union  in O’Fallon, IL, we are constantly working to keep our customers’ personal information secure while providing detailed and friendly service for your checking, savings, and financing needs. Our online services will never require your Social Security number, but instead use more secure measures such as security images, security questions, and personal passwords.  You can learn more about how our services can protect you from identity theft by visiting our website or calling us at (618) 797-7993. 

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