USA Patriot ACT
The USA Patriot ACT has paved the way for financial institutions to help prevent fraud, identity theft, money laundering activities and the spread of terrorism. Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.
What does this mean to you?
When you open a new account or request a loan, you may be asked questions to establish and confirm your identity. We will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver's license or other identifying documents such as a passport, U.S. taxpayer identification (ID) number, Alien ID Card, or any other government-issued document evidencing nationality or residence.
Concerned about the Equifax breach? See our FAQ to learn more about the breach and how to protect yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
Was my information stolen?
If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance it was. Go to a special website set up by Equifax to find out: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.
How can I protect myself?
- Enroll in Equifax’s services.
Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring and other services, whether or not your information was exposed. You can sign up at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
- Monitor your credit reports.
In addition, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
- Monitor your bank accounts.
We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
- Watch out for scams related to the breach.
Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.
Should I place a credit freeze on my files?
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account.
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?
Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or visit its website.
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website.
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website.
Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?
You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page on the breach at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.
First Bank is committed to safeguarding the information our clients and customers share with us. Unfortunately, criminals have many methods they can use to obtain this information from you without your knowledge including the Internet, over the phone or through the trash you throw away. We have compiled helpful information concerning identity theft and financial crime and how you can protect yourself.
Online Banking Security
First Bank's online banking services contain security measures to limit the possibility of unintended distribution of confidential information and the potential for fraud-related losses. The service runs on a robust operating system. State of the art firewall technology is the first line of defense in preventing unauthorized access to any information housed. Included in this operating system is the capacity to allow only secure connections by end users.
However, there are steps you should take to further protect yourself while online.
- Do not write down your password and store it near your computer system.
- Change your password periodically
- Change your password immediately if you suspect it has been compromised.
- Never share or give your username, password or security questions to anyone regardless of the circumstances.
- Avoid using public computers to access your Internet Banking
- Ensure that your computer is equipped with up to date anti-virus software protection
- Do not provide any personal information to web sites that do not use encryption or other secure methods of protection
- Update your computer with the patches as recommended by the operating system manufacturer
Selecting Strong Passwords
The objective when creating a strong password is to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to make an educated guess about what you have selected. However, it should be developed in a manner that makes it simple to remember without writing it on paper.
Words to Avoid When Creating Passwords
- Do not use your or any family member's name, nickname, or initials in any form
- Do not use your user ID in any form.
- Do not use other information that can be easily obtained about you. This includes birth dates, telephone numbers, license plate numbers, or Social Security numbers
- Do not use all the same character (i.e., 55555) or consecutive keys on a keyboard (i.e., QWERTY).
- Do not use words that would appear in a dictionary as they can be easily compromised by password cracking programs that employ electronic dictionaries.
Tips for Choosing Good Passwords
- Develop a method of creating a password that makes it easier for you to remember, thus eliminating the temptation to write it down
- You can use a favorite phrase, selecting the first letter of each word to create your password. For added security, be sure to include at least one number. For example, "Win One For The Gipper" becomes the password WOFTG7.
- Use two short words and connect them with a number. For example, THE8DUKE.
- Use a word that you can easily remember, but remove the vowels and replace them with numbers. For example, the word "Internet" becomes the password 1NT3RN6T.
In order to prevent someone from gaining unauthorized access to your financial information, you should always log off the system before walking away. As an added level of protection, the Internet Banking system has a timeout feature that automatically terminates your session after a period of inactivity.
For additional protection, access to the system accounts will be locked after three unsuccessful login attempts.
Commercial Banking Internet Security
In addition to the information provided here, commercial & small business account holders should institute additional security measures in order to further protect their online banking for example:
- Perform your own annual internal risk assessment & evaluation on all online accounts
- Establish internal policies regarding employee internet usage
- Ensure all company computers are equipped with up to date anti-virus protection software
What is Identify Theft?
Identify theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your Social Security number, account number or credit number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
Protect yourself by:
- Reporting lost or stolen checks or credit cards immediately
- NEVER give out any personal information
- Shred all documentation that contains confidential information (i.e. bank and credit card statements, bills and invoices that contain personal information, expired credit cards and pay-stubs)
- Check your credit report annually