Your safety is paramount.
Here are tips to help keep yourself financially protected.
We’re thankful that you trust us with your financial accounts and personal information, and we want to do everything we can to keep you safe. Here are some of the ways we work to keep you secure.
- Certain security features are created at account opening and are updated periodically, allowing the bank to identify you when you contact the bank.
- When using digital resources, like Online Banking or the Mobile App, be sure to watch for your security image to populate correctly.
- While many devices store biometric information, Guardian Bank does not have access to this information. If multiple people have biometric information stored on a device, we do not recommend you log into Online Banking using such method (as anyone with biometric information saved on the device would then have access to your accounts).
- Customer service representatives may authenticate your identity in a variety of ways, but we will never ask for information like your Online Banking password or debit card PIN number.
Online and mobile banking sessions are encrypted with software to protect your accounts. We only support updated browsers that adhere to common encryption standards. Since outdated browsers could pose a security risk, please be sure to keep your browsers up to date.
To reduce the risk of an unauthorized person accessing your information from an unattended device, we will automatically log you out of Online Banking or the mobile app after 10 minutes of inactivity.
Guardian Bank uses advanced monitoring to keep your accounts and cards safe, so if we notice unusual behavior (such as your debit card being used overseas or a substantially large charge come through), we may restrict access to the account until we can confirm it is authorized. Be sure to keep your phone number and email address updated with the bank to avoid down time.
In addition to the security measures we have in place, here are some recommendations and best practices for you to consider for your accounts, devices and cards at Guardian Bank.
- Store documents with sensitive personal information (Social Security Cards, tax returns, unused credit cards, bank statements) in a secure location.
- If you did not initiate the phone call, do not give out personal or financial information. NOTE: the bank will never call and request information such as your debit card number, Online Banking ID, or account number.
- Do not send sensitive personal or financial information via email. It is often not secure and can be easily hacked.
- Only keep necessary documents on file at your home or office. Diligently shred old or outdated documents before discarding.
- Utilize services like Online Banking or eStatements to help reduce the risk of identity theft due to stolen paper documents.
- Pull your credit report at least once a year. Look for unauthorized accounts in your name. Visit annualcreditreport.com for more information.
If you suspect your identity has been stolen, report it immediately and follow the steps below. If sensitive information was compromised through a security breach, you may want to consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file with the three major credit bureaus. More information can be found at www.IdentityTheft.gov.
- Contact the bank
Call our office at (912) 264-8887 or the Customer Care Center at (912) 580-4748
- Contact the major credit bureaus
You can request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit file, requiring creditors to verify your identity before opening any new accounts or changing existing accounts.
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or Equifax.com
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or Experian.com
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 or TransUnion.com
- Contact other creditors
Other creditors, such as phone companies or television providers, may need to be notified of the potential fraud or identity theft. We recommend closing any accounts with suspicious activity and reopening them with new account numbers and passwords.
- File a police report
Credit bureaus or other creditors may need proof of criminal activity. Retain copies of the police report for your reference.
- Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC hotline is 1-877-ID THEFT (or 1-877-438-4338). You can also report criminal activity through their website at www.IdentityTheft.gov.
- Watch transactions on your account, through our Mobile App or in Online Banking, or by reviewing your account statement each month.
- Report suspicious charges to the bank promptly.
- Set up alerts to be notified of purchases, ATM use, ACH transactions, account balances, new Bill Pay payees, and more.
- Keep cards (debit and credit) and checks in a secure place and limit the information printed to only what is required.
- When you receive replacement cards or checks, shred or cut up old information before discarding.
- Never give your account or card information over the phone unless you have initiated the phone call. Never send account or card information via email.
- When using your debit card, select a PIN that is easy for you to remember but hard for someone else to guess. Avoid easily found information such as birth year or address.
- If using your debit card at a store or an ATM, cover the keypad while entering your PIN.
- For your Online Banking password, use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. For example, use W@terme!0n instead of Watermelon.
- Do not use part of your username or email address in your password.
- Ensure your password is unique to the bank. Using the same password in multiple places puts it at a higher risk of becoming compromised.
- Never write down or share your PIN or password.
- When making online purchases, do not save card information with the vendor.
- If making an online purchase, do so only from secure websites (those with a closed lock icon and “https://” in the web address bar).
- Always log out of Online Banking or the Mobile app when finished with a session. For your security, the bank will automatically sign you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
- Be mindful of the information you share on social media sites.
- Do not open email attachments or text messages that appear suspicious. When in doubt, call the bank or the Customer Care Center.
- Use safeguards (such as passwords or screen locks) to keep devices safe.
- Do not use public or unsecured Wifi when logging into Online Banking or when using the Mobile App.
- Notify the bank immediately if your device becomes compromised or is lost or stolen.
- Keep all antivirus and malware software, mobile apps, browser versions, and plugins up to date for all of your devices.