Whether you are checking on bank accounts, transferring funds, or making a payment, online banking is a convenient way to manage your banking transactions. Paragon offers online banking options as a convenience to our customers and an easy way to keep track of your finances. However, online banking and banking through a mobile app does come with certain risks due to a term known as phishing.
Webster’s dictionary defines phishing as “a scam by which an Internet user is duped (as by a deceptive email message) into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly.” This fraudulent practice has increased more than 5,000% over the last 12 years, with data showing attacks steadily increasing. As technology advances, here are some ways you can equip yourself and protect your finances.
Receive transaction alerts
Sign up for Guardian Text Alerts through our online banking portal. These alerts will text you when your debit card is used to make a transaction. Additionally, messages are sent to your mobile device when large, suspicious purchases are made on your account. These alerts are a form of fraud monitoring. If fraud is detected, an email and text alert will be sent to you.
Use only approved Paragon banking tools
Criminals will try to mislead customers by getting them to download apps from places other than the device’s approved app store. These applications might pretend to be digital/electronic wallets such as Venmo, PayPal, Apple’s Passbook or Google Wallet. To avoid exposing private information, make sure you know and trust the app store from which you download mobile apps.
Keep mobile device software up-to-date
Apple and Android operating systems upgrades often and include security updates to protect your smartphone or tablet from the latest threats. This is especially important with Android systems, which tend to be more open to developers. To ensure our customers’ safety, Paragon releases regular updates to our mobile app. These updates safeguard against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Maintaining phone and app updates is important to protect yourself and your online presence.
Avoid clicking through emails
Paragon does send you email alerts and update messages. Messages from Paragon do normally contain links to our Internet banking site, but you don’t have to click through the links to access your account. If you are unsure of a link in an email, it is safer to visit the site directly. Phishing emails redirect the recipient to a malicious website or fraudulent version of a bank’s website, and some are designed to collect your username, password, or other personal information. Paragon Fraud Center is available 24/7 to verify whether they sent you an email or if they need to get in touch with you. Never respond to emails that ask to verify your identity by providing your username or password. Remember, Paragon will never ask for this information via email—at most, you will need to supply the answer to a security question and will do this over the phone with your personal banker.
By using a secure, trusted app, keeping your device up-to-date, and using good consumer practices, you can help protect your money and keep criminals at bay.