How to protect yourself from Identity Theft

James Ryan Jonas

Here are some useful tips provided by Banco de Oro to help you prevent identity theft when doing online banking.

Electronic Banking Consumer Protection Tips

1. Always keep sensitive information strictly confidential.

  • a. Memorize your PIN. Never let anyone know your PIN. Never keep written records or save this information on your PDA, mobile phone or personal computer.
  • b. Regularly change your password or PIN. It is advisable that you choose a PIN that is different from your address, telephone number, birthday or other passwords that can easily be associated to you.
  • c. Never provide personal information to anyone who contacts you through phone, email or SMS/text solicitation, unless you are certain that you are communicating with an authorized bank representative or channel.
  • d. Keep your personal information private. Do not disclose personal information such as address, mother’s maiden name, telephone number, SSS number, bank account number or email address — unless it is absolutely necessary and you are certain that the one collecting the information is reliable and trustworthy.

2. Check for the right and secure website.

Before performing any online transactions or sending your personal information, make sure that YOU, personally, enter the URL into your web browser to access the official bank website.

3. Always take care of your ATM card. If you are enrolled in SMS/Mobile Phone Banking, always know where your mobile phone is.

If you lose it, report the loss immediately to your bank.

4. Be vigilant.

Be extra cautious when performing electronic banking transactions in very public and highly populated places.

5. Monitor your bank accounts.

  • a. Keep a record of your transaction reference numbers or ATM receipts as evidences of your transactions.
  • b. Regularly check your transaction history details and statements and make sure that there are no errors or unauthorized transactions performed on your account.
  • c. Immediately notify your bank branch of account if you find errors or discrepancies in your account.

If your identity is stolen or you suspect the confidentiality of your transactions has been compromised, contact your bank right away and file a report.

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James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.