Protect yourself: Simple measures you can take

Prevention Is the First Step

At J.P. Morgan, we believe one of the best ways to fight identity theft is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some easy things you can do to prevent someone from stealing important personal and financial information.

Carry Only What You Need
The less personal information you have with you, the better off you will be if your purse or wallet is stolen. For example, do not carry your Social Security or Medicare card with you, since they are rarely needed.

Immediately Report Lost or Stolen Credit Cards or Checks

  • Credit Cards—Call each issuer and ask to have the stolen card accounts closed and new ones opened to replace them.
  • Checks—J.P. Morgan—and most other financial institutions—will block payments on checks reported lost or stolen. Review orders of new checks to make sure none have been stolen in transit.

Note: Thieves often steal checks from the middle of a checkbook, so review the entire book. Also, review your statement for counterfeit checks, and be sure the checks that clear the bank were written by you.

Don’t Preprint Personal Data on Checks
Your checks should only provide necessary information. Phone numbers, Social Security numbers and personal information beyond name and address should not be included.

Guard PINS and Passwords

  • Do not write your personal identification numbers (PINs) on your ATM, debit or credit cards—or store PINs with your cards.
  • Do not create PINs or passwords using information that can be guessed easily (birthdays, addresses or children’s names).
  • Create strong passwords with a combination of numbers and upper- and lowercase letters. Avoid using the top five most popular passwords:
    1. Password
    2. 123456
    3. 12345678
    4. 1234
    5. qwerty
  • Do not share PINs or passwords with friends or family. Change your passwords often.
  • Equally important: Learn how your computer or handheld device saves passwords and account numbers, and be sure any software you use to store personal data is secure.
  • Set your laptop to require a password when it is turned on, especially when you are traveling.

Add a Layer of Protection

Be Alert to Telephone Scams
Be wary about providing personal information to telephone callers you do not know. Don’t respond if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Fraudsters pose as research or financial firms.

Find Another Way to Pay
Consider using online bill pay, available on J.P. Morgan OnlineSM.

Opt for Paperless Statements
Safely print your statements at home rather than having them mailed to you.

Consider Using an RSA SecureID Device
This device, also referred to as a hard token, adds an extra layer of security when accessing your accounts on J.P. Morgan OnlineSM. Small enough to fit on a key ring, the device generates a random, six-digit number every 60 seconds, which is your Personal Access Code. Each Code can be used only once and must be entered in combination with your password when you log in to your account. Using these two forms of identification increases your protection.

Security Center Hard token

The device may be ideal if you:

  • Have experienced fraud
  • Are looking for additional online security
  • Seek to increase the amount of funds you can transfer online

Please contact the client service team to see if an RSA SecureID device may be right for you.

Protect Financial Records and Canceled Checks
Keep financial documents and records in a safe place—away from anyone, such as workers who may come into your home. Safeguard new or unused checks as well as ATM and credit card receipts. This information can be used by fraudsters to access your accounts.

Handle Your Mail with Care
Fraudsters may use your mail to steal your identity. Use only secure, official Postal Service mail boxes.

Shred Mail You No Longer Want
Consider a home paper shredder to dispose of all sensitive or financial documents, including invoices or unwanted money solicitations. Fraudsters can use these to assume your identity.

Use Trusted ATMs
Only use your ATM card in well-lit public places. Avoid any ATMs that look strange, tampered with or out of place.

Remain Vigilant

Be Alert to Suspicious Activity
J.P. Morgan employees are trained to respond to suspicious activity; however, your frequent monitoring of all statements and transactions is essential to fraud protection. If regular statements fail to reach you, call the issuing company to find out why. If your statements include suspicious items, don’t ignore them. Fraudsters often test an account with small, unknown amounts before initiating a larger assault. By investigating immediately and contacting your bank or creditor, you can head off any possible or further fraud. If you notice suspicious activity in your accounts, report it immediately to your J.P. Morgan representative.

Review Your Credit Reports
Periodically contact the major credit bureaus to review your file and make certain the information is correct. Alert the credit bureau if you see anything suspicious. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report every year from each of the credit bureaus.

Keep Your Information Private
Don’t give out financial information on the telephone, such as your checking account or credit card numbers, unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization to whom you are speaking. Be especially protective of your Social Security number and date of birth. Do not give personal information to anyone who calls you, even someone claiming to be from J.P. Morgan. Legitimate representatives of J.P. Morgan will never contact you by phone or email to request your PIN or password.

Securing Your Online Identity

Safeguard Your Computer and Device
Install anti-virus software on your computer. Make sure it scans your computer regularly, and be sure to keep it up-to-date. Choose the latest operating system and web browser for your computer, and set it to make updates automatically. Take advantage of your device’s security features. Make sure your browser uses the strongest encryption available and be aware of the encryption levels of the sites and applications you use. Password protect your smartphone or tablet, and change your passwords often. Be sure to choose passwords that are hard for others to guess. Do what you can to prevent unauthorized people from using your device.

Erase Personal Data Before Discarding a Computer
Completely remove all personal information from any computer or mobile device you plan to replace. Use a wipe utility program to overwrite the entire hard drive, or check your owner’s manual, the service provider’s website or the device manufacturer’s website for information on how to permanently delete information.
Protect Online Transactions

Conduct Online Transactions with Care
Make sure the websites you visit to conduct financial transactions or purchase goods and services are secure and protect your data from Internet theft.

  • Look for websites that use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt your personal information. Such sites use https:// at the start of their web addresses (URLs).
  • Check to see if your online session is secure by looking for a small lock symbol, usually located in the lower corner of your web browser window. Current versions of leading web browsers indicate when a web page is encrypted for transmission by using this symbol.
  • Refrain from using a public computer for any purpose (this applies to hotel “business centers,” Internet cafes, etc.). Public computers may be infected with keystroke-logging malware, thereby capturing your username and password.
  • If at all possible, avoid using an Internet-based email account to conduct bank business. Refrain from storing financial information in email files or sending files via email.
  • Avoid using public wireless networks.

Avoid Suspect Email

Be Alert to Fraudulent Email
Avoid opening files, clicking on links or downloading programs sent by strangers. Opening these files may expose your system either to a computer virus or to spyware that captures your passwords and/or other information as you type.

  • Be alert for phishing scams. Access websites by typing the web addresses directly into your web browser or by using web addresses you have bookmarked, instead of via embedded links in unsolicited emails.
  • If a company that claims to have an account with you sends an email asking for personal information, go to its site (avoid using any links in the email; connect directly from your browser), and contact the company through customer service. Or, call the customer service number listed on your account statement. Ask whether the company really sent a request.
  • Delete without opening email you receive from unknown senders.
  • Be suspicious of emails from a trusted friend asking for personal information; also beware of emails with typos or strange word/sentence construction.
  • Do not respond to threatening emails, such as one saying your account has been compromised. Instead, call the company directly to see if there is a problem with your account.

If you feel you may have received a fraudulent email appearing to come from JPMorgan Chase, please contact your J.P. Morgan representative.

Learn more: Protecting Against & Recovering from Identity Theft

Return to the J.P. Morgan Private Bank Security Center

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