Data Privacy Week: Tips to Protect Sensitive Information

Olympia Federal Savings and ICBA offer tips to protect sensitive information during Data Privacy Week January 21-27.

Woman typing on her laptop

In recognition of Data Privacy Week, OlyFed and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are reminding customers to take steps to safeguard their sensitive data and shield against financial losses in the event of a compromise or data breach. The global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15 percent increase over three years.

“While there’s no full-proof remedy to eliminate every threat, at OlyFed we believe in providing our customers with the proper protocols and procedures in helping to reduce their exposure and the long-term financial impact from any potential attack,” said Mike Bowen, EVP/Chief Information Officer.

“As a community bank, OlyFed uses sophisticated technology and monitoring techniques, intricate firewalls and other methods to secure customer data. Additionally, we practice stringent privacy policies and train employees to treat confidential information with the utmost care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.”

Reducing Your Risk

Woman holding a digital tablet

Restrict use of public wifi and computers: These networks may be convenient but are not as secure. If you make purchases while away from your home or work network, use a virtual private network (VPN) or mobile hotspot.

Limit disclosed information: Never respond to requests for personal information such as your banking ID, account number, username or password, even if they appear to originate form your bank, government agencies or officials, or companies with which you have a relationship.

Take advantage of security features: Update your computer security software and apply software updates to your computer system, mobile devices, web browsers and operating system regularly to defend against viruses, malware and other online threats.

Monitor account activity: Carefully review bank statements, card transactions and check your credit report regularly for unusual or unexplained charges, unknown accounts in your name or unexpected denials on your card and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.

Protect each account with a unique, complex password: Use numbers and symbols that are at least 12 characters long. Even better, be sure to utilize a secure password manager tool. Lastly, use multifactor authentication for accounts that allow it.

Responding to a Data Breach

Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict credit file access.

Set up a fraud alert which directs banks to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card or increasing the credit limit on an existing account.

Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.Hannah in the Tumwater branch helping a customer

Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrimes to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to your local law enforcement and/or state attorney general.

Learn more about how to protect your digital life by visiting the Stay Safe Online website and spread the word on social media with the hashtag #BeCyberSmart.

We’re Here to Help

Our bankers are dedicated to keeping your accounts safe and secure and they can help explain the best ways of setting passwords and accessing current fraud protection resources. For more information or if you have any concerns regarding your accounts with OlyFed, please don’t hesitate to contact us or call (360) 754-3400. We’re here to assist you!