Five steps to help prevent identity theft

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Five steps to help prevent identity theft

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 3:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Identity theft has always been a top consumer concern. However, with Equifax’s massive data breach earlier this year and Uber’s last month, the topic’s discussion has spiked throughout American households. December is National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month and aims to help consumers protect themselves against future data breaches and identity theft. While there is no bulletproof solution to identify theft, there are steps to take to ensure consumers are protecting themselves to the best of their ability.

Therefore, this December, Community Bank N.A. recommends taking a hard look at your personal security and following the steps below to help prevent identity theft:

  1. Shred non-critical documents: Shredding personal documents is crucial to protecting your identity against theft and fraud. Important documents to shred include financial statements, personal documents, credit card offers, employee pay stubs, ATM receipts and any items with a signature.
  2. Protect your personal information: Don’t give out your personal information to anyone unless you’ve initiated the contact or know whom you are dealing with. That includes phone calls, emails and online.
  3. Give your passwords a difficulty boost: Create hard-to-guess passwords that cannot be found in the dictionary, have at least eight characters and include a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special characters.
  4. Pay attention to your bills: Follow up with creditors if your bills do not arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over your credit account and changed your address.
  5. Stay alert: Be cautious when using ATMs or your debit card at checkout — someone could be looking over your shoulder to steal your PIN number.

For more information on identify theft prevention and security, or other products and services that Community Bank N.A. offers, visit or stop into your local Community Bank N.A. branch.

About Community Bank System Inc. 
Community Bank System Inc. operates more than 230 customer facilities across Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and Western Massachusetts through its banking subsidiary, Community Bank N.A. With more than $10 billion in assets, the DeWitt, New York-headquartered company is among the country’s 150 largest financial institutions. In addition to a full range of retail and business banking services, the company offers comprehensive financial planning, insurance and wealth management services. Community Bank System Inc. subsidiaries/business units include OneGroup NY Inc., which provides risk management and commercial insurance, employee benefits and personal lines insurance; Community Bank Wealth Management, which provides investment advisory, personal trust and financial planning services, as well as personal, business and nonprofit portfolio design; and Benefit Plans Administrative Services Inc., which provides actuarial, retirement and VEBA/HRA plan administration, and collective investment fund, employee benefit trust and transfer agency services.

Community Bank System Inc. is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the company’s stock trades under the symbol “CBU.” For more information about Community Bank, visit or

Source: Community Bank N.A.