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Best Practices

Best practices to protect your information and reduce your risk of identity theft

At Main Street Bank, we have taken countless steps to keep your information secure—in our branches, online, through Mobile Banking, TeleBanker, and our ATMs. It is best to always exercise caution, particularly when it comes to your personal information. We have compiled a list of best practices to help you further safeguard your personal and financial information and keep yourself safer from the risk of theft and scams.

Routine steps you can do to protect yourself

  • Check your account activity frequently for earlier fraud detection. In Online Banking, you can set up Alerts to be informed about your balances. To set up Alerts, log in to your Online Banking account, go to the Additional Services tab, and select Alerts & Notifications.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information over the phone, online or by mail. Main Street will never initiate a phone call or email asking you for personal information such as your PIN, password, or account number.
  • Check your credit report at least once each year, and more often if you suspect your personal information has been compromised. You can get a free credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting agency. And since you don’t have to receive all three reports at the same time, you can get a free report every four months by staggering them. Get your free credit reports here.
  • Do not access TeleBanker with another person’s phone.
  • Avoid using any computer or phone that is not yours to access your accounts.
  • Shred unwanted financial documents, credit card offers, receipts, etc. Destroy (don’t just shred) unwanted or obsolete credit cards.
  • Store your Social Security card and other personal information in a safe place. Don't carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet, and don’t give out your Social Security Number unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Collect your mail promptly, and place a hold on your mail when you are planning to be away for more than a day or two.

Password and PIN safety

  • Choose strong passwords and change them routinely. The best passwords are a collection of numbers, letters and symbols that are seemingly random.
  • Do not use the same password for everything (yet another plus for password database programs)
  • Do not keep passwords/PINs written down anywhere, or if you must, keep them locked up. Never write your PIN on a credit/debit card or on a piece of paper that you keep in your purse or wallet.
  • DO NOT give your password or PIN to anyone for any reason. Main Street will never ask for your password or PIN.
  • Use password management systems to secure all passwords.
    Examples of PINs and Passwords to AVOID include:
    1. Simple sequences (e.g., “1234” or “abcd”)
    2. All the same number or letter (e.g., “0000” or “aaaa”)
    3. Personal information that might be easy to guess or found in your wallet (such as your birthdate, anniversary, children’s names, etc.)
    4. The word “password” or derivatives of it
    5. Any simple pattern-based password or PIN (e.g., “qwerty” or “2580”)

Staying safe on the phone to avoid telemarketing scams

  • Have your number placed on the national Do Not Call Registry to stop telemarketers from calling you (888.382.1222 or visit
  • When speaking to phone solicitors, never say “yes” or any form of “yes.” Scammers—and even some legitimate telemarketers—can record your response, alter the recording and use it as authorization to move forward with whatever it is they’re trying to get from you.
  • Do not confirm or give out your personal information in unsolicited phone calls, especially information such as your:
    1. Full Social Security Number
    2. Credit card, debit card or bank account numbers
    3. The security code on the back of your credit or debit card
    4. Bank PIN
    5. User names or password

Legitimate companies you do business with should already have your information on file. If you initiate an inquiry with them, they may need to verify your personal information, such as your birthdate or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Keep in mind that most companies will not call you out of the blue and ask you to verify personal details. When in doubt, hang up and call the company directly using a phone number listed on an item you’ve already received from the company, such as a recent statement or the back of a credit card. Main Street will never initiate a phone call asking for personal information such as your PIN, password, or account number.

  • Do your research. Collect information from the caller, such as their name, title, contact information and business license number. Research and verify the accuracy of this information, since scammers may provide false information in order to sound official.
  • Check with your local consumer protection agency, the Better Business Bureau, your state attorney general or National Fraud Information Center before doing business with an unfamiliar company or organization. New scams crop up every day, so not all bad businesses will be reported through these resources, but it’s a good starting point.

Mobile Banking safety

  • It is recommended you have a lock on the phone that you use to access our Mobile App (slide screen lock does not count).
  • Do not keep your password in the same place as your phone.
  • If you lose your phone, please contact us at 1.800.414.1103 so we can restrict mobile access on your accounts. Because Mobile Banking requires a username and password (unless you have the balance-only auto login feature enabled) unauthorized access to your accounts would be denied.

Stay safe at the ATM

  • Beware of "shoulder surfers.” When swiping your credit card or using an ATM, shield the keypad with your hand if there is someone in line behind you.
  • If you feel at all uncomfortable when approaching the ATM, leave and use a different machine or come back at a later time.
  • Keep your ATM receipt for your records. Don’t leave it in the machine.
  • When your ATM transaction is complete, take your money, card and receipt and move away from the machine promptly.
  • If your ATM Card/Visa® Debit Card is lost or stolen, please call immediately.
    During business hours, (M – F, 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.) call 800.414.1103.
    After business hours, contact Cardmember Service at 800.264.5578.

Computer safety

  • Wireless routers make connecting to the internet easy, but they also create a security risk for your home network. To make it safer, you should:
    1. Turn off your wireless router when it's not being used. This ensures that no one can use your internet connection when you're not around.
    2. Use WPA (or even better, WPA2 if it's supported) on your wireless link to ensure that no one can access your internet connection or snoop into your wireless communication.
    3. Restrict access.
    4. Change the administrator's password. Once you change the password, no one can change your wireless router settings.  
    5. Disable remote administration. This ensures that no one can change the settings on your router through the internet.
    6. Disable administration from wireless. If your router supports it, this will require you to be connected to the router with a network cable in order to change the settings. 
    7. Turn on logging. If available, logging will record any activity on your router, which would be useful information if someone does gain access.
  • Consider installing anti-keylogging software, which can detect hidden keystroke logging malware and encrypt the keystrokes made on your computer keyboard.
  • Make sure your computer is equipped with a firewall, along with comprehensive spyware and virus-protection software and ensure you are using the most current version of your browser. A firewall will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer or monitoring transfers of information to and from the computer.
  • Be sure to download and install any operating system and software updates (sometimes called patches or service packs) in a timely manner.
  • Consider adding security software such as IBM’s Security Trusteer Rapport, which provides fraud protection for Online Banking transactions.

Email safety & reduce the risk of phishing, pharming, or Nigerian scams

  • Don’t open or respond to emails or messages if you don't recognize the sender. Avoid clicking on links in emails. Instead, use your browser's address bar to manually type the website address you wish to visit.
  • Don’t respond to emails that request personal information. Most legitimate companies will not ask for confidential information via email. If you receive a request for information from a company you do business with, and are unsure whether the request is legitimate, call the company directly and ask whether they sent the request. Use the phone number listed on an item you’ve already received from the company, such as a statement or the back of a credit card. Main Street will never initiate an email asking for personal information such as your PIN, password, or account number.
  • Be cautious of any email or message claiming you’ve won a prize, especially if you are asked to enter personal or financial information in order to claim your prize.
  • Utilize a junk email (or spam) filter with your email server. Most junk email filters will not allow these types of messages to be delivered to your inbox.
  • Consider installing anti-phishing software that works with your web browser to alert you of potentially dangerous web pages.
  • When you do submit sensitive personal information online, make sure you’re using a secure website. The URL of a secure website should begin with “https://” rather than “ http://.” There should also be a closed padlock image in the browser’s status bar. Trust your instincts. If something sounds ”phishy,” it probably is.
  • If you do open a letter or email asking for advance fees or bank account information as in a Nigerian scam, DO NOT REPLY. Instead, send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office, or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
  • If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is! Don’t buy into emails that promise you’ll “get rich quickly.”

Knowledge is power. It's good to stay informed.

  • Follow internet security issues in the news and discuss them with friends, family and colleagues. Explore online resources like the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft® Security At Home websites that provide comprehensive information about topics such as securing your computer and safe online behavior.
  • Go to United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team tips page for more information on protecting your computer.


PLEASE NOTE: All information on our security resources pages is provided as a convenience to customers and non-customers alike. Our Online Privacy & Terms apply to all information posted. In case you are the victim of a financial or other crime involving any of the security issues discussed here, contact law enforcement and other pertinent authorities and organizations IMMEDIATELY. Never send out your personal information by unencrypted email.

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