American Bank - Education Center
Criminals will attempt to exploit any type of
personally identifiable information they can find out about you.
Protecting your personal information is the foundation of your personal
data security. This page will give you information you can use to
protect your personal information.
What is Personally Identifiable
The following lists contain types of information about yourself that you
should take steps to protect.
Moderately Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information
Personally Identifiable Information
Number or Tax Identification Number
Bank or checking
Credit card number
(with or without expiration date and/or the card verification value)
Debit card number
Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords
number or state ID card number
financial information such as salary, tax forms, account balances,
and information about other financial accounts, such as a mortgage,
retirement, or investment account
How to Protect Your Personal
Follow these steps to protect your personal information from being used
Lock your financial
documents and records in a safe place at home, and lock your wallet
or purse in a safe place at work.
Limit what you
carry. When you go out, take only the identification, credit, and
debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home. Make
a copy of your Medicare card and black out all but the last four
digits on the copy. Carry the copy with you - unless you are going
to use your card at the doctor’s office.
credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician
statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and
similar documents when you do not need them any longer.
Take outgoing mail
to the post office or to a post office collection box. Promptly
remove mail that arrives in your mailbox. If you will not be home
for several days, request a vacation hold on your mail.
When you order new
checks, do not have them mailed to your home, unless you have a
secure mailbox with a lock.
Make sure you know
who is getting your personal or financial information. Do not give
out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the
Internet, unless you have initiated the contact or know who you are
Before you dispose
of a computer or any other electronic data storage device, get rid
of all the personal information it stores. Use a wipe utility
program to overwrite the entire device.
Keep your browser
secure. To guard your online transactions, use encryption software
that scrambles information you send over the internet. A “lock” icon
on the status bar of your internet browser means your information
will be safe when it’s transmitted. Look for the lock before you
send personal or financial information online.
passwords with your laptop, credit, bank, and other accounts.
Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Be
creative. Think of a special phrase and use the first letter of each
word as your password. Substitute numbers for some words or letters.
For example, “I want to see the Pacific Ocean” could become 1W2CtPo.
Do not over share
on social networking sites. If you post too much information
about yourself, an identity thief can find information about your
life, use it to answer ‘challenge’ questions on your accounts, and
get access to your money and personal information. Consider limiting
access to your networking page to a small group of people. Never
post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number,
or account numbers in publicly accessible sites.
Keep a close hold
on your Social Security number and ask questions before deciding to
share it. Ask if you can use a different kind of identification.
policies. They can be long and complex, but they tell you how
the site maintains accuracy, access, security, and control of the
personal information it collects, how it uses the information, and
whether it provides information to third parties. If you do not see
This site is for educational purposes
and is not intended to provide legal advice. For specific advice
about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified
professional. Credits: Federal Trade Commission; Federal Bureau of
Investigation; Homeland Security; National Cyber Security Alliance.