Tips For Protecting Your Personal Information

Protecting your confidential account information is one of our highest priorities. That's why we have state-of-the-art Internet security technology in place to protect your confidential personal and financial information. In addition to the security measures First Citizens has in place, there are steps you can take to enhance the security of your personal information.

Notify First Citizens if you receive a request to provide confidential data.

If you are an online banking customer and encounter different functionality, wording, pictures or text than what you are used to - or if you are being prompted for information that you do not normally have to provide - contact us immediately at 1.888.FC DIRECT (1.888.323.4732) between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, any day of the week. This may be an indication that your computer has been infected by a virus or malware. If you have concerns that your computer is compromised in any way, stop using it for sensitive transactions until you can have it safely cleaned.

Use antivirus and firewall products on all computers.

We suggest that you install antivirus products on your computer and enable the firewall features on your computer and network equipment. There are several reliable products available at low or no cost.

Regularly install operating system and software updates.

It is extremely important that you make sure your computer has all of the most current security updates. Set your computer to update your operating system, as well as your add-ins with all of the latest security patches. Each product generally has an option to "check for updates" automatically.

Take note of any strange or unusual behavior.

If you notice that your computer is running slower than usual or if you start seeing strange behavior, such as unexpected pop-up windows, this may be an indication of a potential problem. Contact your computer support professional to diagnose and remove any malware.

Establish a dedicated computer for sensitive transactions

If possible, dedicate a single computer for use by everyone in your home or office for conducting sensitive transactions, such as online banking, issuing wires or making ACH payments. If a workstation computer is used for online banking, we recommend that it not be used for general web browsing or social networking.

Monitor and reconcile your accounts regularly.

To make sure your accounts have not been compromised, reconcile your financial transactions on a regular basis. If anything looks incorrect or out of the ordinary, contact us immediately at 1.866.567.7760.

Do not access your bank accounts at Internet cafes or from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Public Internet connections that you find in airports, coffee shops and Internet cafes usually do not have the level of security necessary to protect your sensitive financial information.

Rebuild your computer if it becomes infected.

Although you may have run several antivirus scans against your computer, industry experts recommend that a complete rebuild of the computer is the only sure way to remove the threat completely. We realize that this is not a convenient solution; however, we appreciate how sensitive your data and finances are and want you to be aware of every possible precaution you can take to protect your private information.

Make the most of your passwords.

Select strong passwords that aren't easily guessed. Change your passwords often and never share or write them down. Do not use the same passwords for your banking and other web sites.

Use the internet cautiously.

Internet activity, including email, can be intercepted and viewed by others. "Phishing" is an attempt by internet fraudsters to lure you into giving personal information allowing them to gain access to your financial information.

Fraudsters use email attachments and web links to install viruses or other spyware on your computer that can watch your screens, record your keystrokes (including passwords) and help them steal your identity. The following tips will help you avoid falling victim to internet fraud and phishing:

  • Use caution with email attachments and web links; they could contain viruses. Never open email attachments or click links from people you don’t know - just delete them. Even when you receive an expected attachment or link from someone you know, ensure that it is scanned by your anti-virus software.
  • Never reply to an email solicitation or pop-up message that requests personal information as they may be fraudulent. First Citizens will never ask you to send confidential or private information via unprotected email. Also, we will never send you a link in an email and ask you to immediately log-in to an account or enter your personal information.
  • If you get a suspicious email that appears to be from First Citizens, forward it to, and then delete it. Even if you know the person who sent an email, contact the sender if the attachment was unexpected or seems suspicious. When in doubt, delete.
  • When you’ve finished browsing the Web, exit from your browser and if possible, disconnect from the Internet to avoid unwanted access to information on your device.
  • Never send confidential information (your password, credit card number, secret word, PIN, Social Security number, etc.) in an email.
  • As an alternative to email, First Citizens offers online banking customers secure messaging within online banking to ask account questions.
  • Use an email security service to help remove malware and spam on your inbound email.

Additional Tips for Businesses:

  • Use the controls and limits that come with the Business Online Banking Advantage® ACH and wire transfer service options. For wire transfers, these controls determine your employees’ ability to create, modify, delete and approve wire transfers or conduct transactions over a specific dollar amount or daily amount. For ACH, these controls include employee debit and/or credit dollar limits and transaction type limits (disbursement, concentration, etc.).
  • Consider workplace rules and technology that limit the use of entertainment websites at the workplace.
  • Employ stringent internal and external security standards.