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Protecting Your Privacy

User Responsibilities
Identity Theft
Internet Scams 

The Hardin County Bank is pleased to offer secure online banking to our customers. We require user authentication, encryption, advanced firewall, and physical security of the banks servers thus providing you with the most advanced security systems in the banking industry.

User Responsibilities

Our service provider continues to evaluate and implement the latest improvements in Internet security technology, you as a user of the online banking system also have a responsibility for the security of your information and should always follow the recommendations listed below:

  • Utilize the latest 128 bit-encryption version of either Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.  The online banking system is best viewed and is most secure when you use one of these browsers, as they are certified for use at our site.
  • Never share your password with anyone – it must be kept confidential. You must follow our specific parameters for a password and change it frequently to ensure that the information cannot be guessed or used by others. Be sure others are not watching you enter information (shoulder surfing) on the keyboard when using the system.
  • Choose a good password – Your online password, along with your user code, authenticate you when you begin an Internet Banking session. You should carefully select a password that is hard to guess.
  • Keep your password safe – Even the best password is worthless if it’s written on a note attached to your computer or in your checkbook. Memorize your password and never tell it to anyone. We do not need your password to help you, so we will never ask you for it.
  • Remember to sign-off properly – Never leave your computer unattended while logged on to the online banking system. Others may approach your computer and gain access to your account information if you walk away or you may not always be at your computer when you bank online, therefore, it is important to sign off, or click exit, when you are finished using the system to properly end your session. Once a session has been ended, no further transactions can be processed until you log on to the system again. If you do forget to sign-off, the system automatically signs you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Anti-spyware and anti-virus software should be running on your computer to eliminate spyware and viruses. By keeping these types of software up-to-date, they can assist in keeping your data and system safe.
  • If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply. And don’t click on the link in the message, either.
  • Do not email personal or financial information as email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
  • Hot-spots provide wireless internet access but the wireless signal is not always encrypted. Ask the owner or manager for verification before accessing your bank account online at a wireless hot-spot.
  • Report all crimes to law enforcement officials immediately.

We will not ask for your account number, social security number, credit card number or other personal or financial information when attempting to log in.

Identity Theft 

What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone acquires your personal information and uses it without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft. It is a serious crime and cases are growing. An all-too-common example is when an identity thief uses your personal information to open a credit card account in your name.

No matter how cautious you are, there is no way to completely prevent identity theft from occurring. But there are ways you can help minimize your risk. This page contains valuable information on how you can protect yourself by managing your personal information wisely, the warning signs of identity theft, and what to do if you do become a victim.

Helpful Tips

  • Don't give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or are sure you know whom you're dealing with.
  • Don't carry your Social Security card with you; leave it in a secure place. Carry only the identification and credit and debit cards that you need.
  • Don't put your address, phone number, or drivers license number on credit card sales receipts.
  • Social Security numbers should not be put on your checks.
  • Shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.
  • Secure your credit card, bank, and phone accounts with passwords. Avoid using easily available information like birth date, the last four digits of your SSN, or your phone number. When opening new accounts, you may find that many businesses still have a line on their applications for your mother's maiden name. Use a password instead.
  • Secure personal information in your home, particularly if you have roommates or hire outside help.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 to request a vacation hold.
  • Ask about information security procedures in your workplace. Find out who has access to your personal information and verify that records are kept in a secure location. Ask about the disposal procedures for those records as well.
  • Before revealing any personally identifying information (for example, on an application), find out how it will be used and secured, and whether it will be shared with others. Ask if you have a choice about the use of your information. Can you choose to have it kept confidential?

Check your credit report
Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies every year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you have authorized. The law allows credit bureaus to charge you up to $9.00 for a copy of your credit report.

By checking your report on a regular basis you can catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances. Don't underestimate the importance of this step.

Credit Bureaus
Equifax -
To order your report, call: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285

Experian -
To order your credit report or report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)

TransUnion -
To order your report, call: 800-916-8800
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289

Warning signs
Although there may be no warning signs that precede an identity theft, there are some reasons to be concerned. These include:

  • Your bills or statements don’t arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean someone has taken over your account and changed your billing address.
  • You are denied credit for no apparent reason.
  • You begin to receive bills from companies where you haven’t bought anything.
  • Collection agencies begin trying to collect on debts you don’t recognize.

If you do become a victim
Sometimes an identity thief can strike even if you've been very careful about keeping your personal information to yourself. If you suspect that your personal information has been hijacked and misappropriated to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately. Keep a record of your conversations and correspondence.

Exactly which steps you should take to protect yourself depends on your circumstances and how your identity has been misused. However, three basic actions are appropriate in almost every case.

1. Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus.
You should request that a "fraud alert" be placed in your file, as well as a victim's statement asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts or changing your existing accounts. This can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name.

At the same time, order copies of your credit reports from the credit bureaus. Credit bureaus must give you a free copy of your report if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, and you request it in writing. Review your reports carefully to make sure no additional fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or unauthorized changes made to your existing accounts. Also, check the section of your report that lists "inquiries." Where "inquiries" appear from the company(ies) that opened the fraudulent account(s), request that these "inquiries" be removed from your report

Please note: Fraud alerts and victim statements are voluntary services provided by the credit bureaus. Creditors do not have to consider them when granting credit. That's why it's vital to continue checking your reports periodically. In addition, fraud alerts and victim statements expire; you need to renew them periodically. Ask each bureau about its policy.

2. Close all accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently
Notify all creditors and financial institutions, in writing and by phone, that your name and accounts have been used without your permission. If an existing account has been stolen ask the creditor or bank to issue you new cards, checks, and account numbers. Carefully monitor the account activity to the issuing company immediately.

3. File a Police Report
Provide as much documentation as you can- such as debt collection letters, credit reports, and other evidence of fraudulent activity. This information will help the police file a complete report.

Be persistent. Stress the importance of a police report, as many creditors require one to resolve your dispute. Plus, credit bureaus will automatically block the fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report, but only if you can give them a copy of the police report. If you can't get the local police to take a report, try your county police or state police. If necessary, contact Federal Law Enforcement.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is collecting identity theft complaints from consumers to help law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington DC 20580
or Call 877-IDTHEFT

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The FBI investigates cases of identity theft and recognizes that identity theft is a component of many crimes. These include bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, insurance fraud, fraud against the government, and terrorism. Local offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

U.S. Secret Service (USSS)
The U.S. Secret Service investigates financial crimes, including identity theft. The Secret Service typically investigates cases involving larger dollar amounts, but regardless of your loss, the information may provide evidence of a larger pattern of fraud requiring their involvement. Local offices are listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory.

The Hardin County Bank will not ask for your account number, social security number, credit card number or other personal or financial information when attempting to log into Online Banking.

Internet Scams 

Phishing - fish´ing) (n.) The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. For example, 2003 saw the proliferation of a phishing scam in which users received e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming that the user’s account was about to be suspended unless he clicked on the provided link and updated the credit card information that the genuine eBay already had. Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site look like a legitimate organizations site by mimicking the HTML code, the scam counted on people being tricked into thinking they were actually being contacted by eBay and were subsequently going to eBay’s site to update their account information. By spamming large groups of people, the “phisher” counted on the e-mail being read by a percentage of people who actually had listed credit card numbers with eBay legitimately.

Pharming - Similar in nature to e-mail phishing, pharming seeks to obtain personal or private (usually financial related) information through domain spoofing. Rather than being spammed with malicious and mischievous e-mail requests for you to visit spoof Web sites which appear legitimate, pharming 'poisons' a DNS server by infusing false information into the DNS server, resulting in a user's request being redirected elsewhere. Your browser, however will show you are at the correct Web site, which makes pharming a bit more serious and more difficult to detect. Phishing attempts to scam people one at a time with an e-mail while pharming allows the scammers to target large groups of people at one time through domain spoofing.

The Hardin County Bank will not ask for your account number, social security number, credit card number or other personal or financial information when attempting to log into Online Banking.