We’re constantly amazed at the openness with which some of our customers communicate with us via email and social media. On the one hand, we’re grateful to have engendered such trust and confidence, but on the other hand, we’re scared to death that such information might be abused by criminals who are very good at intercepting such data. Here’s some useful tips that will keep the convenience of online communication safe.
Watching the Twitter feed to see which bank office is unaffected by a snow storm is one thing. Sending the branch manager your online banking password to see if your account is locked out is quite another. Messages posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even most emails are NOT confidential. In fact, you are better off assuming they are publicly accessible. Therefore, when communicating with your bank, keep in mind that some information should never be explicitly communicated online via social media or email:
- Your online banking user id or password
- Your bank account number or balance
- Your social security number
- Your driver’s license number
- Your credit card number, expiration date or security number
- Your mother’s maiden name
Some banks, including Peoples Bank, have a secure web site that can be used to send and retrieve messages. Learn about how to communicate with Peoples Bank online, including our secure message form, on our Customer Service web page.
We at Peoples Bank strongly believe, as do most financial institutions, that alternative means of communication like blogs, Twitter and Facebook are of great value to customers and their bankers alike. If you need a quick response or have a question that requires a speedy and short response, let the banker know via social media if you like, but be aware that some things are simply too confidential to sacrifice for the sake of simple efficiency. (See our Social Media Policy for an idea of the ways banks restrict their use of social media communication.)
Please, don’t send us your online banking password in an email or as a “private” Facebook message!