Always create strong passwords that contain:
When creating a password, do not use:
- At least 6 characters, and a combination of;
- Lower Case Letters
- Upper Case Letters
Tips on managing your passwords:
- Your name or names of family members, close friends, or pets (first, middle or last)
- Birth or anniversary dates
- Social Security numbers, pin numbers or account numbers
- Current or previous addresses or phone numbers
- Complete words (spelled backward or forward)
- Any information that could be obtained from your social media pages (e.g. Facebook)
- Number, letter and keyboard sequences (e.g. abcdefg, 123456, asdf1234, etc.)
- Change default or system issued passwords as soon as possible.
- Change passwords regularly.
- Memorize passwords or use a secured (password protected/encrypted) document or password system (many available for free online or as applications for your mobile device). These are the safest methods for tracking passwords.
- Do not use “AutoFill.” Certain websites will ask you if you want your ID and password automatically completed for you (e.g. The “Remember when I log in next time.” option). Always uncheck this box. This will prevent your sensitive information from being stored on the device being used.
- Always log out before closing the browser window.
- Keep a list or photocopies of all your credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, and investments - the account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of the customer service and fraud departments - in a secure and quickly accessible place (not your wallet or purse) so you can promptly contact these companies in case your credit cards have been stolen, lost or if your accounts are being used fraudulently.
How a telephone call is initiated is key in determining whether you should answer any questions about your identity.
When you initiate a call to a business:
When you did not initiate a call, do not provide any information. Examples of fraudulent schemes to secure your personal information include calls:
- You most likely have a trusted business relationship with the company. For example, when you contact your credit card company, they may need to know your mother's maiden name in order to verify your identity prior to releasing any information to you.
- Be sure no one can overhear your answers.
- Do not allow the representative on the phone to speak your answers aloud on their side.
- With fake or sad stories that could include the promise of a prize/gift in the effort to trick you into giving up personal information.
- Claiming to be a relative in distress asking for money to be wired to them.
- Stating that they are calling from your bank, credit-card company, an airline, etc. If they were truly calling from a financial business with whom you do business, there should be no reason for the caller to ask you about your SSN, or credit card number, etc. as that information should already be on file. This is another red flag to not give the caller any information.
If a caller is unwilling to send you written information by mail about the offer and business, it is safer to tell them you are not interested and hang up phone. If they are willing to send you details by mail, review it carefully and do research to make sure it is going to a company or financial institution that is well-known and reputable. The Better Business Bureau can give you information about businesses that have been the subject of complaints.
"Phishing" has been a very successful method of obtaining information for identity thieves. Phishing is when a thief sends an email message that looks like it came from your bank asking you to visit a web site that looks like your bank's web site in order to confirm account information. To prevent being a victim of this scam and potential viruses, always delete email from unknown sources. If you question anything being asked of you in an email message, contact the business by phone and ask if the email is legitimate.
The safest method for accessing your information online is to always use your own devices (e.g. your personally owned computer, tablet and/or smartphone) from the same location (e.g. home) to access your accounts. You are subject to identity theft if you use a public or non-owned device because you risk leaving sensitive information digitally on the device. Always ensure that virus and spyware/malware detection software is installed on your device to protect against known threats.
Even if you are using your own devices you need to be careful. A public network without a high level of encryption can be a security risk, even if you are checking your bank account on your own device. Before you engage in sensitive banking activities, make sure that you are on a secure network. If you are unsure, wait until later to accomplish these tasks.
Another concern is the security of the web site you are using. Look next to the address bar on your browser to see if there is a padlock icon. You can also look at the URL. Secure sites start with "https" rather than "http." Double check for these indications that the site is secure before you enter your login information.
Many updates for operating systems and applications are to correct security issues that are discovered after the application is released. It is important that critical updates are applied in a timely fashion to correct these issues.
Anti-virus and spyware applications are continually adding signatures to their software. Signatures are what the protective software searches for when scanning data to detect viruses and malware. The more up to date these signatures are, the better protected you will be.
Make sure you have anti-virus software on your device. Anti-virus software is designed to protect you and your devices against known viruses, but with new viruses emerging daily, anti-virus programs need regular updates to recognize these new viruses. It is important to update your anti-virus software regularly.
You should also utilize software to detect spyware. Spyware is malicious software (malware) that is downloaded onto your computer, often without your knowledge. It can be used by third parties and criminals to monitor your internet activities which could compromise the security of your personal information. As with anti-virus software, you should check your system for spyware regularly.
Your security is greatly improved by your own vigilance. Even with all the security measures you take to protect your financial information, it may still be compromised. You should monitor your bank accounts regularly, looking for evidence of fraudulent charges that could indicate identity theft or compromised financial accounts.
Do regular checks of your accounts – even those that you don’t use often. Checking regularly can help you identify possible identity fraud, and work to limit the damage it can cause. If you do identify possible fraud, report it to Guaranty Bank immediately. Timely reporting may preserve your rights to recover any losses that are protected under law.
Keeping your financial information safe is vital. Take a few simple steps to increase your security and peace of mind.
Shred or destroy documents, postal mail and personal computer hard-drives that may contain sensitive information prior to disposing of them in a recycle bin or the trash. The old methods of stealing personal information are still very popular today. “Dumpster diving” in trash bins for un-shredded credit cards, loan applications and documents containing social security numbers that were not properly destroyed are still a prime target for thieves.
Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become sources of critical information for hacking passwords and social engineering. Limit public information on these sites and be aware what personal information is easily available.
Be aware of who and what is around you when you are performing financial transactions. Individuals can be very skilled at observing key strokes and determining typed user IDs and passwords. Also, many devices are now equipped with cameras that can record your key strokes without you being aware and commercially available recording devices exist that can go completely unnoticed.
- Try to find a more private area away from hearing or visual distance of other people to perform business transactions by phone or other device when in public.
- Be sure to shield your hand to prevent “shoulder surfing” when entering PIN numbers into devices or when using an ATM.
- Whisper security answers when conducting business in a public setting.
Protect Your Money - Check Fraud is on the Rise
Fraudsters are clever and constantly devise new fraud scams. A basic pattern usually involves a request to cash or deposit a cashier's check or other item and then immediately give away a portion of that money to the fraudster. Eventually, the cashier's check or other item is discovered as fraudulent and your bank will hold you responsible to pay back the money you gave to the fraudster, along with any additional fees incurred during the transaction. Below are tips to help you identify cashiers check fraud.
Are you cashing or depositing a check for any of these reasons:
- COLLECT or RECEIVE A FEE for accepting funds through your bank or an online payement service such as PayPal
- ITEMS SOLD on the internet
- WINNING A LOTTERY you never entered
- WORK-AT-HOME or MYSTERY SHOPPER program
- In RESPONSE TO AN EMAIL or LETTER with poor grammar
- PURCHASE prepaid debit or gift cards
Have you been asked to:
- RETURN some of the check proceeds?
- WIRE, WESTERN UNION or MONEY GRAM some of the funds to someone?
- SEND money overseas?
- PAY MONEY to receive an inheritance?
- NOT DISCLOSE details to others until after the money has been wired?
- PAY MONEY TO A RELATIVE you have not spoken to?
If you answered YES to any of the above, do not cash or deposit the check and report it immediately to local law enforcement.
Call 303-296-9600 or 1-877-609-5500 immediately if you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
Security of Online Banking Sessions
We use state of the art Internet technology, supported by our technology partners, to make online banking secure and to protect your personal information. We require a User ID, Phone Authentication and Password to access your accounts. Without this information, we cannot establish online banking services for you.
The privacy of communications between you (your browser) and our servers is ensured via encryption. Encryption scrambles messages exchanged between your browser and our online banking server.
Our online systems can only be accessed in a secure mode. "https://" at the beginning of a website URL in your web browser means that the web connection is using SSL (secure sockets layer) technology.
How Encryption Works
- When visiting https://www.GuarantyBankCO.com, your browser establishes a secure session with our server.
- The secure session is established using a protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Encryption. This protocol requires the exchange of what are called public and private keys.
- Keys are random numbers chosen for that session and are only known between your browser and our server. Once keys are exchanged, your browser will use the numbers to scramble (encrypt) the messages sent between your browser and our server.
- Both sides require the keys because they need to descramble (decrypt) messages received. The SSL protocol assures privacy, but also ensures no other website can "impersonate" your financial institution's website, nor alter information sent.
- To learn whether your browser is in secure mode, look for the secured lock symbol near the address in your browser.
The numbers used as encryption keys are similar to combination locks. The strength of encryption is based on the number of possible combinations a lock can have. The more possible combinations, the less likely someone could guess the combination to decrypt the message.
For your protection, our servers require the browser to connect at 128-bit encryption (versus the less-secure 40-bit encryption). Users will be unable to access online banking functions at lesser encryption levels. This may require some end users to upgrade their browser to the stronger encryption level.
To determine if your browser supports 128-bit encryption:
- Click the lock icon or
- Click "Help" in the toolbar of your Internet browser
- Click on "About [browser name]"
- A pop-up box or window will appear.
- For Internet Explorer: next to "Cipher strength" you should see "128-bit"
- For Netscape: you should see "This version supports high-grade (128-bit) security with RSA Public Key Cryptography"
If your browser does not support 128-bit encryption, you must upgrade to access the website's secure pages.
To provide better service and a more effective website, we may elect to use "cookies" as part of our interaction with your browser. A "cookie" is a small text file placed in your hard drive by our webpage server. These cookies do not collect personally identifiable information, and we do not combine information collected through "cookies" with other personal information to determine who you are or your email address.
"Cookies" are commonly used on web sites and do not harm your system. The use of "cookies" within online banking is necessary for security and is required to access the system. Our use of "cookies" is for user authentication only.
Guaranty Bank collects and stores the contents of email you send us, your contact address and our responses to you. Email to Guaranty Bank should be used for inquiries and questions that are not sensitive or confidential as regular Internet email is not secure. You should NEVER include account numbers, your Social Security number or any other personal, identifying information in an email.
It is important to remember that Guaranty Bank will never initiate a request for sensitive information via email. If you receive an email requesting this type of information, please contact us at one of the following numbers:
(303) 293-5500 Denver Metro
(970) 454-4220 Northern Colorado