FDIC Publishes a Bank Customer's Guide to Cybersecurity
Consumers increasingly rely on computers and the Internet for everything from shopping and communicating to banking and bill paying. While the benefits of faster and more convenient "cyber" services are clear, the strategies for preventing online fraud and theft may not be as well-known by many bank customers. That is why the FDIC has produced a special edition of the agency's quarterly FDIC Consumer News (Winter 2016) entitled "A Bank Customer's Guide to Cybersecurity."

Go Green and Protect Your Identity.  Did you know that banking online is one of the best ways to protect your identity?  Paying bills electronically and receiving e-Statements dramatically reduces your risk of having your identity stolen.  We encourage you to go green with us and discover safe, paperless banking today.

Safeguard Your Email. Email is often a vehicle used to commit fraud. Develop good email habits to protect your identity:

  • Never open or respond to SPAM.
  • Never click on links within an email from an unknown source. It’s safer to retype the website address than to click on it from within the body of the email.
  • Never open attachments from strangers. If you do not know the sender or are not expecting the attachment, delete it.
  • Never open attachments with odd filename extensions. Most computer files use filename extensions such as “.doc” for documents or “.jpg” for images. If a file has a double extension, like “heythere.doc.pif,” it is highly likely that this is a dangerous file and should never be opened. Do not open email attachments that have file endings of .exe, .pif, or .vbs. These are filename extensions for executable files and can be dangerous if opened.
  • Never give out your email address or other sensitive or personal information to unknown websites. If you don’t know the reputation of a website, don’t assume you can trust it. Many websites sell email addresses or may be careless with your personal information.
  • Never provide sensitive information in email. Forged email purporting to be from your financial institution or favorite online store is a popular trick used by criminals to extract personal information.  Peapack-Gladstone Bank will NEVER ask you to verify or provide personal information through email.
  • Don’t believe the hype. Many fraudulent emails send out urgent messages that claim your account will be closed if sensitive information isn’t immediately provided, or that important security information needs to be updated online.  Peapack-Gladstone Bank will NEVER use this method to alert you of account specific issues.
  • Be aware of poor design, and/or bad grammar and spelling. Tell-tale signs of a fraudulent email or website might include typos and grammatical errors, as well as unprofessional design layout and quality. Delete these immediately.
  • Backup your sensitive data records. This will not only help you restore damaged or corrupted data, but it will help you protect yourself against fraud and help recover lost files if necessary.

A Word About Passwords. Create passwords that are easy to remember, but difficult for others to guess, and change them every few months. Best practice is to incorporate a minimum of eight characters, with a mixture of letters, numbers, spaces and symbols.

To Share or Not to Share. Personal information shared on social networking sites can be easily accessed by criminals. Avoid posting personal information like where you bank, how you invest your money, physical addresses, emails, cell phone numbers, account numbers or passwords.

Is Your Phone Too Smart? Your smartphone contains a lot of personal information. Use a secure password and make sure you delete any information, including photographs, before you take advantage of the latest upgrade.

Spam Texts. Just like email spam, text spam can direct you to malicious links designed to infect your smartphone and capture your personal information. Add your mobile phone to the "Do Not Call" list at

Say No to Public Wi-Fi Hotspots. The Wi-Fi available at your local coffee spot may not be secure. Be careful with the information you release or the sites you visit.

Update Security Software. Your web-enabled devices need the most current protection from viruses, malware and other online threats. As a best practice, maintaining the latest security software, web browser and operating system.

If you have specific questions about security, please contact us online or by calling the Client Contact Center at (908) 234-0700.