Protecting Your Privacy


  • Change your passwords regularly. Do not use words that could be easily guessed such as a spouse's or children's name or a home street address.
  • If you have the option of letting your computer automatically remember your password, don't use it.
  • Consider establishing a password for all banking transactions, even in person transactions. This procedure can prevent withdrawals from your account even if a person has an identification card belonging to you.

Shopping in cyberspace

  • Only do business with companies you know and trust.
  • Check with your state consumer protection agency to determine if a company is licensed to do business in Virginia. Fraudulent companies can appear and disappear very quickly.
  • Be sure all return, cancellation policies and guarantees are clearly specified.
  • All prices are clearly listed including applicable taxes, fees and handling charges.
  • Use only sites that offer secure browsers. If sites are not encrypted or scrambled, consider using the company's toll free telephone number.
  • Never give bank account or credit card information to anyone you have not checked out and never provide information that is not necessary to complete the purchase. Use credit cards on transactions whenever possible so as to utilize the consumer protections they can offer.


  • Treat ATM cards as if they are cash.
  • When using ATMs, remove cash immediately and wait to count it at a secure location. Never use ATMs in isolated areas or when people appear to be loitering near the machines.
  • Never dispose of receipts at the ATM site.

Credit Cards

  • Do not give credit card information over a cell phone or unscrambled cordless phone.
  • Do not let someone use your card on your behalf.
  • Watch store clerks when giving your card to ensure extra imprints are not made.
  • Ask for all carbons to be given to you and destroy them.
  • Save all receipts and compare to your monthly statements.
  • Keep a master list in a secure place at home of all account numbers and phone numbers for reporting lost or stolen cards.

National Crime Prevention Counsel, Crime Prevention Tips.

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