How to stay safe online

Protecting you, your identity & accounts online

Protecting member information is important to all of us. Nationwide uses multiple defenses to protect your identity and prevent others from gaining access to your account and personal information:

Verify identity – Uses multiple types of verification to confirm your identity and access to online account.

Register devices – Links your online accounts to a device to add another layer of authentication.

What can you do to stay safe online?

Plenty of things. Here are some smart online safety tips you can use to secure your identity:

Create a strong password – And change it occasionally. Strong passwords contain a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols and numbers. Don’t use a password that’s easy to guess, like “12345” or “password.”

Mix them up a little – Don't use the same username and passwords for your different online accounts. Also, don't store your usernames and passwords on your devices.

If you think you've been hacked – Change your usernames and passwords for sites you use, especially sites which may contain information about your bank accounts. Contact your financial institutions to look for fraudulent activity. Many companies can set up alerting and monitoring on your account activity.

Enable screen locking on your devices – Android, Apple and Windows offer "find your phone" and security features which may allow you to remotely lock your phone/tablet or even erase all of your data if it is lost or stolen.

Install a firewall – A firewall on your computer and router protects your machines from unauthorized intruders.

Use updated anti-virus and antispyware – Viruses can disable your computer, and spyware can steal your passwords and account numbers.

Download cautiously – If you visit a website that looks questionable, leave. Some free games and free downloads are really tricks to get you to download viruses or spyware.

Consider the information you share on social media sites – Review the social media site’s privacy and security settings to control who can see your profile. Use discretion on what you share with others.

Shop safely – If a web address begins with “https” rather than “http,” it is generally secure. Avoid financial transactions on “http” sites.

Update software automatically – When a computer or mobile phone company discovers a security threat, they will create a fix for it. Set up your systems to update software automatically for added security.

Trust your gut instincts – Beware of web pages which imitate your operating system’s update message window. If you are surfing the web and get such a popup, consider closing the window and the site. Go to your operating system messages application to see if the software update is legitimate.

Use WPA2 when setting up your home Wi-Fi – “Wireless Protected Access 2,” or WPA2, is the safety technology that helps protect your wireless connection.

Avoid using public wireless networks – Use caution if a public wireless network asks you for personal or credit card information. Hint: Many cell phone carriers offer "data tethering". Consider using your cell phone's ability to access the web with your laptop or tablet.

And avoid public computers, too – If you can avoid it, don’t put account information into library or hotel lounge computers. Some thieves use keystroke tracking software to steal your username and password.

Download and save online safety tip sheets

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