Keep personal information secure

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

LaPlace, Louisiana, First National Bank USA is reminding customers of practical steps to help safeguard their sensitive data and shield against losses in the event of a data breach or compromise.

In the first half of 2022, there were 817 data breaches in the U.S., and combined with data leaks and data exposure, they impacted more than 53 million individuals.

“In our digital world, keeping your personal information secure is of the utmost importance,” said Brandt Dufrene, president at First National Bank USA. “We focus on educating our customers on the proper protocols to lessen their exposure to data breaches. While there’s no magic remedy to eliminate every threat, by working with our customers, our goal is to help turn the tide and reduce any long-term impact.”

As a local bank, First National Bank USA uses sophisticated technology and monitoring techniques, intricate firewalls and other methods to secure customer data. Additionally, we practice stringent privacy policies and train employees to treat confidential information with the upmost of care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.


Reducing Your Risk

While there is no foolproof way to avoid online identity theft, you can also help minimize your risk by:


  • Restricting use of public wi-fi and computers—These networks may be convenient but are not as secure. If you must make purchases while away from your home or work network, use a virtual private network or mobile hotspot.
  • Limiting disclosed information—Never respond to requests for personal information such as your banking ID, account number, username or password, even if they appear to originate from your bank, government agencies or officials or companies with which you have a relationship.
  • Taking advantage of security features—Update your computer security software and apply software updates to your computer system, mobile devices, web browsers, and operating system regularly to defend against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Monitoring account activity—Carefully review bank statements and card transactions and check your credit report regularly for unusual or unexplained charges, unknown accounts in your name, or unexpected denials on your card and report any suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
  • Protecting each account with a unique, complex password—Utilizing numbers and symbols at least 12 characters long is a great rule of thumb, along with using a password manager. Use multifactor authentication for accounts that allow it.


Responding to a Data Breach

In the unfortunate event of a data breach, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict access to your credit file.
  • Set up a fraud alert, which directs banks to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account.
  • Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.
  • Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and to your local law enforcement and/or state attorney general.


First National Bank USA’s main corporate office is in LaPlace, Louisiana.