How Well Is Your Personal Information Kept By Your Bank?

Could someone hack into your bank account and steal your personal information over the internet?

"Most of the banks I have dealt with, particularly local banks here in town the have firewalls up... double, triple firewalls, so it's kind of hard to get in. The data is most of the time is encrypted in a way that the average person couldn't get into it." says Detective Otis Almond with the Lufkin Police Department.

Precautions at GENCO Federal Credit Union in Lufkin range from high tech to simple.

"GENCO does have high powered firewalls on our internet site, which should aid in someone hacking into. We're also very stringent on our privacy policy. Any information that we have that's printed out that contains a social security number, account number, name all of that information if it's discarded is done by shredding." says Alisa Foster, teller supervisor for GENCO Federal Credit Union.

Another way your bank information can be taken is by what's called "phishing". Someone posing as your bank, will email you with a story about needing to update your files, or telling you they've lost your data. They'll then ask you to give your account number and other personal information.

"No bank that i know of, or lending institution or anything like that is going to loose your information. I mean, they have backups, and they have backups of the backup, so your information is not going to get lost." says Detective Almond.

And it's happening right here in East Texas.

"I know for GENCO, we've had three members in the last two months that have contacted us saying they've been emailed, contacted through the internet from various companies wanting that information verified." says Foster.

With criminals getting more sophisticated, it's becoming more important than ever to guard your personal numbers. It's the best way to protect yourself from the often devastating consequences of identity theft.