In recognition of Data Privacy Day, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and First Community Bank of East TN are reminding customers to take steps to safeguard their sensitive data and shield against financial loss. While there is no full-proof remedy to eliminate every threat, there are some important steps that could help reduce your exposure and long-term financial impact.

Reducing Your Risk:

  1. Restricting use of public wi-fi and computers—These networks may be convenient but are not as secure. If you make purchases while away from your home or work network, use a virtual private network or mobile hotspot.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Monitoring account activity—Carefully review bank statements, 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.
  5. Protecting each account with a unique, complex password—Use numbers and symbols at least 12 characters long along with using a password manager. Use multifactor authentication for accounts that allow it.

Responding to a Data Breach

  1. Consider a security freeze on your credit report to restrict credit file access.
  2. 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.
  3. Shred documents with personal or sensitive information and change your passwords.
  4. 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.

About First Community Bank of East TN

First Community Bank was founded in 1993 in Rogersville, TN. The bank is a locally owned and managed financial institution serving a broad market that encompasses an area up to 325 miles from its headquarters location in Rogersville. The bank was founded on the premise that individuals and small and medium size businesses were under served by large traditional banks. The Bank operates brick and mortar branches in Hawkins and Sullivan Counties in Northeast Tennessee but offers a full range of digital banking services.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® has one mission: to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We power the potential of the nation’s community banks through effective advocacy, education, and innovation.

As local and trusted sources of credit, America’s community banks leverage their relationship-based business model and innovative offerings to channel deposits into the neighborhoods they serve, creating jobs, fostering economic prosperity, and fueling their customers’ financial goals and dreams. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at

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