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You’ve worked hard for the things you have under your name – it’s more than a sinking feeling to find out that someone has stolen your belongings, finances, and identity. It can be a real pain to try and sort it all out once it happens. It’s best to try and take preventative measures so that you’re not a victim of identity theft. Here are some tips on how to avoid identity theft.

identity theft on mobile

What is Identity Theft?

When someone deliberately uses another’s identification, that person is committing identity theft. This information might be a name, a driver’s license number, social security number, a fingerprint, a PIN, a passport, a health card identification, a bank account, an electronic signature, a credit card, or debit card number.

The High Cost of Identity Theft 

If you fell victim to identity theft, you’re not alone. Last year, forty-nine million Americans experienced identity theft according to the 2021 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research. The cost to consumers was $56 billion—for one year!

It’s not just about cleaning out your bank account. With your identity, the thief can make regular bank withdrawals, apply for credit cards, get a loan, buy a car, a house, or a plane ticket.

Writer Asaf Griener paints a frightening scenario. We won’t go into detail here but it is worth taking a look at.

How Technology Helps the Thief

In a NewScientist article “Cyber Crime Made Easy”, the author explains the level to which hackers are making adept use of malicious software. You can purchase an app for credit card theft.

Just as high-tech makes it easy to steal a car, points out CBC’s Sarah Bridge, so too, there is an alarming array of gadgets for identity theft. Ed Oswald describes some of these.

Skimmers

Identity thieves capture data on your debit cards by skimming. A data storage device could be attached to an ATM. They could also be attached to credit card readers. While the transaction is going through a digital copy of your credit card information is being made.

How Can You Combat Skimming?

Never let your credit or debit card out of your sight. Be cautious if a machine looks unusual.  Use cards with an EMV chip if possible.  Cover the pad when you enter your PIN and always monitor your transactions on your app or statements.

Laptops

Some identity thieves simply drive around looking for unsecured hotspots with their laptop.  Then they log into your wireless network looking for vulnerabilities.

How Can You Combat the Laptop Thief?

Make sure your computer’s firewall is up and running. Never leave your home wireless network unsecured. Choose a Wi-Fi password that is hard to crack. Enable all security features on the router.

Your Old Gadgets

How we treat old, broken gadgets is important. Those old gadgets may not work but they contain data. Often before they are discarded, data is not wiped, identity thieves can gather personal information.

How to Combat Identity Theft from Old Gadgets

Be careful what you store there—like passwords and PINs. Keep sensitive information off these devices. Before you discard them, wipe clean every device before you trade it in or sell it. The New York Times offers this easy way to clean data from your device.

Internet Connection

If thieves have one of your credit card numbers, it is easy for them to conceal their actions. All it requires to change a system is a name, address, and a credit card. Once an address is changed, they can open credit cards and other fraudulent accounts in your name. And you probably won’t even realize it until months later!

How Can You Stop Internet Theft?

Use your credit cards wisely. If you lose one, shut it off immediately. Restart it when you know it is safe.  Some banks offer a freeze/unfreeze option for your card. If you aren’t sure if you’ve lost it but want to keep your funds protected, this is a great option! Then you don’t have to worry about cancelling your card and waiting for the bank to reissue your new one.

Lost, Stolen, and Compromised Cards

Identity theft is far from rare. Fraud is a global problem that continues to grow. The Insurance Information Institute claims that in 2020, losses from identity theft cases topped $712.4 billion dollars. Which is a 42 percent increase from 2019. In 2020, the second highest reported identity fraud came from credit cards and opening new accounts. By 2021, losses are forecasted to increase to $721.3 billion dollars. It continues to climb annually.

stolen identity

Common Mistakes of Online Banking

We’re lulled into a sense of security because online banking seems so private and safe. Our naiveté blunders can make us easy victims of fraud and identity theft.

  • Never assume everything is okay.

Check credit card activity and your bank accounts often. Monitor the activity on your accounts. Inform your financial institution if there are any suspicious transactions immediately.

  • Don’t use predictable and/or unchanging passwords.

I know. It’s easier to keep a password forever. It’s tempting to choose one that makes sense and is easy to recall. Don’t be one of those people who use the same password for several cards!

Make it hard for thieves. Change your passwords often. One banking institution recommends changing your password after every transaction!

Write down new passwords and store them in a safe place—not your smartphone or your computer.

  • Guard your smartphone at all times.

Sadly, our lives are stored in our smartphones. Over fifty percent are used for online banking. How can you cut the odds of theft? Use only official banking apps.

  • Don’t decline security features.

Without security alerts to your phone or email, identity thieves can use your information undetected 75% longer. Look for free apps. Some banks even provide information when the account falls below a specific limit.

  • Don’t avoid online banking.

Your financial institution spends millions bolstering online security and keeping firewalls strong. It would be a shame if you avoided the convenience of online banking simply because it might be risky.

Customized security is tailored to your needs and desires.  New features are coming out as technology improves them.

how to avoid identity theft

Why Choose Marygold & Co.?

Marygold & Company has over two decades of experience in financial services. Recently launched, the Marygold & Co. Mastercard Debit Card and mobile app gives customers safe FDIC-insured accounts with a custom security dashboard that allows users to take more control of their finances.

Marygold & Co. has created a new card and app where you can control the use of your card with just a toggle. With the Marygold & Co. app, you can even control where your card is used.

With Marygold & Co’s user-friendly, customized security, you can freeze and unfreeze your account or type of transaction like international with the touch of your mobile phone..

We all have those heart-stopping moments when our card goes missing. Whether it was lost, stolen, or misplaced, canceling is time-consuming and inconvenient. You have to contact businesses to stop recurring payments tied to that card. You have to wait to receive a new one.

With Marygold & Co.’s customized security, you need only use your secure app to freeze  your card. If it turns up, you merely unfreeze it!

If you’ve ever opened a savings or checking account at a banking institution, you’ve likely stumbled across the phrase “FDIC insured”, but what does that mean for you and your assets?

What Does it Mean to be FDIC Insured?

The term FDIC-insured means that your banking institution, whether brick-and-mortar or online, is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

If your bank is federally insured, more specifically, backed by the FDIC, your money remains protected in the event your banking institution goes under. Accounts covered by FDIC insurance are covered for up to $250,000, which means the FDIC pays customers of failed bank associations up to this insured limit.

Although bank failure in the U.S. has been particularly rare in recent years, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Choosing a financial institution with FDIC insurance, such as Marygold & Co. is one of the best ways to ensure protection for your money.

history of FDIC

The History of the FDIC

The FDIC is an independent federal agency established in 1933 by the U.S government in response to the bank failures that occurred during the Great Depression. Triggered by the stock market crash of 1929, people quickly rushed to banks to withdraw their assets, which further plummeted the already broken financial sector. When banks couldn’t pay customers back their deposits, Americans were quick to lose confidence in the banking system.

The main purpose of the FDIC was to promote public confidence in the banking system and to minimize the economic impact of a possible bank failure. To this day, the independent agency provides federal protections for the money customers deposit in banks. Since its founding in 1933, the FDIC claims that not one penny of insured deposits has been lost.

How Does the FDIC Work?

When you deposit your money at the bank, they then invest that money to earn revenue. These investments include loans to other clients, stocks, and other types of investment. Banks tend to play it on the safer side when investing. However, each bank is different, and with any investment comes the chance of losing money.

If a financial institution’s investment results in a big enough loss, they might be unable to meet the demands of customers who want to withdraw their money. When this bank failure occurs, the FDIC steps in.

FDIC insurance

What Does FDIC Insurance Cover?

If your bank goes under and is unable to return your cash deposits, the FDIC will reimburse you the amount of your held assets, even if the bank completely becomes, oddly enough, bankrupt.

The FDIC covers your common depositor’s accounts, but it’s important to note that not all financial products are covered. Here is what’s covered and what’s not:

Covered accounts:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Trust Accounts

Ineligible for insurance:

  • Mutual Funds
  • Annuities
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Stock & Bond Investments
  • Municipal Securities
  • Safety deposit boxes and their content

FDIC Limits

The standard coverage limit is $250,000 per account holder in each ownership category included in the list of covered accounts above.

If you hold accounts in more than one ownership category, you may be qualified for a coverage larger than $250,000. For example, a couple with a joint FDIC-insured savings account are eligible for insurance up to $250,000 each. Additionally, if one of those individuals is the holder of a separate FDIC-insured depository account, that individual is also entitled up to the insured federal limit for that account.

Where Does the Money Come From?

The FDIC is funded by premiums paid for by financial institutions in return for deposit insurance coverage. Virtually every bank and savings institution in the country is insured by the FDIC, totaling trillions of dollars in deposits within the U.S financial system.

FDIC insured bank

What Else Does the FDIC Do?

In addition to protecting cash deposits, the FDIC also provides oversight for banks and thrift institutions to ensure activities promote safe banking environments. They are also responsible for sourcing other banks to take over the accounts of failed institutions.

Does the FDIC Protect You From Identity Theft?

Although customers are insured up to $250,000 on eligible depositor’s accounts, the FDIC does not protect against identity theft or the losses that accompany it. To protect yourself against identity theft and fraud, it’s best to practice safe online banking methods such as using a secure network and having a strong password.

Safe and Covered

Marygold & Co. delivers a digital alternative to physical branch banking that allows clients to control their finances and earn interest anytime, anyplace, and with no minimums or credit checks.

Additionally, FDIC-insured debit and savings accounts through Marygold & Co. are available to anyone in the United States, helping clients all over the country send, receive, spend and save money securely and safely through their mobile devices.

**Marygold & Co. is a financial technology company and not a bank.

Switching to online banking has its obvious perks, most notably, having complete access to the bank and features without having to physically go into your local brick-and-mortar. However, mobile banking apps still have some consumers worried about the security threats that come with using the Internet. This brings us to the question– are mobile banking apps safe?

identity verification security

The Future of Mobile Banking

In today’s digital era, people globally are adjusting to the accessibility that fintech and mobile banking apps offer. Fintech, more formally referred to as financial technology, is an innovative economic industry banded together by companies whose main objective is to make financial services more efficient. Marygold & Co., a fintech service, offers a banking app that allows anyone in the United States to send, receive, save, and spend money directly from their smartphones.

Fintech companies are experiencing rapid customer growth, competing directly with big banks and credit unions. Other digital payment services like Marygold & Co., Venmo, and Paypal have made transferring funds over the internet swift and easy, surpassing traditional person-to-person payment methods. These online payment methods have eliminated geographical obstacles to participating in a global marketplace, making transactions everywhere more efficient.

Additionally, mobile and self-service banking has allowed customers to quickly transfer funds, check account balances, and deposit checks, directly from their smartphones.

How Safe is Online Banking?

Despite favoring the convenience of online banking, there still seems to be a certain degree of distrust with customers switching to online banking because of the ongoing threat of cyber-attacks. Due to this continuous risk, fintech companies are continuously improving security systems to prevent such occurrences.

Through secure servers, firewalls, and strong encryption, online banking is considerably safer than banking in person. 

Online Security Risks

Mobile malware, app assurance, data protection, and identity management are other security measures taken by financial institutions to ensure your money stays guarded and accessible. Online banking is generally safer than other consumer activities online, which includes many types of shopping. Therefore the security risks from online banking won’t differ too much from the risks associated with other internet activity consumers are choosing to partake in.

mobile security

Advanced Security Technology

The innovative and customizable Marygold & Co. app continuously employs rigorous encryption standards to protect your money and identity – ensuring your mobile banking experience is not only convenient but safe too. Marygold & Co. knows how important security is, which is why they have added extra security features like liveness checks, to ensure you are who you say you are. More personalized services can be provided through API (application programming interface) technology that can cater to an array of needs and preferences. This innovative app provides customizable security controls, giving the customer full control and security of their mobile banking.

EMV Technology

All Marygold & Co. customers will receive their Mastercard© Debit Card fully equipped with an EMV chip as an extra layer of security. EMV chips are specifically encrypted to stop fraudulent transactions at the point-of-purchase, proving to be effective in reducing physical card counterfeit in regions where chip cards have outdated magstripe technology. Most banking cards have the EMV chip embedded in them.

NFC Technology

On top of the magstripe technology and the EMV chip, Marygold & Co. incorporates a third level of security and embeds all Mastercard© bank cards with NFC chips (Near Field Communication). This NFC chip is the highest form of security available. These chips support tap and pay transactions that don’t require signatures or PIN numbers. An NFC chip is an innovative card chip technology that provides a secure method for businesses and customers to exchange and store credit card and debit card data. On top of embedding your card with an NFC chip, Marygold & Co. provides wearables items, such as bracelets and keychains, with the embedded NFC chip as well. Simply tap your item near the card reader and boom, transaction made.

Turn Card On & Off

One of the cutting-edge security features offered to Marygold & Co. customers is the ability to toggle a card on and off. If you’ve ever misplaced your bank card, you’re aware of the panic that overwhelms you at that moment. “What if someone finds my card and spends all my money?” is probably a thought that has crossed your mind. Thankfully, this innovative security feature allows you to disable your card through the app, preventing unauthorized purchases from being made on your account while you try to locate your card. Nothing is worse than ordering a new card and then finding your old one in between couch cushions.

Member FDIC

Additionally, all accounts with Marygold & Co. are FDIC insured, meaning your funds are federally protected against bank failure or theft. You can rest easy knowing your funds are insured and safeguarded with a government-backed guarantee.

Online Security Tips

Although there are advanced technologies in place to protect you and your money, it’s essential to remain vigilant when using technology to manage your finances. Using secure connections and avoiding public wi-fi are extra ways to protect your account. Weak passwords can also make your account vulnerable to cyber-attacks; therefore, it’s crucial to stick to a challenging password but also something you will remember.

mobil banking security verification

Account Monitoring

Online banking offers you 24/7 access, so frequently logging into your account may also make your account better at deterring any security threats. App users can easily access their recent purchases and transactions on their mobile devices and can enable transaction notifications, helping them track the movement of money in real life. Regular monitoring can help detect any changes or suspicious activity quickly. If you happen to catch any suspicious activity, make sure to contact your bank immediately.

Customizable Security Dashboard

Ultimately, online banking can give you a single view of all your finances while controlling and tracking all transactions in one place. Advanced technologies are making it easier for customers everywhere to stay safe while banking, but like with anything on the internet, individuals must remain careful.

Marygold & Co. holds the highest security standards to provide you with all the advantages fintech technology has to offer. This convenient and trailblazing app will give you access to your bank from the comfort of your home and an array of customizable security features, providing you with a banking experience that caters specifically to you.

The Appeal of Online Finance

Simplifying your financial life on an app offers unique opportunities that a physical branch can not match. 

At any time, any day, any device, and anywhere in the world, you can access your account balances, transaction history, transfer funds, pay bills, receive customized notifications and set up automatic savings and security tools. 

future of online banking

As technology advances, the convenience of online banking helps clients save both time and money.

In fact, many of us celebrate not having to drive to a physical location to retrieve money or deal with transactions. According to a 2019 American Bankers Association survey, 73% of Americans access their bank accounts online or through a mobile app. The future of online banking will continue to evolve and it’s important to know what that means for security and usability for banking customers, including features like turning your debit card on and off.

Why Security is Critical to Online Banking

The future of online banking relies tremendously on the security measures implemented. First and most importantly, financial institutions must manifest and maintain trust for their clients to ensure their finances and assets are secure. Secondly, online banking must be a user-friendly experience with everyday accessibility from anywhere. 

As technology grows, fraud and data breaches are becoming more commonplace, and thus advanced security for online banking is imperative. The number of new malware variants posed for mobile increased 54 percent in 2017, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2018. In order to protect our most valuable assets, reliable security is of vital importance.

Lost, Stolen, and Compromised Cards

It is easy to believe you’ll never be a casualty of identity theft or credit card fraud as the prevalence of this type of crime seems to be a rare occurrence. In actuality, fraud is a growing worldwide problem, especially within the United States. With losses to credit card fraud topping $24 billion dollars in 2018 alone. Almost 40% of that reported card fraud occurred in America. And between 2017 and 2018, card fraud increased by nearly 20%.

According to credit reporting firm Experian, between 2017-2018, identity theft made up 15% of card fraud, new account fraud increased by 35%, and takeover of existing account fraud increased nearly 25%.

Because of the open nature of the Internet, online banking is inherently subject to virus attacks, unauthorized access, identity theft, and fraudulent transactions.

Cardholders need security measures that will thwart fraudulent actions.

online security

Locking Debit Cards with On and Off Switch

Not long ago, cardholders whose card was either lost, stolen, or compromised, had to spend a great deal of time contacting the bank in order to have their card frozen for future transactions.  Now having the ability to lock and unlock your card immediately on your mobile phone provides peace of mind and convenient security when you want it.

Instead of dealing with the hassle of going into the bank to cancel a card, order a new one, and then wait for the teller to issue you a temporary card or make a cash withdrawal, Marygold & Co. introduces the convenient option to simply control transactions from your debit card with a lock/unlock switch. Essentially, this feature grants you the ability to  “freeze” your card until you’re able to straighten your debit card mishap or when you don’t plan to use it. Nothing is worse than canceling your card and then finding it on the car floor.

Know Your Customer

Traditional brick-and-mortar banks require you to apply for an account in person, checking your identification and confirming you are you when opening an account. 

Online banking solutions typically leverage basic Know Your Customer (KYC) required information including name, address, social security number, date of birth, email, phone, and other specific data to confirm a new customer’s identity when opening an account.  Unfortunately, more and more of that information has become compromised and for sale on the Dark Web.  

To protect potential victims from having an account fraudulently opened in their name, additional authentication methods are highly recommended for opening online banking accounts.

Marygold & Co. introduces advanced technology that verifies your government-issued identification and the picture matches your selfie taken in the onboarding process.  This technology uses liveness checks and a biometric comparison to make sure you are you before opening an account.

Assuming All Is Well and Not Setting Up Security Measures 

You’d be surprised how many people let days, weeks, even months pass by without seeing the activity on their traditional savings and/or checking accounts. App-led financial accounts can keep nefarious activity at bay by sending you a text about all activity instantaneously. When your finances are top of mind without thinking twice, you are able to monitor your accounts more closely, be aware of suspect transactions occurring and immediately inform your financial institution of suspect transactions. If you don’t have security alerts set up on your phone or email, identity thieves are able to use your information 75% longer.

Having Predictable and/or Unchanging Passwords

It’s easy to use the same password forever and for everything. It’s comfortable to use that password for several cards or services. But, it won’t seem like such a good idea when identity thieves can easily access all your cards and accounts after discovering the password used unlocks access to all of the accounts. Don’t use the same password. Change your passwords often. Write down the new ones and store them in a safe place.

customized security

Marygold & Co.’s Customized Security

Marygold & Co. is offering an innovative online banking experience with customized security at the forefront of their services – the future of online banking.

What is ‘Customized Security’?

As the name suggests, this provides security uniquely tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual clients. 

The Marygold & Co. Mastercard® Debit Card and mobile app offer clients a safer, more user-responsive alternative to traditional banking. The FDIC-insured card allows users to take complete command of their finances.

In response to cardholder’s mounting concerns about fraudulent activity and identity theft, Marygold & Co. gives users more control over how their card is being used than ever before. With an easy-to-use toggle in the mobile app, users can easily switch their card on or off, set restrictions on where exactly the card will be used and spending limits.

Customized Security Features

  • Debit card on/off capability 
  • Sleep mode
  • States/merchants/merchant categories/countries on/off switch
  • Spending limits tied to time and/or places
  • Text notifications when the card is used
  • Two-factor and biometric fingerprint login protection

The Future of Online Banking

These scenarios demonstrate the ease of Marygold & Co’s customized security. 

No plans in the near future to leave your typical surroundings?  From the Marygold & Co. banking app, you can simply restrict card usage to a specific geographic area in order to prevent fraud. 

Planning to take that trip to Europe now?  Open up the limits, or even bound usage to only the location of your intended travel within the Marygold & Co. app. No phone call needed!

Lost track of your card and are not sure whether it is lost or misplaced? Thanks to Marygold & Co’s customized security, you can easily disable your card with the debit card on/off switch in the app while you search for your card. 

The different scenarios the Marygold & Co. Mastercard® Debit Card offers are almost unlimited, which is why security is now customized to a client’s specific need.  We want to give you as much power and control over your financial life as you want, including what types of things you allow and how strong your security should be. That’s why Marygold & Co. offers customized security right in the app!

Marygold & Co. is paving the way for a more user-friendly and customizable security experience than any other online banking app. We invite you to join the waitlist for Marygold & Co. today to take control of your financial security. 

You earn it, you save it, you spend it wisely – now protect it!

– Chad Butler, President

Shedding credit card utilization and any associated accumulating high-interest debt balance is a truly noble accomplishment. However, some people question how they can protect their debit card information if they are not using credit cards, particularly online.  Although debit cards maintain fraud protection available through banks and networks, it is important to stay extra vigilant as fraudulent transactions can take money right out of your account leaving you vulnerable.

Monitor Your Account

The first and most important rule of thumb for all debit cardholders is to monitor your account regularly! Modern apps like Marygold & Co. provide immediate visibility to all your transactions along with customizable notification of transactions. You should not have to wait for a statement to be alerted of a red flag or fraudulent transaction on your account.

Look for a Secure Connection

The second most important rule of thumb is to make sure you never make a financial transaction on an e-commerce site that is not a secure connection.  Make sure you see an “s” in the address like “https://” rather than just “http://.”  You can also look for an unbroken key or padlock in front of the URL depending on your browser.  These indicate your information will be encrypted and is therefore safer.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

Lastly, do not use public WI-FI connections to make any financial transactions.  Hackers can use public WI-FI to attempt to capture your account information and passwords because it is often unencrypted and insecure leaving you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.  MITM attacks exploit security flaws in networks to potentially intercept data opening you to identity theft.  If you must use a public WI-FI, be sure to use a VPN connection which encrypts the data going to and from your device.

Controlling Your Accounts with Marygold & Co.

You know your spending habits better than anyone and certainly better than your bank.  You should be able to control and protect your account fitting your own personal needs and spending behavior. Not only should you be able to easily freeze and unfreeze your accounts, but you should also be able to freeze and unfreeze e-commerce transactions to only work when you click “submit”.

You should be able to freeze and unfreeze international transactions when you are traveling or buying something abroad.  Heck, if you’re not leaving your neighborhood or ever using your card at night, you should be able to set geographic boundaries where your account can be used or schedule the time of day your account can be used. Marygold & Co. will let you do all of this and more, right from your phone.

The Future of Banking

Additionally, Marygold & Co. will provide you with access to secure tokenized contactless payment options with your debit card, phone, and even associated wearable items like a bracelet or key fob.  All these options will include customizable security controls that help you protect your hard-earned money backed by FDIC insured accounts and advanced mobile banking security technology.

We are not just building another fintech buzzword app for the masses – we are building a customizable super app that enables our discerning customers to protect and control their money the way they prefer.