Protecting Yourself

Keeping your personal and account-related information safe goes far beyond Brookline Bank's services and systems. Here are some important topics you should keep in mind regarding the protection of your sensitive information. Man checking email on laptop computer

Current Fraud Alerts

The nature of fraudulent activity continually changes.  For a list of the most recent alerts, visit the Federal Trade Commission web site.

Beware of Fraudulent Communications

There can be cases of fraud or information gathering aimed directly at you that we cannot prevent.These can include direct contact via email, text message or computer malware that appear to be from us but originated elsewhere. Beware of "phishing" scams in which fraudsters send fake emails or set up fraudulent web sites that mimic legitimate business websites to trick you into disclosing your personal information.

It is important that you know the ways in which we will and will not communicate with you:

  • We will never send you a text message or an email asking for you to provide or confirm sensitive information. This includes account numbers, social security numbers, PIN numbers, and Online Banking IDs and Passwords.
  • Our Online Banking website will never utilize a pop-up box or other input to ask for confirmation of your account number or social security number at the time you login.

We may communicate to you via email to provide information regarding features, products, offers and services but these communications will never ask you to provide sensitive information.

If you do receive any suspicious emails, text messages or other requests, please contact Customer Service immediately to report the issue.

Online Activities

Be cautious when using online sites and receiving emails and text messages that require entering confidential information such as debit card numbers and banking routing numbers. Social media sites are useful for communicating and sharing information with friends and family. But they can also be used maliciously to collect sensitive information about you. We recommend the following when using any online service or website:

  • Be sure that the websites you are visiting use appropriate security and encryption. It is very common to see that websites use a secure-socket layer (SSL) encryption. You can identify this by verifying that the web site's URL address is https:// rather than http:// .
  • Watch for error messages or security alerts when visiting websites, even if they are sites that you frequently visit. A security alert could indicate that the site has been compromised or could indicate that you are visiting a fraudulent site made to appear legitimate.
  • Be mindful of the information you share on your social media sites, such as birth dates, nicknames, pet names, etc. Many secure services, including our Online Banking service, validate your identity by using security questions. Be sure that answers to these security questions are not information you've made available on social media sites.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using unfamiliar or shared computers (such as hotel lobby PCs). These machines may have been previously infected with key loggers or other monitoring software to collect the information you enter or view.
  • Be cautious about the use of shared or public wi-fi networks when connecting to sites that require sensitive information, including Online Banking. Public networks can be configured maliciously to appear legitimate in order to monitor and collect the information you enter or view.
  • Protect your email accounts! You've registered an email address to receive communications from Brookline Bank. Use two-factor authentication for that account to help protect unauthorized users from gaining access. Here are some helpful links for common email services:

Offline Activities

Information about your identity and your accounts is available off-line as well. It is important to take care to protect this information, as it may also be used to commit identity theft frauds. Here are tips to help protect yourself from theft that can occur away from the internet:

  • Do not carry sensitive documents or information with you when it is not necessary, including social security cards and passports.
  • Be mindful of documents and applications that require sensitive information such as social security number. Make sure you are interacting with a legitimate and trusted entity and that information is truly needed. If it is not required, do not provide it.
  • Beware of "vishing" scams. Don't provide your Social Security number or personal credit information to anyone who calls you over the phone. Only provide information when you initiate the call and are familiar with the business.
  • Take proper care of Bank statements, Credit Card statements, and other communications that contain sensitive information. Be sure to review the information for suspicious or unusual activity but also be sure to properly dispose of the documents when no longer needed. These documents should be shredded or otherwise destroyed so that they cannot be found and read by unauthorized individuals.
  • Monitor your credit reports regularly to identify any anomalies or unauthorized activities.