Banking security tips

The best defense against fraud is you. Learn more about fraud and arm yourself with the knowledge to stay safe online.

Online security

  • Memorize your Username and Password. Never write them down anywhere, save them to your computer, or reveal them to anyone
  • Create a Password that:

    • Has 8–12 characters, 4 different characters (no repeats) and at least 1 special character/symbol
    • Includes letters and numbers (Upper and lower case letters)
    • Is a sequence of random letters and numbers
    • Isn't a common word or name or easy to guess

  • Change your Password regularly. You can change your Password in Online Banking from the Services & Support page
  • Always log out of your Online Banking session and close all browsers. Don't rely on our session time-out feature
  • Verify the security certificate of every website before you provide any sensitive information. Bank of the West uses VeriSign Secured and Secure Sockets Layer technology (SSL "lock"). Click on the VeriSign logo to confirm a site's authenticity. When completing online transactions involving passwords, PINs or account numbers, look for the SSL lock first

    • Check for the lock icon in the status bar of your browser. This means that the website uses encryption to protect your information. Make sure the lock icon is closed indicating that encryption is on. Double-click it to display the security certificate. The security certificate information should match the name of the site you're on

  • Don't share any confidential information through suspicious emails, websites, social media networks, texts or phone calls
  • Protect your personal or business account information, including your Online Banking username, password and answers to security questions
  • If you receive a suspicious email, don't click any links or reply to it. Delete it
  • Avoid using a public or shared computer for business and financial transactions
  • If your computer is infected with a virus, run anti-virus software to remove it and change passwords on all your financial and business accounts, including your email account, using a secure device
  • Make sure each computer you use has current software security patches and anti-virus software. Anti-virus software requires frequent updates to guard against new viruses
  • Install a personal firewall to help prevent unauthorized access to your home computer
  • Wireless access should be secured with strong password encryption. Be cautious when using public hotspots and consider your Wi-Fi auto-connect settings
  • Don't include account or sensitive information if you are communicating with us via If you use Online Banking, visit the Contact Us section to send a secure message

Email security

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails containing urgent appeals for security, business or personal information
  • Spelling errors can help fraudulent emails get through your spam filters
  • Never open attachments, click on links or respond to emails from suspicious or unknown senders
  • If you receive a suspicious email that you think is a phish, simply delete it
  • To report a suspicious email that uses Bank of the West's name, forward it to
    • Then delete the email from your inbox and deleted items

View fraudulent email examples

Scam prevention

  • Use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Never give personal information to a stranger who contacts you, whether by phone, email or other means
  • You are responsible and liable for items you cash or deposit into your account
  • Be wary of offers of mortgage modification, foreclosure rescue, or short sale scams involving money-back guarantees, title transfers, up-front fees, or high pressure sales tactics
  • No matter how urgent someone claims a deal or job offer is, you should research and confirm its legitimacy

If your device is stolen or lost:

  • Immediately contact your wireless carrier to report the loss and suspend your mobile service
  • If stolen, report the theft to the police. Include the make and model, serial and IMEI or MEID number of your device. Some carriers require proof that the device was stolen, and a police report will do
  • Call Bank of the West at 1-800-488-2265, select option 3, to delete your mobile number from your Preference Center
  • As soon as possible, change any passwords for online accounts you access through your mobile device (for example, your Online Banking password)
  • For additional information, see Stolen and lost wireless devices

Contact us to report:

Fraud or suspicious activity

TTY 1-800-659-5495

Lost or stolen credit cards


Suspicious Bank of the West emails