I think “three.”
Whenever I want to simplify what I have to do to protect the bank from scammers, I think three. Three Simple Words start Three Little Steps in a procedure that will protect all of three of us!
We do not have to be rude when we “authenticate” users. And users need to be authenticated anytime something is out of the ordinary.
For example, if someone calls asking for information about a customer that is supposed to be sensitive . . . . you know . . . . account numbers, social security numbers, check numbers, etc. . . . all you need to do is say three words:
And then something like, “our policy is to properly identify you.” Then you can ask out of pocket questions.
And then you would confirm the person’s access to information. It’s that simple! In fact, we like to summarize this by saying there’s just three easy steps to protecting access to information.
You must confirm a person’s authority to access information through you!
I remember when I was growing up they were selling really cool buttons at a 4-H fair, and one of the popular pins was “Question Authority.” This is really what we’re saying you need to do.
To illustrate the point, here’s an example of something that happens often: say one of your supervisors just resigned, and during the two-week notice period you are asked for information that you don’t normally provide this person. IT IS YOUR JOB, because access to information is going through you, to appropriately confirm your supervisor’s clearance to that information. You are not being impolite or insubordinate, you are following policy. And it’s for your protection as well as your supervisor’s. But ultimately, it’s for our customers protection as well!
“For your protection” . . . . the three simple words . . . . applies to us as well as our customers. If your supervisor is NOT supposed to have access to the information, it looks bad for you as well as your supervisor, even if there is no malicious intent. In fact, there’s actually three entities that the three simple words protect: First and foremost: our customers. Secondly: the person wanting the information. And finally: you, the person accessing the information.
The good thing about our bank is that we try to get to know our customers. And because of that, when you are asked for information that’s outside the normal bounds, it’s normal to feel like maybe you shouldn’t follow procedure and “confirm authority”, ESPECIALLY when you know the person.
But it’s for the person’s protection as well as yours, and it’s a great opportunity to politely educate our customers so they know what to expect EVERYWHERE they are giving out their private information.