Here are some important tips to keep your information safe when online.
Computer Security Tips
- Keep your computer operating system up to date to ensure the highest level of protection.
- Install a personal firewall on your computer.
- Install, run, and keep anti-virus software updated.
- Turn your computer off completely when you are finished using it. Don't leave it in sleep mode.
- Conduct online banking activities on secure computers only. Public computers (computers at Internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should only be conducted on a computer you know to be safe and secure.
What is a virus?
A computer virus is a small software program designed to spread from one computer to another. It can interfere with your computer's operation by corrupting or deleting information or using your e-mail to spread itself and infect other computers. Viruses can be disguised as attachments to e-mail messages or other downloadable files, software and programs.
Signs your computer might be affected by a virus:
- It runs more slowly than normal
- It stops responding or locks up often
- It crashes and restarts every few minutes
- It restarts on its own and then fails to run normally
- Applications don't work correctly
- Disks or disk drives are inaccessible
- You can't print normally
- Unusual error messages
- Distorted menus and dialog boxes
If you notice any of the above signs, don't ignore them! Always keep your computer's anti-virus software and signatures up to date and don't download or open attachments unless you know who they are from.
Hacking programs in the guise of genuine recovery software are freely available on the Internet. Once installed on you PC, either directly or over the Internet via Malware, they can unscramble passwords with relative ease. To protect yourself, create strong passwords with alphanumeric combinations and change them frequently. Keep answers to security questions strictly confidential and don't share your online passwords.
Some Internet browsers may save usernames and passwords for automatic login. For your security, it is usually best to disable this function. Review your Internet browser's security settings to find out how to turn this off.
Simple steps can help protect your important personal information:
- Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it's over the phone or the Internet. E-mails and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing, down to the fake padlock that usually indicates a secure site. The rule of thumb is: If you did not initiate the communication, you should not provide any information.
- Never click on the link provided in an e-mail you think might be fraudulent. It may contain a virus or other malware that can contaminate your computer.
- If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact us directly for verification. You can find our contact information here. The key is that you should be the one to initiate the contact, using information that you have verified yourself.
- Don't be intimidated even if a caller or e-mail suggests dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify financial information. Trust your instinct: if it seems suspicious, a few extra steps to verify the source of a phone call or e-mail could keep you from falling victim to a fraud attempt.
- Know whom you're dealing with online. Question the authenticity and identity of trusted sources to avoid phishing, malware, spyware and viruses.
- Use anti-virus software, a firewall and anti-spyware software to help keep your computer safe and secure.
- Set up your operating system and Web browser software properly and update regularly. Hackers also take advantage of unsecured Web browsers (like Internet Explorer or Netscape) and operating system software (like Windows). Lessen your risk by increasing the security settings.
- Review your bank statements regularly for unauthorized debits against your accounts. If your account statement is late in arriving, contact us to find out why. Better yet, turn off the postal delivery of your statement and check them often online. Report any discrepancies to your bank immediately.
- Use Internet banking or a service such as Positive Pay that can eliminate fraud by validating details of issued checks with the actual checks presented for payment.
- Back up important files. If you store financial records electronically, protect them by creating copies and storing them in a secure location.
- Create strong passwords with alphanumeric combinations, and change them frequently. Keep your passwords in a secure place, and don't share them online, over e-mail or on the phone.