• March 2015:

    Today, it is easier than ever to connect to the world via the internet.  While the conveniences of online shopping, social networking, and mobile wallets make our lives increasingly easier, there is a genuine concern of security for all the information that is accessed online. At First Exchange Bank we promise to be your bank “In Real Life.” We work hard to ensure that you stay informed and alert, so that you are able to stop a problem before it starts.

    Here are some practical tips for staying safe online.

     

    Online Security Tips:

    • Never click on suspicious links in emails, tweets, posts, or online advertising.  Links can take you to a different website than their labels indicate.  Typing an address in your browser instead of clicking a link in an email is a safer alternative.
    • Only submit sensitive information to websites using encryption to ensure your information is protected as it travels across the Internet.  Verify the web address begins with “https://” (the “s” is for secure) rather than just “http://”.  Some browsers also display a closed padlock.
    • Do not trust sites with certificate warnings or errors.  These messages could indicate your connection is being intercepted or the web server is misrepresenting its identity.
    • Avoid using public computers or public wireless access points for online banking and other activities involving sensitive information when possible.
    • Always “sign out” or “log off” of password protected websites when finished to prevent unauthorized access.  Simply closing the browser window may not actually end your session.
    • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or texts directing you to a website or requesting information.

     

    Personal Computer Security Tips:

    • Maintain active and up-to-date antivirus protection provided by a reputable vendor.  Schedule regular scans of your computer in addition to real-time scanning.
    • Update your software frequently to ensure you have the latest security patchesThis includes your computer’s operating system and other installed software (e.g. web browsers, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Java, Microsoft Office, etc.).
    • Automate software updates, when the software supports it, to ensure it’s not overlooked.
    • If you suspect your computer is infected with malware, discontinue using it for banking, shopping, or other activities involving sensitive information.  Use security software and/or professional help to find and remove malware.
    • Use firewalls on your local network to add another layer of protection for all the devices that connect through the firewall (e.g. PCs, smart phones, and tablets).
    • Require a password to gain access. Log off or lock your computer when not in use.
    • Use a cable lock to physically secure laptops when the device is stored in an untrusted location.

     

    Password Security Tips:

    • Create a unique password for all the different systems/websites you use.  Otherwise, one breach leaves all your accounts vulnerable.
    • Never share your password over the phone, in texts, by email, or in person.  If you are asked for your password, it’s probably a scam.
    • Use unpredictable passwords with a combination of lowercase letters, capital letters, numbers, and special characters.
    • The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.  Use a password with at least 8 characters.  Every additional character exponentially strengthens a password.
    • Avoid using obvious passwords such as:
      • Names (your name, family members’ names, business name, user name, etc.)
      • Dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
      • Dictionary words
    • Choose a password you can remember without writing it down.  If you do choose to write it down, store it in a secure location.

     

    If you notice suspicious or unauthorized transactions on any of your First Exchange Bank accounts, or if your credit/debit card has been lost or stolen, contact us immediately: 304.986.1700

     

    To learn more about information security, visit any of the following websites:

    • OnGuardOnline.gov
    • StaySafeOnline.org
    • BBB.org/Data-Security
    • US-CERT.gov