Making Online Banking Safe and Secure

When you travel the Internet to access online banking, you want to be assured, first and foremost, that effective safeguards are in place to make your visit safe, secure, and reliable. When you use online banking to visit the bank, whether it’s to learn about rates, to review your accounts or to pay your bills, you are entering a secure area. Measures we take include one or more of the following.

  • Password Protection and PIN
    Your password and PIN (personal identification number) are the first line of defense, and are your unique identifier. Be sure not to share them with anyone– most frauds involving hijacked accounts originate with someone the victim knows.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication
    This form of identity verification provides added security by requiring multiple forms of identification, such as something you know (password, or PIN) and something you have (ATM card, smart card).
  • Encryption
    Once online with our bank, your transactions and personal information are secured by encryption software that converts the information into code that is readable by only you and our bank.
  • Privacy Policies
    Bank privacy policies protecting your personal information are stringent. Your confidential information is treated with the utmost care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.

Using Online Banking

Whether you are conducting online financial transactions over the Internet or simply “surfing,” some easily implemented precautions can help safeguard your personal information from identity theft and account fraud:

  • Passwords
    Security begins with a strong password, which only you, the user, knows. Experts advise a combination of letters and numbers, and advise against using easily guessed passwords such as birthdays or home addresses.
  • Anti-Virus Protection and Anit-Spyware Protection
    Make sure the anti-virus software and anti-spyware protection on your computer is current and actively scans your computer. This simple step is critical to your personal safety and security when online.
  • E-mail Communication
    E-mail is generally not encrypted so be wary of sending any sensitive information such as account numbers or other personal information in this way. If you receive an unscheduled or unsolicited email purporting to be from our bank be cautious– take the time to call our bank and make sure the email was sent from us.
  • Signing Off
    If you login to a website you should always log off by following the exit procedures to ensure the protection of your personal information.
  • Be Aware
    Crooks are trying to get your personal information– and they employ some ingenious methods. Don’t respond to any unusual requests for personal information– when you opened your bank accounts you already gave it to us. When in doubt, call us.

Identifying the Most Common Online Threats

Understanding what criminals are trying to do over the internet is the first step in building a good defense. Most electronic fraud falls into one of the three categories. Experts advise: understand these to understand how best to protect yourself.

  • Phishing
    Fraudulent emails purporting to be from your bank or a similar trust source lures you to a copy cat website (one that may look just like your bank’s site). Once there you are instructed to “verify” certain personal information, which is then used to hijack your accounts and your identity. IF you receive a suspicious email, delete the message and call your bank to inform them of the email.
  • Pharming
    Also called “domain spoofing,” this cyber crime intercepts Internet traffic and re-routes it to a fraudulent site. Once there, the victim is asked to enter personal information just as with Phishing.
  • Malware
    This is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owners’ knowledge. Examples of malware (malicious software) include computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.

Learning More

Drop by Farmer’s State Bank to learn more about online banking and the security measures that are in place for your protection. Or contact any of these financial industry regulators.