Simple steps to secure your computers and mobile devices for Internet banking and shopping
Your home has locks on the doors and windows to protect your family and prevent thieves from stealing cash, electronics, jewelry and other physical possessions. But do you have deterrents to prevent the loss or theft of your electronic assets, including bank account and other information in your personal computers, at home and when banking or shopping remotely online?
“Think about all of the access points to and from your computer — such as Internet connections, email accounts and wireless networks,” said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC’s Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section. “These always need to be protected. Otherwise, it’s like leaving your front door wide open while you are away so that anyone could come in and take what they please.”
Here are some Cybersecurity basics:
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User ID and Password Guidelines
- Create a “strong” password with at least 8 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Change your password frequently.
- Never share username and password information with third-party providers.
- Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
- Do not use public or other unsecured computers for logging into Online Banking.
- Check your last login date/time every time you log in.
- Review account balances and detail transactions regularly (preferably daily) to confirm payment and other transaction data and immediately report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.
- View transfer history available through viewing account activity information.
- Whenever possible, use Bill Pay instead of checks to limit account number dissemination exposure and to obtain better electronic record keeping.
- Take advantage of and regularly view system alerts; examples include:
- Balance alerts
- Transfer alerts
- Password change alerts
- ACH Alerts (for cash management users)
- Wire Alerts (for cash management users)
- Do not use account numbers, your social security number, or other account or personal information when creating account nicknames or other titles.
- Whenever possible, register your computer to avoid having to re-enter challenge questions and other authentication information with each login.
- Review historical reporting features of your online banking application on a regular basis to confirm payment and other transaction data.
- Never leave a computer unattended while using Online Banking.
- Never conduct banking transactions while multiple browsers are open on your computer.
Tips to Avoid Phishing, Spyware and Malware
- Do not open e-mail from unknown sources. Be suspicious of e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes, and similar information. Opening file attachments or clicking on web links in suspicious e-mails could expose your system to malicious code that could hijack your computer.
- Never respond to a suspicious e-mail or click on any hyperlink embedded in a suspicious e-mail. Call the purported source if you are unsure who sent an e-mail.
- If an e-mail claiming to be from your financial organization seems suspicious, checking with your financial organization may be appropriate.
Tips to Protect Online Payments & Account Data
Tips for Wireless Network Management
Here’s More Detailed Cybersecurity Guidance
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Watch for more Cybersecurity consumer education from RiverHills Bank in the coming months.