Internet Security Tips

The internet can connect you to just about anything, even thieves! Make sure you and your information are protected when you’re online.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe from identity theft:

  • Update your computers and mobile phones often and always use the latest security software.
  • Use strong, unique passwords for each online account.
  • Don’t fall for phishing scams. If you’re not familiar with the source, do not click on any link or attachment.
  • Don’t share your personal information on social media or with people you don’t know or trust.
  • Make sure your WiFi network is password protected and be cautious when connecting to public WiFi networks.
  • When you’re shopping online, only visit websites that you know and trust.

For more tips on keeping your personal information personal, click here.


Identity Theft Prevention

Don’t fall victim to identity theft. Protect yourself and your identity from frauds with these tips:

  • Shred documents with sensitive information before throwing them away.
  • Keep a lookout for any mail that has gone missing. The wrong person can easily intercept your important monthly statements and bills!
  • Enroll in online banking so that you can regularly monitor your account activity.
  • Review your credit report every four months.
  • Make sure your computer has virus protection software.

For more security tips and tricks, click here.


Small Business Cyber Security

Business identity theft has become increasingly more common as cyber-criminals begin to shift from personal bank accounts to business bank accounts. Take the following precautions to protect your company:

  • Educate your employees so that they can be your first line of defense. There are many consulting companies that specialize in such training.
  • Create a protection plan that will help keep your company’s identity and information safe. This includes physical security and technical security (backups, firewalls, user accounts, etc.). Be sure the plan includes action steps to take in case security is compromised.
  • Talk with your bank about potential safeguards to prevent unauthorized transactions.
  • Make sure you understand the account agreement you have with your bank. Be sure you’re following the required commercial security measures so that you aren’t held liable for fraudulent transactions.
  • Keep important company documents in a secure location and always shred old documents.
  • Use a prepaid business credit card for employees instead of a traditional business credit card.
  • Regularly review your business credit reports and check for suspicious activity.
  • void creating a “master” user account and password that would grant access to all company information.

For those small businesses who employ mobile devices, here is a best practice guide to keeping your mobile devices secure: http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/10-Best-Practices-for-Mobile-Device-Security

Here is an excellent source for more cyber-security tips and practices for your small business: https://www.fcc.gov/general/cybersecurity-small-business

The FCC has put together a tool to assist you in generating a cyber-security plan that is tailored to the size and needs of your business: https://www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner


General Cyber-Security Tips for Everyone

The following tips are for those who use their PC, laptop, or tablets to access the internet. While the internet abounds with resources and time-saving applications, it also home to a great many people who wish to steal your information and attack your finances.

Follow these general tips to protect you, your finances, and your information:

  • Update your machines often.
  • Always use the latest security software and make sure it updates on a regular schedule.
  • Use strong, unique passwords for each online account. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. If one account is overcome the others will be as well.
  • Don’t fall for phishing scams. If you’re not familiar with the source, do not click on any link or attachment.
  • Don’t share your personal information on social media or with people you don’t know or trust. Social media is a great resource for scammers to acquire personal information they can use in phishing scams.
  • Make sure your WiFi network has a strong password. If an outsider can connect to your home network they have the potential to hack into all the devices connected to it.
  • Be cautious when connecting to public WiFi networks. Know that when you connect to a public WiFi network others on that network can see, and possibly hack into, your device.
  • When you’re shopping online, only visit websites that you know and trust. If you get an offer by email do not use the links in the email. Go straight to the website.

Stay Safe Online is a site created by the National Cyber Security Alliance and is an excellent source for any questions one might have about cyber-security. If you wish to know more about specific threats or specific methods of data protection, follow this link: https://staysafeonline.org/

For Parents and Children: The following links are good for parents and children to watch and read:

Here is Wellcast’s video on cyber-security for children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrln8nyVBLU

The SANS Institute, a private organization that specializes in cyber-security, has created special presentations for parents and children on the need for security awareness in order to protect our children. Please click the following link to view these resources: http://securingthehuman.sans.org/resources/kids

NOVA put together an excellent ground-level description of cyber-security: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdpxddDzXfE


Social Media Safety Tips

Make sure your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Use these tips to protect your social media account from frauds.

  • Limit the personal information you provide in your profile and your posts.
  • Manage your privacy settings so that only people you accept as friends can access your information.
  • Avoid using location-based services on social media.
  • Make sure your password is long and unique and never use the same password for any of your financial accounts.
  • Don’t connect with unfamiliar users. Only accept requests from people you know and trust.
  • Don’t click on links that look suspicious. They may be potential scams.
  • If you use mobile apps to access your social media accounts, be sure your phone is password locked.

Click here for more information on social media safety and cyber security.


Mobile Safety Tips

The introduction of mobile devices has created a complicated security environment. Are you taking safety precautions to protect your mobile phone, and the personal information you use on it, from identity theft and fraud? Here are a few ways to keep you and your information protected:

  • Always use a secure passcode to lock your phone. The larger and more complicated the better. Also make sure you use different passcodes for each application if those applications require it.
  • Log out completely once you’ve finished a mobile banking session.
  • Keep your phone protected from viruses by installing mobile security software.
  • Before downloading a new app, read through their privacy policy to understand what data the app can access from your phone. Some applications are made specifically to grab such data.
  • Don’t store passwords or social security information on your phone.
  • Inform your financial institution if you switch phone numbers or misplace your phone.
  • If you donate or sell your phone, be sure you have wiped it clean of information and return the phone to factory settings. If you require assistance, go to your local cell phone provider and ask them to perform this task.
  • Be cautious when responding to texts and emails from strangers. If possible, avoid opening unknown links and attachments. Many scams now involve text messages. Disable any sort of auto-retrieve settings that might reside on your phone.

For more information about mobile safety and security, click this link: https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/mobile-and-on-the-go/mobile-devices

The SANS Institute, a private organization that specializes in cyber-security, put together a lecture on mobile device security. It is very thorough but touches on many concepts that one should know. Click this link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMCK4fM6eMo

This is IBM’s take on mobile device security: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-g1h5ic9MY


ATM Safety Tips

They are in gas stations, malls and airports. ATMs, are everywhere. They are convenient for not only us, but also thieves!

There are things you can do to protect your money:

  • Keep your secret PIN, well, a secret. Don’t share your PIN and shield the keypad when entering your number.
  • Grab that receipt! Don’t leave it hanging from the ATM or throw it away nearby. If you don’t need a receipt, select the “no receipt” option.
  • Be aware. Look around you and make sure there isn’t anything or anyone suspicious nearby.
  • If it looks strange or unsafe, presume it probably is. Is there a light out near the ATM? That could be a warning sign that something isn’t right.
  • Is there an extra attachment to the card slot? It could be a sign of a skimming scam. If it looks suspicious, use a different ATM.

Click here for more tips on how to keep yourself (and your money) safe while using an ATM.

Here’s one recent local story of an ATM skimming incident.


Data Breaches

With the news cycles being full of stories about the data breaches of the big retail chains, government agencies, and health care facilities, we at UB&T would like to suggest some steps you can take to minimize the damage should your information be involved in such a breach.

  • Monitor your accounts frequently and notify the bank immediately of any unauthorized account activity (both credit and debit cards). Online banking and mobile banking is excellent for such monitoring activities. This is especially important if you frequent a store that is in the news as having been breached.
  • Monitor your credit report periodically. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com
  • If you have any question about any activity in your accounts please do not hesitate to contact the bank with those questions. Quick recognition of such activity and a quick response can save you money and time.

Here is an excellent article on how retail chains attempt to place the blame for their breaches on the banks: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11514133.htm Banks have a far higher standard of cyber-security than retailers so it pays to be cautious when exposing your data and finances to their systems.


Address Changes

It is important that you stop by your nearest UB&T office and complete an Address Change form if you have moved. An incorrect address may prevent you from receiving bank correspondence such as statements and notices and could prevent your debit or credit card from working. You will receive confirmation of the change as well in an effort to prevent identity theft.


Credit Reports: Just the Facts

There is only one legitimate source for a free credit report – go online or call:

These contacts were created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting firms and are the no-cost contact for your free credit reports.

More information here.