- Never click on suspicious links. 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 e-mail is a safer alternative.
- Always ensure that you are using a secure website when submitting sensitive information via your web browser. 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 be caused by your connection being intercepted or the web server 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 web sites when finished to prevent unauthorized access. Simply closing the browser window may not actually end your session.
- 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 patches. This 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.
- Don’t ever share your password over the phone, in texts, by e-mail, or in person.
- Use strong passwords with a combination of lowercase letters, capital letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Create a password with at least 8 characters. The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.
- Every additional character exponentially strengthens a password.
- Avoid using obvious passwords such as your name, birthdays or family names.
- Change your password frequently.
- Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords.
Mobile Device Security
- Configure your device to require a passcode to gain access if this feature is supported in your device.
- Invest in an antivirus application to help protect you when downloading apps or mobile content.
- Avoid storing sensitive information. Mobile devices have a high likelihood of being lost or stolen so you should avoid using them to store sensitive information (e.g. passwords, bank account numbers, etc.). If sensitive data is stored then encryption should be used to secure it.
- Keep your mobile device's software up-to-date. These devices are small computers running software that needs to be updated just as you would update your PC. Use the automatic update option if one is available.
- Disable features not actively in use such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and infrared. Set Bluetooth-enabled devices to non-discoverable when Bluetooth is enabled.
- Never set the app, web, or client-text service to automatically log in to your bank account.
- Delete all information stored on a device before the device changes ownership. Use a "hard factory reset" to permanently erase all content and settings stored on the device.
- "Sign out" or "Log off" when finished with an app rather than just closing it.
- Immediately tell your mobile operator and your bank if you lose your phone.
Online & Mobile Threats
- Phishing is the criminal attempt to steal your personal information through fraudulent emails or smart-phone texts. They are often very believable, luring the victim to a site that asks them to provide or verify personal financial details such as account numbers and social security numbers. The list of recommendations below that you can use to avoid becoming a victim of these scams.
- Be suspicious of any e-mail with requests for any personal financial information.
- Do not use the links in an e-mail to get to a web page if you suspect the message might not be authentic.
- Always make sure that you’re using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information.
- Regularly check your online accounts.
- Check your bank and credit card statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.
- Remember First Community Bank of Moultrie County will never send you an e-mail asking you to verify personal information.
Pharming is similar to phishing; pharming seeks to obtain personal information by secretly directing you to a copycat website where your information is stolen.
This is software that is loaded on a computer without the user’s knowledge and transmits information about the user’s computer activities over the Internet.