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Top 1%: What they made, what they paid

Thursday, December 18, 2014 1:34 pm

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  • 5 Easy Tips to Make Secure Online Purchases

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Purchasing holiday gifts online curled up under a blanket and sipping hot chocolate sure beats braving the elements and shopping crowds sometimes.

    But with the added convenience of online shopping comes some increased risk of valuable information being stolen, such as credit card numbers or your account log in information for online retailers.

    With the holiday season and Cyber Monday upon us, here are 5 easy tips to keep in mind when making any online purchase:

    1. Make sure the device you are using is secure.

    Use an antivirus program that is set to automatically update. It is also a best practice to install all the latest updates of your operating system as well as updates to all programs you have installed. Apple, Microsoft, and other software providers regularly release updates to protect against all types of security risks.

    2. Make sure the wireless network you’re on is secure.

    Many public wireless networks offered by businesses, while convenient, are not always the most secure. When making a purchase online, make sure the network you are on is using some sort of security measure that requires you to enter a password to connect. The latest and most secure wireless network encryption is WPA2-CCMP. If the network is not secured, it’s best to purchase online from a secured network.

    3. Make sure the retailer’s website is secure.

    When shopping online, always look in the address bar for https:// at the beginning of a web address. The “s” used in “https” signifies an encrypted connection from your computer to the company’s webserver. This is used to pass sensitive data between the two devices and prevents criminals from snooping the contents of the information sent (credit card number, SSN, etc.).

    4. Use strong and unique passwords.

    If you’re like the majority of individuals, you probably have 2-3 passwords that you use for all of your online accounts. While these are easy to remember, this isn’t a best practice. If someone discovers your password(s), they now have access to many of your important accounts. We instead recommend using unique and strong passwords for all your online retailer accounts. Strong passwords generally contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (!, #, *, etc.).

    5. Watch for phishing emails.

    During the holiday season, the amount of phishing emails sent out increases as many criminals seek to falsely represent retailers. If an email looks suspicious or asks for your account information, do not open it or click on any links inside of it. Additionally, the majority of retailers will never include attachments in their emails but phishing emails sometimes do so don’t open any suspicious attachments.

    Stay warm and stay safe this holiday season!

  • Interesting Facts About Computer Security

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    In light of the fun fact countdown we have been posting for our 125th Anniversary, our Information Security Department has put together a list of interesting facts about computer security. While they aren't "fun", they should give you an idea of how important it is to take proactive steps to protect you and your data!

    • The first recorded “hackers” were from 1878, only 2 years after the telephone was invented, a group of teenagers were running switchboards for telephones.  They were later fired because they were more interested on how the telephone system worked then making proper connections.  They tried to hack the system to see how it worked.
    • The largest data breach is history was in 2007 where at least 160 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen and a loss of around $200 million as a result.  Albert Gonzalez, one of the persons behind the data breach, was prosecuted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    • 3 out of 4 Americans will be a victim to cyber-crime.

    • Data breach investigations increased 54% from 2012.

    • The United States is number one in cyber-crime victims at a whopping 59%.  After that is the United Kingdom at 14%.

    • Retail is the top industry that has been compromised at 35% of all cyber-attacks.

    • The top malware hosting country is the United States at 42%.

    • The most exploited program for vulnerabilities is Java at 78% of all vulnerablities.

    • 85% of all exploits were third-party programs. 

    • The median number of days for a victim of cyber-crime to know they have been compromised is 87 days.

    • 31% of all compromises were a result of weak passwords.

    • The top 5 compromised passwords in 2013 were:

    - 123456
    - 123456789
    - 1234
    - Password
    - 12345

    • Spam still accounts for 70% of all inbound emails in 2013.

    • 58% of spam e-mail contains information about pharmaceuticals.

    • The top malicious e-mail subject line in 2013 was “Some important information is missing”.

    • The top 6 vulnerabilities

    - SQL Injection
    - Cross-Site Scripting
    - Use of Default Passwords
    - Configuration Issues
    - Weak Encryption Ciphers
    - Denial-of-Service

    • 100% of all mobile apps have had vulnerabilities in them ranging from low severity to critical severity.

    • 68% of mobile vulnerabilities create information leakage which is the highest of mobile vulnerabilities.

    • From 2008 until now, an estimated $1 trillion dollars of data was stolen around the world due to cyber-crimes.

    • In 2009 the world’s largest bot net, a large group of “zombie” computers, were run by Ukrainian gangs with a total of 1.9 million zombie computers from all around the world.

    • 5 cyber-criminals are on FBI’s most wanted list and are responsible for losses ranging from $350,000 - $100 million.

    • The United States loses around $100 billion a year due to cyber crimes.

    • More than 600,000 Facebook accounts alone are compromised every day.

    • 33.63% computers are affected by malware.

    - 78.92% are Trojans
    - 10.78% are worms
    - 7.44% are viruses
    - 2.69% are adware
    - 0.17% are other malware

     

    Sources:
    www.floridatechonline.com/online-degree-resources/interesting-facts-on-cyber-security/ 

    www.visual.ly/interesting-facts-about-internet-threats-and-security 

  • 2014 MutualBank Summer Internships A Win, Win, Win

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    Do you remember that scene from The Office (the American version), where Michael Scott discusses conflict resolution methods and introduces the “Win-Win-Win” method? Here’s a refresher in case you need a laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBO1_XBrbzQ

    Jokes aside, a win-win-win is the way we view our internship opportunities. It’s a win of course for the students who get valuable real-world work experience and build professional  relationships. It’s a win for MutualBank, as we gain access to bright, young talent that adds value to a variety of our departments. And finally, it’s a win for the college/university these students attend as internship opportunities provide a hands-on education not possible from the typical classroom.

    In the summer of 2014, that university is Ball State University. MutualBank has been privileged to enjoy a long-standing relationship with Ball State and its internship program. We’re thrilled that the opportunities we provide align with Ball State’s immersive learning initiative and to have an active, yearly role in it.

    This summer MutualBank has been pleased to welcome Alex Gorman, Nick Miles, Nick Plavchak, and Jake Sciaudone as interns. Below is a short description of each's job duties and quotes from their managers.

    clientuploads/InternCollagescaled.png

     

    • Alex Gorman - Information Security 
      Alex previously job shadowed with MutualBank earlier this year and it resulted in an internship opportunity this summer. Alex is winding down his studies and will be graduating very soon. “Alex has been a great addition to the Information Security department,” commented his direct supervisor. “His eagerness to learn and expand his knowledge base will serve him well in an IT career moving forward.“ 

    • Nick Miles - Human Resources
      Nick is a Marketing Major and a defensive end for the Ball State Football team.  He is assisting the HR department with some recruiting initiatives and internal marketing efforts.  Chase Batt, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources & Training, commented: “Nick has been a great addition to the MutualBank team this summer. He has created several internal marketing videos for our Wellness Program, Marketing department, and Human Resources department. We wouldn’t have been able to complete these videos so quickly without Nick’s assistance.”
    • Nick Plavchak - Deposits & Sales
      Nick is a Sales Major and plays offensive line for the Ball State Football team. Robin Timbrook, Vice President, Deposits and Sales, had this to say about Nick and his work:  “Nick has been a great addition and help to me personally and to our Sales Department. I have learned so much about Millennials and how they prefer to bank. Nick's been eager to learn and get involved in projects and I’m hopeful this experience will be one he can utilize in his continued professional career.”
    • Jake Sciaudone - Commercial Lending 
      Jake has extended his spring internship with us from earlier this year through this summer. Jake is a triple major in Economics, Finance, and Accounting. Reed Levitz, Senior Credit Analyst, Business Banking, who works with Jake frequently said, “Jake has enveloped himself in the mindset that it takes to be a critical thinker and produce results for the company.  He has an inquisitive mind that is essential in developing the knowledge base to be an effective commercial underwriter.”

    We very much appreciate all the hard work of our 2014 summer interns! We hope the experience has proved valuable and is a springboard to their continued growth and success. We have a hunch it will be!

     

  • Practices to Secure Your Android Mobile Device

    Friday, June 20, 2014

    Android-based phones currently account for 79% of the smartphone marketplace (http://www.engadget.com/2014/01/29/strategy-analytics-2013-smartphone-share/). With that said, we wanted to share a few tips to keep your Android phone and its data secure. Just like a typical desktop computer or laptop, it’s smart to take active steps to improve its security and limit access to your important information if it’s hacked, lost, or stolen.

    Lock your phone after a few minutes of inactivity


    Using the screen lock feature on your phone is the first line of defense from a physical attack on your phone.  If your phone gets lost or stolen, the screen lock is there to slow down or stop an attacker from getting access to your data.  Typical lock choices are: 

    • Pattern  
    • Pin
    • Password

     

    Use device encryption 


    Do you remember those magic eye images - you know the ones you stare at trying to decipher what the image is behind the random and undecipherable pattern? Think of the process of data encryption similar to those images –  except that after data encryption, you’re the only one who can “see” the actual image beneath the surface. It essentially makes your data only readable by you. If your phone supports it, it’s a good idea to encrypt your phone’s operating system and storage to prevent unauthorized access of your data in the event your phone is lost or stolen. Remember to encrypt the external storage card also.  

     

    Do not jailbreak your device


    When you “jailbreak” or “root” your Android device, it means you are bypassing important security controls to gain full access to your phone’s operating system.  Rooting your phone often voids your warranty and can create additional security risks.

     

    Use antivirus


    Just like your personal computer, your smartphone is susceptible to virus, malware, and spyware attacks.  Antivirus products are not fool proof, but most have features that can snap photos of an attacker trying to break the screen lock, automatically scan your phone to find infections and delete them, locate your phone if lost, and much more.   Antivirus software can be downloaded in the Google Play store.  Here are a few top rated antivirus products for an Android smartphone.  Remember to enable automatic updates for your antivirus product.

     

    Keeping your phone up-to-date


    Keeping your apps and Android operating system up-to-date is essential to patch various vulnerabilities.  Enable automatic updates for all apps and operating system updates to stay current.

     

    Be cautious of connecting to open networks


    Public and other unsecured networks can be a dangerous place to connect your phone.  A cellular data connection is far more secure than an open Wi-Fi network.  

     

    Do not click on suspicious links and attachments


     Just like your computer, hacking/phishing attempts can be written to effect phones as well.  Only open web links and attachments from trusted sources to reduce your risk of compromise.

     

    Turn off unused features


    Bluetooth and NFC (near field communications) are good examples because they can dramatically increase your risk of unauthorized users in your physical vicinity gaining access to your data.  Turn features off when not in use.

     ----

    While no one tip listed above will keep your Android phone completely secure in itself, acting on all of them will give you the best chance to protect your phone and data when you need it the most (hacking attempts or a lost/stolen phone). Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions/comments about utilizing these tips! 

     

  • What exactly is a software vulnerability?

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    You may have heard recently about a major security vulnerability that was found in the Internet Explorer browser, specifically for those using it on the Windows XP operating system. This issue has since been addressed by Microsoft, but we thought we would provide you a more detailed understanding of what a vulnerability is and share some tips to protect your computer against them.

    What is a software vulnerability? 

    A software vulnerability is a flaw in an application that can be used in a certain manner by hackers to perform an unwanted action.   You may also have heard of vulnerabilities being referred to as security bugs.  These bugs are typically fixed by the software vendor in a short period of time after the vulnerability is made public by updating the affected software.  Almost all software is vulnerable at one time or another. 

    How are vulnerabilities exploited by hackers? 

    Hackers write software that takes advantage of the vulnerability making the application perform in an unwanted manner.  The hacker can deliver the malicious software to the victim by a number of mechanisms.  This is typically done by sending the victim an email that appears to be legitimate, but actually contains a link to an infected site.  If the victim clicks the malicious link in the email, their machine could become infected due to the vulnerable software on their machine. Hackers are constantly discovering and writing exploits for vulnerable software in an attempt to make money, gain notoriety, and steal confidential information.  

    Programs with Frequent Vulnerabilities 

    Java and Adobe exploits make up a large percentage of the total exploits available to hackers.  Java runs on approximately 3 billion machines worldwide. That’s a large attack footprint.  Java usually runs in the background and helps many applications function.  Adobe makes various products like Reader, Flash, Photoshop, Adobe AIR, and etc.  Most people have these programs installed on their machines.  Historically, these two companies release urgent security updates every few weeks.  


    Tips to Remember


    Two of the most important tips to remember when it comes to securing your computer are to:

    • Enable automatic updates for your operating system and applications
      Set your operating system, applications, and antivirus to check for daily updates. Below we’ve linked to some tutorials that show you how to enable automatic updates for your specific Windows operating system. Mac operating systems have automatic updates installed by default.

      From an application perspective, each program has its own settings regarding automatic updates. Most applications have updates installed by default or will alert you when an update is available, but it is best practice to ensure that all of your installed applications do have automatic updates enabled. You can do this most likely through the applications settings or preferences options.

    Automatic Update Tutorials:
    Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
    Windows 8

    • Use a good antivirus product
      We are unable to officially recommend a specific antivirus product, but Bitdefender and Avast are highly rated.  Remember that antivirus isn’t fool proof.  Typically, antivirus has about a 60-70% detection rate.  Also, Mac users should install an antivirus program as well. A common misconception is that Mac computers aren’t susceptible to viruses but that is a misnomer. They may be less likely to get viruses than PCs, but they are indeed still vulnerable.  

    It’s best to think of the security of your information in terms of layers.  Updating all your software is the first security layer.  Using an updated antivirus is the second layer of protection against an exploit. Employing this dual layered strategy will greatly reduce your risk to potential vulnerabilities.

    If you have any specific questions or thoughts, please let us know below!

  • Personal Banking Security Measures for the 21st Century

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    clientuploads/21st-Century-Securitysquare180.pngMany of us are constantly connected to the online world these days. This means that the potential is there for our computers and personal information to be compromised which greatly increases the risk of ID theft and financial fraud to occur. However, by taking some basic precautions you can significantly reduce the risk of your computing environment being compromised. Following these simple guidelines should help your computing environment become more secure:

    Use an antivirus program

    This is your first line of defense against any virus threat. While we can't endorse any specfic antivirus program, AVG and Avast! are two decent free options you can check out.  

    Keep your computer and software up-to-date

    Keep your computers and network equipment secured with the latest software updates and enable automatic updates whenever possible.  This includes updates to third party applications such as Java and Adobe Products.  

    Use hard drive encryption

    In the event your machine is lost or stolen, drive encryption can prevent others from accessing the data on your hard drive.  The purpose is to encrypt or scramble your data on your machine so that it can only be read with your encryption key.Many operating systems offer drive encryption.  Microsoft offers Bitlocker and Apple has FileVault. There are also other third party encryption offerings.   

    Enable your firewall

    Think of the firewall to your computer as the fence around your property.  If there were multiple holes cut in the fence, it wouldn’t be very useful at keeping people out.  Firewalls are typically enabled by default on Windows machines, but double check to make sure it’s on.  Here are instructions to do so if you are using Windows 7. Only allow necessary applications inbound access through your firewall. The same principles apply to your network firewall. 

    Configure your screensaver

    Set an auto-locking screensaver so your account gets locked out after a few minutes.  This is useful if you forget to lock your machine when are away from it. On Windows machines this can usually be done by pressing the “Windows Key” and the “L” button simultaneously.

    Make your passwords stronger

    The longer and more complex the password, the better.  At least 16 characters with a combination of upper and lowecase letters, numbers, and special characters is a best practice.

    Configure your router

    Use the strongest wireless security available (currently WPA2-CCMP) with a long and complex password for your wireless network. Disable WPS on your wireless router for greater security.   

     


    Think that some secure banking information
    of yours has been compromised?

    If you suspect that your personal financial information has been compromised, call MutualBank Customer Support at 800-382-8031.


     

  • A Culture of Giving

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “culture” as the beliefs, customers, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time.

    The MutualBank culture has always been one to support our community and particularly our local United Way agencies. You might be wondering “Why support the United Way?” or “Why not just support the non-profits directly?”

    As a financial institution, we get asked for sponsorships and donations all throughout the year. There are many great causes in Indiana and especially within our footprint. Unfortunately, we cannot financially support each one of these efforts. Certainly we wish we could, but we cannot. It is because of this conundrum that we have a culture of supporting the United Way.

    In short, United Way acts like a funnel for funds donated. It gathers and pools together as many of the resources that are available in the community. Then it takes a look at the areas of greatest need and distribute funds back out. While we are involved in our communities, we are not a non-profit who fills a void in the community. As economies change, so do the needs. As companies close, schools consolidate or demographics change, the needs in our community change. The United Way keeps a pulse on those changes, enabling opportunities for the needs of our direct community to be met.

    MutualBank’s vision is to help people live better lives. We do that by helping our customers and communities receive banking products and services that align with their lifestyle. We help by living out our “Four C’s”: Character, Compassion, Class and Competition. But we also live out our vision by impacting the community around us in a positive way. In 2013, I think we did just that.

    Across our footprint (Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph and Wabash counties), MutualBank contributed $117,800 to the United Way in 2013! The donations came from MutualBank employee donations, MutualBank retiree donations and a donation through the MutualBank Charitable Foundation. This shows through each individual donation, we can come together with one purpose of helping people.  Just like the United Way, we can join efforts to make brighter headlines and lasting impact.

    A special “Thank You” to MutualBank employees from Pat Botts,
    President & COO:

    “I am consistently amazed at the generosity our staff shows towards people who need us. Thanks for making this a great place to call home! Thank you for believing in the MutualBank culture of helping people live better lives. Thank you for being generous with your time and resources so that we can make a lasting impact on the communities where we work, live and play." 

  • Congratulations to Greg Binkerd!

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    We are so proud of our employees. Many of our employees dedicate time to organizations and groups outside the walls of MutualBank to extend our vision of helping people live better lives. This past week, one of our employees was honored by the dedication, time and efforts he spent giving back.

    Greg Binkerd, Financial Center Manager at MutualBank’s 15 North Financial Center in Warsaw, was named the Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year! Greg has been a tireless worker for the Chamber, lending a helping hand at everything from their special events to member outreach and retention.

    MutualBank would like to take a moment to thank Greg for his dedication to the Warsaw and Kosciusko County community. We appreciate all you do to help people live better lives!

    https://www.bankwithmutual.com/clientuploads/BlogPictures/Binkerd_Chamber Ambassador Web.jpg

    Pictured: (L to R) Greg Binkerd and Mark Dobson, Chamber President

  • Our Employees Make a Difference

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “culture” as the beliefs, customers, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time.

    The MutualBank culture has always been one to support our community and particularly our local United Way agencies. You might be wondering “Why support the United Way?” or “Why not just support the non-profits directly?”

    As a financial institution, we get asked for sponsorships and donations all throughout the year. There are many great causes in Indiana and especially within our footprint. Unfortunately, we cannot financially support each one of these efforts. Certainly we wish we could, but we cannot. It is because of this conundrum that we have a culture of supporting the United Way.

    In short, United Way acts like a funnel for funds donated. It gathers and pools together as many of the resources that are available in the community. Then it takes a look at the areas of greatest need and distribute funds back out. While we are involved in our communities, we are not a non-profit who fills a void in the community. As economies change, so do the needs. As companies close, schools consolidate or demographics change, the needs in our community change. The United Way keeps a pulse on those changes, enabling opportunities for the needs of our direct community to be met.

    MutualBank’s vision is to help people live better lives. We do that by helping our customers and communities receive banking products and services that align with their lifestyle. We help by living out our “Four C’s”: Character, Compassion, Class and Competition. But we also live out our vision by impacting the community around us in a positive way. In 2013, I think we did just that.

    Across our footprint (Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Kosciusko, Randolph, St. Joseph and Wabash counties), MutualBank is contributing $117,800 to the United Way! The donations came from MutualBank employee donations, MutualBank retiree donations and a donation through the MutualBank Charitable Foundation. This shows through each individual donation, we can come together with one purpose of helping people.  Just like the United Way, we can join efforts to make brighter headlines and lasting impact.

    A special “Thank You” to MutualBank employees from Pat Botts,
    MutualBank President and COO:

    “I am consistently amazed at the generosity our staff shows towards people who need us. Thanks for making this a great place to call home!”

    Thank you for believing in the MutualBank culture of helping people live better lives. Thank you for being generous with your time and resources so that we can make a lasting impact on the communities where we work, live and play. 

    https://www.bankwithmutual.com/clientuploads/BlogPictures/CheckDelivery_UWDC_web.jpg(From L to R): MutualBank Senior Vice President and United Way Campaign Chair, Chris Caldwell and CEO and Executive Director of the United Way of Delaware County, Jenni Marsh.

  • What Happens When You're Gone: Administrating An Estate

    Monday, December 2, 2013

    Scavenger Hunt was a very funny 1979 movie about settling the will of fictional game maker “Milton Parker”. Various groups of potential heirs- family, servants, and other acquaintances- had to play Mr. Parker’s final game, a scramble to find items on a scavenger hunt list to accumulate the most points in order to be sole heir of his fortune. 

    After many humorous adventures acquiring the items it looked as though Mr. Parker’s greedy sister would win but the other groups gave their items to the more deserving granddaughter who won and shared the fortune with all but the greedy sister.

    It was a lesson in how people can come together under adverse circumstances, overcome greed, and be happier for it. Unfortunately in real life the loss of a loved one is very serious and settling an estate can often be very difficult for those left behind.

    Administering an estate is a demanding and complex business that can take months or years to complete. Executors (also called personal representatives) must know how to locate and place a value on all of your assets such as bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, and personal property and to determine and pay all debts and claims against your estate.

    The executor must work with your attorney to open the estate, manage, maintain and protect your property and investments while the estate is being settled, calculate and pay all taxes and file tax returns, distribute your assets as directed and give an accurate final accounting if required.

    Your executor should not be emotionally involved in the situation. For an already distraught relative or friend the job can be overwhelming. In addition, a relative or friend acting as executor might create family conflicts, jealously, or mistrust. Appointing a neutral, unbiased third party eliminates the potential for this type of trouble.

    Your executor must be competent and experienced in settling estates and should be trained in investments, tax law, business, and accounting.

    Your executor must always be available. Will an individual executor be in good health and nearby when needed possibly many years later? An executor who lives in a different city or co-executors who live in separate states will find it difficult to complete the tasks on a timely basis.

    Your executor is held legally and financially responsible and must have the resources to correct or compensate for any errors.

    MutualWealth Management Group will always be available to carry out your wishes as expressed in your will efficiently and effectively unaffected by inexperience, biases or family pressures.

    In order to have the professionals in our MutualWealth Management Group administer your estate, contact your attorney and have MutualBank named as your executor or personal representative; or contact us and we will help you gather the information you need before visiting your attorney.

    This blog was brough to you by David Riggs, Vice President and Trust Investment Officer with the MutualWealth Management Group.

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