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Comcast overcomes the "cord cutters"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:09 am

Comcast doesn't love the cord-cutters who are dropping cable TV subscriptions, but the company is more than making up for the losses by luring new high-speed Internet users.

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  • 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:

    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.

  • Deer Need Banking Too

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Not too long ago I saw a post on MutualBank’s Facebook page of a picture of three deer at our Bethel Financial Center in Muncie and the caption read, “Deer need banking, too.” I thought this was a pretty neat picture and post. I know it’s the time of year for deer to be out and about. Deer have been on my mind recently, believe it or not, and the above-mentioned Facebook post was just one of the reasons. And no, I’m not a hunter.  You see, I just turned 36 and I remember 20 years ago finally snagging my driver’s license. My Dad gave me a lot of advice but not necessarily about driving. I grew up in one of ‘those’ families who let their kids drive at an early age, dating back to sitting on Dad’s lap and him working the pedals with me at the wheel. Looking back, I’m sure Dad probably had a hand ready to take the wheel, but he chose to give me that experience and showed me trust even at an early age. 

    You’re probably reading and thinking what in the heck does this have to do with banking. Well, not much, but it does have a lot to do with experience, advice, and learning. The advice Dad gave me at 16 still runs through my head today. One piece of Dad’s advice was, “When it starts to rain, oil raises to the top of the pavement and the road will get slick.” Another was, “Keep an eye out for other drivers. At night, don’t rely on looking for headlights, look harder and make sure there are no cars coming when you turn on to a busy road.” Receiving my license in a rural town in Indiana during harvest season led him to give me one additional piece of advice, “When it is harvest season, deer are scared because of all of the farm equipment.  Many deer are in the fields and will run across the road to get away from the tractors. Keep an eye out for deer.”

    I recently told Dad as we were driving late at night, “Dad, you know one thing I never forget is you telling me during this time of year, keep an eye for deer.” We chuckled and had a moment that is kind of cool for a young man, at one time a little boy, to share with his father. It was special to let him know that his seemingly insignificant advice wasn’t insignificant at all. Just a few moments later as we approached a curve there stood three deer right beside the road. We both emphatically said – “look there, right there they are!” We again chuckled at my coincidental earlier comment. I listened to my Dad’s advice.

    A few weeks later I was teaching a customer service class at MutualBank.  A piece of this two-day training is lunch with our COO the first day and our CEO the second day.  During our CEO’s presentation he talked about experience as a key component to growth and development.  That’s when he made a comment that struck me and it brought all of my driving experience and my Dad’s advice to the forefront of my mind. Dave, our CEO said, “I had a mentor, the President before me, who said, ‘Dave, you can only get 10 years experience in 10 years’.” This comment, this simple truth, was profound.  It’s true. Dad had several years of experience that he imparted on me as I started driving. As simple as it may be, it made a difference to me. Sometimes we need a mentor, someone to guide us and give us advice to help us grow personally and professionally. I’ve had several influential individuals, like my Dad, my previous managers, current manager, co-workers and friends who have given me great personal and professional advice.  I’m thankful after 14 years of working at MutualBank for the advice, experience, and opportunities I have been given.

    If you are looking for a great organization that believes in its employees and gives them opportunities to gain experience, then I would encourage to look at working at MutualBank. We are defined by core values of Character, Compassion, Class, and Competition. I can relate each of these to my personal and professional life and even to that great advice my Dad gave me as young driver hitting the road for the first time alone. Ready to grow, learn, and work for a great organization? MutualBank might be the right fit for you!

     

    This blog is brought to you by Chase Batt, Assistant Vice President and Training Manager at MutualBank.

  • Plan Is Not A Four Letter Word: Budgeting for 2014

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Well, yes, technically, it IS a four letter word.  But I think you know what I mean. 

    In today’s world, people cringe at the word “budget”.  It is synonymous with “belt-tightening”, “frugalness” etc.  All words that make the American consumer love for spending groan.  Insert eye-roll here. 

    A high percentage of the American people live paycheck to paycheck.  Some don’t know what most of their money is spent on.  

    With a little planning and budgeting, looking ahead and making solid changes can be pretty simple to do.  Here are a few tips to help in this process.

    1. Make a detailed list of expenses.  If you use a checking account, this is as easy and sitting down with your bank statement through eStatements or Online Banking and looking at the month in a snapshot.  List all recurring debts such as loan payments, utilities, credit cards bills.  Also add up trips to the grocery, etc. 
    2. Add up your monthly income, after deductions.   This includes taxes and another other deductions you have, such as 401K, insurance, etc. 
    3. Deduct number one from number two.  This is your disposable income.   If you have a negative number, you need to look at number 1 again and see if there is something you can cut, or if you are overspending in areas such as grocery, eating out, etc.
    4. Once you get a manageable figure, you can then look at your budget.  There are lots of good budgeting tools free on the internet that you can use to figure out where your money is going.

    The key to this is making it work for you.  Not all budgeting programs work for everyone.  Make sure you give yourself some grace.  Changes to lifestyle don’t happen overnight.  Allow yourself some “free” money.  Get your kids involved.  Make it a game.  There are lots of things to do with this so you can get a better handle on your finances. 

    Remember, planning may not be something that comes naturally to all, but it can be learned.  

    This blog is brought to you by Debra Jones-Price, Financial Center Manager at MutualBank's Bethel Financial Center in Muncie, Indiana. 

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