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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:

    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.



    • 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 ( 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!

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