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NYC tabloids keep a straight face on Ebola

Friday, October 24, 2014 5:43 pm

New York City's tabloids are known for headlines like "Headless Body In Topless Bar," "Ford to City: Drop Dead and "Derek Eater." But they played it straight when it was time to report that Dr. Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola Thursday night.

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  • 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.


     

  • Be On Guard!

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Scammers are everywhere. It's easy to be tricked into sharing personal information with someone who shouldn't receive it. We have learned that customers of some banks and credit unions in Indiana are the target of scammers. Currently, MutualBank customers are not targeted, but it's important to be on guard. 

    What you need to know is that we will never call or email you asking for you to identify personal information. This includes information about your accounts, your personal identifying information, your debit or credit card information. If someone is calling or emailing you asking you to take action or provide information, please hang up immediately. 

    These kinds of scams are often called "Social Engineering". Check out our blog from 2012 called "Social Engineering...Don't Be Fooled and Keep Your Information Safe". This will help you protect your information and bank accounts if scammers target you.

    If you have accidentally provided information about your debit or credit cards or your bank accounts to someone, please contact us immediately.
    Call us at (800) 382-8031 or stop by a Financial Center near you.

    Learn more about what to do if you believe you're victim to debit card fraud. 

  • Email Phishing - Protecting Your Information

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Whether you own a small business or use your home computer for financial activities, you need to be aware of Email Phishing which can ultimately lead to identity theft and corruption of your small business and home computers. 

    What is Email Phishing?
    Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. – United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)

    Common forms of Email Phishing
    Phishing emails are becoming very personalized posing as your cable company, utilities, credit cards, mobile phone carrier, banks, and many more entities that you do business with on a regular basis.  The most common threat of Email Phishing right now is malware.  If you click on a link inside of an email that was intended for phishing; your computer can become infected with malware.  The malware will attempt to steal your personal information, usernames and passwords to systems such as online banking.

    Trigger events that can lead to Email Phishing
    Here are some trigger events that fraudsters may try to leverage with Phishing Emails.

    • Natural disasters (Hurricanes, tornados, etc.)
    • Political elections
    • Holidays
    • Economic conditions
    • Tax season

    Here are some steps to take in order to protect you against Phishing.

    • Most importantly, do not give username and password information (such as online banking systems) out to anyone.  Many phishing emails try to trick you into entering username and password information into a phony web site.
    • Make sure that email spam/junk filters are turned on and configured properly.  Consult with your email provider or IT specialist for assistance.
    • Do not click on links or open attachments in suspicious looking emails.  Delete them immediately and tag them as spam/junk within your email system.
    • Log into your known sites from your web browser to verify if an email is legitimate as the links in emails can be easily spoofed to go somewhere other than where it looks like it will go.
    • Be leery of unsolicited emails asking for personal information or presenting links to click on in order to update account information, track orders, overdue bills, cancelled ACH/Wire transactions, etc.
    • If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
    • Do not email sensitive information in email unless it is encrypted.  Banks and other businesses should provide secure email systems to communicate regarding account information.
    • Do not store usernames/passwords, account information, SSN numbers, or other personal information in your email systems as if you do become infected with malware it will attempt to scan your email for this information.
    • Make sure that you have anti-malware/virus programs installed on small business and home computers and they are always updated and perform frequent scans.
    • Make sure that you keep other programs such as Java, Adobe programs, Internet browsers, and other online programs updated with the most current patches.
    • More information about Email Phishing and Cybersecurity
    • Here are some good web sites to obtain more information about email phishing.

    Learn more about Phishing through information from the FTC and from the United States Government

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

    This blog is brought to you by John Mickle of Risk Management and Compliance with MutualBank. 

  • Keep Your Information Current

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    One of the most important things that bank customers can do to help prevent fraud is to keep their contact information current with their financial institutions and credit card providers.  Old email addresses and phone numbers can be used by fraudsters to pose as you in order to defraud you and your bank.  It’s very easy to change email addresses and mobile phone numbers which are used as a primary communication means by most people these days.  Your bank and credit card companies rely on this information to verify transactions to ensure that they are legitimate.  Don’t let outdated contact information enable you to be a fraud victim.

    Here are some tips on keeping your information current with your bank:

    • New address – Make sure you notify your bank as soon as you move in order to keep receiving mailed information such as bank statements.  Also make sure that that you request the US Postal Service to forward your mail from your
      old address.
    • Phone numbers – As mobile and smart phones replace traditional land line based house phones, it’s very important to make sure that your bank is informed if you change and or eliminate a phone number.  If you decide to change mobile phone providers make sure that you are aware you can take your number with you to your new provider.  This can help eliminate the hassle if you wish to retain your phone number.
    • Email Addresses – Email addresses are the easiest contact point to change.  However, this also makes it easier to use a discarded email address for fraud.  Make sure that you keep your email address updated with your bank to avoid missing communication especially if you utilize eStatements. 
    • At MutualBank you can update any of your contact information using Online Banking or calling Customer Support at 800-382-8031.
    • In order to protect you, we will verify all address, email address and phone number changes.
    • If you receive a confirmation of any contact information changes that you did not make, please call Customer Support immediately at 800-382-8031.

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

     

    This blog is brought to you by John Mickle of Risk Management and Compliance
    with MutualBank.

  • Safety and Social Media

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and others have exploded in growth over the last few years.  Most of us have several social media accounts and use them frequently to communicate with others.  As with any online activity, social media does have risks so we do have to follow best practices when using social media sites.

    By following these guidelines you can greatly reduce risk in social media:

    • Manage your accounts – make sure that you change your passwords often and don’t use the same password for all social media sites.
    • Secure your accounts – social media sites update security systems frequently so make sure that you periodically review your account security settings and limit the amount of information you share publicly with non-friends.
    • Online scams - Facebook scams such as free gift cards, phony charities, and “watch this amazing video” are all used to trick people into divulging private information to steal identities.  Sites like Facecrooks can help alert you to current scams that are circulating via Facebook.
    • Keep anti-virus/anti-malware applications up to date on your computers and phones.
    • Making friends – Make sure you use caution when accepting new friend requests on social media sites.  We’re seeing an increase of fraudulent social media profiles of people posing to be from companies where they actually don’t work.
    • Verify friend requests from businesses – If you haven’t conducted business with a person requesting friendship then don’t accept the request.  If you are unsure then call the business to verify the person is with that company.
    • If you do call, use the phone number you have on record from a business card or phonebook.  Do not use any information contained within the requesting persons profile as it may be false.
    • MutualBank will not ask for personal, financial, or username and password information over social media channels.
    • If you suspect any of your social media profiles have been compromised, change your password immediately and call the customer support number listed on the social media site to report it.

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

     

    This blog is brought to you by John Mickle of Risk Management and Compliance.

  • Practice Safe Holiday Shopping

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

    The holiday shopping season is in full swing!  Are you ready?  Do you still have lots of shopping to do?  Have you already shopped on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, or all three?  Chances are that many of us still have plenty of shopping left to do before Christmas and that will be inter-mingled with work and family gatherings as well as travel both short and long trips.

    In the middle of all of this activity, it’s very important to keep track of your holiday spending habits especially when shopping online and travelling over the holidays.  Doing so will help protect your money and reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions occurring.

    Following these guidelines can make your holiday shopping and travel more financially secure:

    • Use a low limit credit card for online shopping.  Your liability is $50 on fraudulent charges using your credit card.
    • Know who you’re shopping with.  Be leery of unknown or obscure shopping websites.  Stick with well-known shopping sites from reputable retailers.
    • If it’s too good to be true…it probably is.  Don’t fall for incredibly cheap or free deals commonly seen on Facebook.
    • Look for the padlock and https on your Internet browser window.  Secure online shopping sites should use the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology for securing online transactions.  You should see a padlock icon at the bottom or top of the browser status bars that you are using and https in the address bar.
    • Make sure that computers and smart phones used for online shopping are patched with the most up to date software.
    • Try not to conduct online shopping on public WiFi networks.
    • Use anti-virus / anti-malware software on your PC and smart phones and make sure they are updated.  This can help prevent a virus infection if you happen to end up on a bogus shopping site.
    • Make sure you use online banking to check your shopping activity and don’t wait for a mailed statement to arrive to verify online shopping activity. By the way, have you signed up for MutualBank’s online banking?  Learn how to get started.
    • Use your statements, MutualMobile or MutualBank’s Personal Online Banking to review transactions…are you signed up for eStatements yet?  Get your statements quicker via email!
    • View your cleared checks to make sure they were not altered in any way to change the payees or dollar amounts.
    • If you swipe your card, check the card reader especially on gas pumps, ATMs, and other self-service payment terminals for card skimming devices…see ABC News “Credit Card Skimming Tips To Protect Yourself” for more information.  It is simple…just lightly tug on the card reader to ensure that it’s secure before swiping your card.  A card skimming device will easily pull off as it’s usually taped or lightly glued on top of the existing card reader.  If the reader pulls off do not use the machine and report it immediately to authorities. 
    • Travelling over the holidays and planning on using your MutualBank debit card?  Make sure you Call Before You Travel to ensure uninterrupted debit card use!

    Remember that you are the best defense against online shopping fraud!  If you suspect that you have been scammed please call MutualBank Customer Support at 800-382-8031. Also please report any online fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    Have a safe and happy holiday season from MutualBank, helping you live a better life!

     

    This post is written by John Mickle, Risk Management and Compliance at MutualBank

  • Email Phishing - Protecting Your Home and Small Business Computers

    Monday, November 5, 2012

    Whether you own a small business or use your home computer for financial activities, you need to be aware of Email Phishing which can ultimately lead to identity theft and corruption of your small business and home computers. 

    What is Email Phishing?
    Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. – United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)

    Common forms of Email Phishing
    Phishing emails are becoming very personalized posing as your cable company, utilities, credit cards, mobile phone carrier, banks, and many more entities that you do business with on a regular basis.  The most common threat of Email Phishing right now is malware.  If you click on a link inside of an email that was intended for phishing; your computer can become infected with malware.  The malware will attempt to steal your personal information, usernames and passwords to systems such as online banking.

    Trigger events that can lead to Email Phishing
    Here are some trigger events that fraudsters may try to leverage with Phishing Emails.

    • Natural disasters (Hurricane Sandy, Southern Indiana tornados)
    • Political elections
    • Holidays
    • Economic conditions
    • Tax season

    Here are some steps to take in order to protect you against Phishing.

    • Make sure that email spam/junk filters are turned on and configured properly.  Consult with your email provider or IT specialist for assistance.
    • Do not click on links or open attachments in suspicious looking emails.  Delete them immediately and tag them as spam/junk within your email system.
    • Log into your known sites from your web browser to verify if an email is legitimate as the links in emails can be easily spoofed to go somewhere other than where it looks like it will go.
    • Be leery of unsolicited emails asking for personal information or presenting links to click on in order to update account information, track orders, overdue bills, cancelled ACH/Wire transactions, etc.
    • If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
    • Do not email sensitive information in email unless it is encrypted.  Banks and other businesses should provide secure email systems to communicate regarding account information.
    • Do not store usernames/passwords, account information, SSN numbers, or other personal information in your email systems as if you do become infected with malware it will attempt to scan your email for this information.
    • Make sure that you have anti-malware/virus programs installed on small business and home computers and they are always updated and perform frequent scans.
    • Make sure that you keep other programs such as Java, Adobe programs, Internet browsers, and other online programs updated with the most current patches.

    More information about Email Phishing and Cybersecurity
    Here are some good web sites to obtain more information about email phishing.

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt127.shtm
    http://www.us-cert.gov/nav/report_phishing.html
    http://www.dhs.gov/cybersecurity

    Information about anti-malware programs
    MutualBank does not endorse the products listed below and are provided as examples of free anti-virus/malware detection and removal tools.

    http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials
    http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools.aspx

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concerns for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

  • Using Social Media? Protect Yourself Against Fraud.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2012

    Social media is great! We love to post our pictures, chat with friends and connect with companies and people with which we may have lost touch. However, we need to make sure that what we put on social media doesn't affect our security.

    I'm sure you're asking me, "how could this happen?" Let me give you a hypothetical example.

    Mary Jones has accounts at her local bank. She loves her online banking and bill pay for its convenience. Mary is a busy mother who doesn't have time to write checks and send in payments. Her local bank, who is very security minded, makes Mary set up security questions on her account so they can verify if Mary is the one accessing her account. Mary is very busy so she just does the normal security questions, mother's maiden name, etc. She doesn't want to, nor has time to think about it too much. Mary also loves social media and puts pictures of her family and pets on social media. 

    One day Mary goes online to check her balance and realizes money is missing. What happened? Did she leave her debit card somewhere? No, it's still in her purse! What happened?

    What happened is that Mary chose easy passwords and security questions/answers. A cyber thief figured out Mary's password was her dog's name. And when Mary changed her passwords as her bank advised, the thief was able to get the new one because he knew the security questions. How did he get them, you ask? Her social media account! Remember, she posted pictures of her dog and of her mother, tagging her in the photos, which shows her mother's maiden name!

    So what do you do? Get rid of your computer? Live like a hermit? No, I'm not suggesting anything that drastic. Here are a few tips:

    • When choosing or creating security questions, make them something people don't know and won't know about you. (Consider providing a different answer to the security question than what the correct answer would be.)
    • Make your passwords difficult to crack. Use letters and characters. Check and change them often. 
    • Be careful what you post on social media. Talking about your family is certainly OK, but if something you are posting is an answer to your security question, think again before you post.

    Everyone loves social media. It truly is a great tool for connecting with others. But, with just a little work, you can make it safer and help protect against fraud. 

  • Small Business - Protect Against Account Takeover

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Do you own a small business? Did you know that small business is one of the top targets for online fraud? According to Symantec's June 2012 Symantec Intelligence Report, 36 percent of all targeted attacks during the first half of 2012 were directed at businesses with 250 or fewer employees and they continue to increase at a minimum rate of 24 percent with an average of 151 targeted attacks being blocked each day during May and June.

    As a business owner you must take steps to protect yourself against online fraud such as corporate account takeover. The American Bankers Association defines corporate account takeover:

    What is Corporate Account Takeover?
    Corporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business' finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable.

    The American Bankers Association has created a resource for small business owners to access information about account takeover and steps to take to protect yourself and your business. Please go to the American Bankers Association website for more information regarding Corporate Account Takeover.

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concerns for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031 or email us at customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.  

  • What Should You Do If Your Email Account is Hacked?

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    We have seen an increased number of customers who have had their email accounts hacked…in other words someone has gained unauthorized access to an email account and may attempt to commit fraud using your email account.

    Signs that your email account might be hacked:

    • You cannot get logged into your email account and/or not able to reset your password.
    • Your friends report to you that they are getting strange or large numbers of email from you.
    • Your inbox is full of message failure notices that you didn’t send.
    • There are messages in your Sent, Draft or Outbox folders that you don’t recognize.
    • Your email signature lines have changed…look for additional links and odd phone numbers listed.
    • Your contact list has been deleted and/or there are contacts you don’t recognize.
    • You’re not getting any email messages at all.

    What to do if you suspect your email account is hacked:

    • Change your password…if you are unable to do so call your email provider immediately…be prepared to supply additional verification to them on who you are.
    • Notify folks in your address book to be on the lookout for spam and phishing type emails from you.
    • Notify your bank immediately that your email account has been compromised so they can be on the lookout for fraudulent account transaction requests…do this even if you don’t bank via the Internet.
    • Consider closing the email account out and establishing a new email address.
    • Consider having a backup email account that you don’t publish to anyone in order to have a means to communicate via email and some providers offer password recovery services to backup primary email accounts.

    Steps to protecting your email account:

    • Frequently (at least every 90 days) change your email account password.
    • Do not store any passwords in email especially passwords to Internet banking.
    • Do not store account numbers or account statements in email folders.  Store them offline on your computer and back them up preferably to a separate disk drive.
    • Review your bank accounts activity online at least weekly looking for suspicious transactions.
    • Empty the trash folder when you close email.
    • Do not click on links inside of an email from an unknown source.
    • Make sure your computers have virus/malware detection/removal software that is updated frequently.
      (Many times your Internet Service Provider provides these tools free of charge.)
    • Remember that if something in an email sounds too good to be true…it probably is.
    • Only share your email with friends on social media sites making sure that it’s not visible to everyone on your public profile.

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

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