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  • Community Banking and Small Businesses

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Sometimes when I’m writing these blogs I find myself challenged with what to say.  Do I blather on about the importance of working with your CPA and attorney as you are making business decisions?  By the way, that is critically important so please, please, please . . . talk with your professional advisors to ensure that you are doing the right thing for your business.  Do I blather on about the importance of mentors?  If you haven’t read that blog I would encourage you to do so as I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having someone to mentor me throughout my career and the great opportunity you may have to do the same for someone coming up in your particular field or industry.

    No, today I’m taking proverbial pen in hand (okay keyboard) to talk about the importance of community banks to the small business lending arena.  I’m not going to spout all sorts of data as the Internet has given us a tool where we can pull any statistic that we want but to really understand the underlying numbers becomes almost impossible.  Instead, what I’d like to do is share some anecdotal kinds of things that I’ve been hearing lately.

    One small business owner told his lender that he truly appreciated all her help.  He was sure that it was going to be difficult doing business with MutualBank because it is difficult doing business with any bank. However, what he found was a lender and a bank that were easy to do business with.  As a point of example, he said “it was a nice experience to have somebody pick up the phone, talk to me and make it happen” when he called the bank’s help desk.

    Another client recently reported back to me that he found working with his lender to be one of the main reasons that he continues to do business with MutualBank.  His lender fully understands his company’s needs, accurately ascertains what is going on within the business, and asks the right questions to help his company succeed (and thus we helped him personally as well).  As he said, “you don’t get that with the big banks”.

    Am I biased; sure, I work for a community bank, and always have.  But, I will tell you that small business owners want and need a business advisor, not just an order taker.  When the business banker is asking the critical questions, it is aimed at helping the business succeed.  Does the bank need to make a profit, absolutely; it is our only way of surviving.  However, do we need to make a profit at the expense of the business because we didn’t do right by the company to whom we are lending money – absolutely not

    We are here to partner with every one of our business clients.  We want to help them with a vast array of products and services that will help them achieve their goals and dreams.  So, if you are feeling boxed in by your current bank, call MutualBank and talk with us, we want to help you grow your business the way you want, with our business bankers right there to help you all along the way.

     Feeling boxed in? See how MutualBank is different below:

    This blog is brought to you by Chris Caldwell, Senior Vice President and
    Business Banking Manager. 

  • 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.

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