Protecting Your Computer
Taking the following steps will greatly increase your computer’s protection against Online viruses and spyware that can damage your computer or invade your privacy. They are:
Use a firewallKeep your operating system up to dateInstall and maintain antivirus softwareInstall and maintain antispyware software
Use a firewall
Using a firewall is important no matter how you connect to the Internet—with a dial-up modem, cable modem, or digital subscriber line (DSL or ADSL). A firewall acts as a protective barrier between your computer and the Internet. It works by stopping unauthorized Internet traffic to and from your computer. This helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.
Keep your operating system up to date
Software companies release security updates to correct vulnerabilities in programs running on your computer. You should check the publisher’s website for updates and upgrades and download them. Microsoft users can visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com which automatically checks what is required for both operating system and browser, and downloads it at your request.
Install and maintain antivirus software
Antivirus programs scan everything that goes into your computer – emails, discs, attachments- for viruses and block any suspicious material. You should update anti-virus programs regularly to receive the most current protection. Many programs have automatic downloads that reflect the latest updates.
Install and maintain antispyware software
Spyware programs are software that installs on your computer without your knowledge or consent. They’re designed to monitor and record your Internet browsing history; often to share with other sites that want to generate marketing research data. Besides tracking your web activity, they can allow annoying pop-up ads, change your home page or, in severe cases, collect personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers you have typed in. Spyware is often installed as part of a free download of another service – for example a service that claims to improve the performance of your PC.
Antispyware programs monitor your computer, looking for known spyware and programs that are trying to install themselves. Many antivirus software companies also make an antispyware programs, and it’s important to keep both current and updated.
Protecting Your Personal Information
Establish practices to increase your privacy and be selective about what information you share Online. Some ways to safeguard your personal information are:
Create strong passwordsBe aware of Phishing schemesMonitor personal informationPractice Internet behavior that lowers your risk.
Create Strong Passwords
Creating strong passwords helps to keep your personal information and identity more secure. Below are some suggestions for developing better passwords:
Passwords should have at least eight characters and include upper case (capital letters) and lowercase letters, and numbers. Instead of common words, try a memorable phrase, and write the first letters of each word in different cases and numbers – For example “My son Nate is four years old” could be “MsN8=4yrsO.”Don’t use personal information—name, children’s name, birthdates, etc. that someone might know or obtain. Use different passwords for each online account and change them regularly.
Be aware of Phishing schemes!
Don't reply to an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, and don't click on links in the message! To go to a bank or business's website, always type the web address into your browser yourself.
Don't respond if you get a message – by email, text, pop-up or phone – that asks you to call a phone number to update your account or personal information. Call the number on your financial statement or from a telephone directory and speak to customer service.
Remember, The Provident Bank will NEVER CALL YOU AND ASK for personal information such as your bank account number, Social Security Number, or PIN (Personal Identification Number) over the telephone; however, the only circumstance when we would ask you is IF YOU CALL US.
Monitor Personal Information Monitoring and limiting access to your personal / financial information reduces the chance it could be compromised – Online or Offline. Review bank and credit card statements and notify the bank immediately should you notice any discrepancies.Store documents in safe places, and consider shredding any personal information you discard. Using services like E-Statements eliminates paper copies of your financial statements. Avoid sharing passwords or login information with others and never via email. Read privacy policies. They should explain what personal information the company or website collects, how the information is used, and whether it is provided to third parties.
Practice Internet Behavior that lowers your risk If you can, avoid using Online Banking or other services which requires typing sensitive information on public computers, or public wireless Internet sites. When shopping Online, don't provide financial information through a company's website without checking for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a website URL that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure"). Delete spam emails without opening, and be wary of opening attachments you’re not expecting. Only download software from websites you trust.
To Report an Internet-related Fraud Scheme:
If you believe that an unauthorized transaction(s) has occurred from your Online Banking or bill pay account(s), contact us immediately at 888-806-7768, or email us at email@example.com
In the event that a compromise has occurred, we recommend that you immediately change your password within Online banking to prevent unauthorized transfers or account access.
Also, the FBI has created an Internet Crime Complaint Center; the center serves as a vehicle to receive cyber crime complaints from private citizens and industry, and to develop and refer complaints to law enforcement. http://www.ic3.gov
For Additional Information on Computer and Internet Security:
To Report an Internet-Related Fraud Scheme to the FBI:
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