How to Mitigate Risks to Online Banking
First Federal Community Bank is very serious about limiting the exposure of your private information and personal financial data, both on paper and online. All the security measures you face as users have been designed and tested to be the least intrusive of accepted best practices for protecting your identity and your data and preventing unauthorized transactions. While is not wise to explicitly outline all of the security measures we use, we want you to know that a combination of overlapping layers of security features are in place to protect you when you bank with us.
In turn, it is important that you take steps to ensure your activities are as secure as possible. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Any computer(s) or other online devices you use must have reliable antivirus software installed correctly, with new definitions being updated daily if not more often. You should ensure the virus software is running and has been updated before using it to login to your banking accounts.
- Don't use public computers or public networks for online banking.
- Maintain operating systems, browsers and applications with patches and security updates as often as they are available. Many programs allow you to select to install these updates automatically.
- Monitor your accounts daily and note any changes in the performance of your computer that may indicate the presence of malware such as: loss of speed; changes in appearances; computer lock-up, unexpected rebooting or inability to reboot; unexpected requests for passwords or tokens; or any unusual pop-up messages.
- Do not share online credentials. Each person, regardless of relationship, should have a separate login and password if they wish to conduct online banking.
In Case of Emergency
We understand it can be scary when you think someone has gotten your information, especially if you realize it after business hours. While we don't have someone here to take those late night calls, we do have some advice that might help you prevent any problems and sleep a little easier until morning.
The steps you can take depend on the type of problem you anticipate. The following are some reasons you might want to take action to protect yourself before we open tomorrow:
- You believe someone has compromised a debit or credit card issued to you by First Federal Community Bank.
- You may have given someone your login credentials or believe your computer may have been compromised.
- A book of checks is missing and you are afraid it has been stolen.
Obviously, any time you suspect theft or fraud on your account or cards, please contact your nearest banking center immediately so that we can help prevent the bad guys from doing bad things in your name.
Debit or Credit Card Fraud
Call our main number 903-784-0881 anytime. During business hours our staff will be happy to assist you. After hours, you will need to listen to the menu options. Follow the audio directions and you will be forwarded to someone at our card processor who can "lock" the debit or credit card from further use and prevent malicious actions from that point. You can also use our Card Control feature to disable your card when you are not using it to protect yourself from additional fraud if you notice a problem after hours.
Stolen Login Credentials
Whether you have been taken to a phishing site, caught a virus on your computer, used a public terminal or had someone shoulder surf you as you login in to our banking site, you can take steps to lock down your credentials even if we are not available when you discover or suspect the problem. Simply browse to our site and purposefully fail to login six times in a row. After that your account should be locked down from any online access. Please contact us during business hours the next day so that we can help you further.
Lost or Stolen Checks
The easiest way to prevent unauthorized checks from hitting your account is to place stop orders on them. You can do this on a single lost check or on a range of checks. The easiest way is through the Internet. Simply log into your account and follow the menu choices to stop payment on the lost or stolen checks. There are fees associated with this feature, but when you do it online, the fee is much smaller than if a person here assists you with the process. You can also stop payment on checks through our First Access Telephone Banking system, by calling 903-784-5195, logging in and following the prompts to stop payments.
Fraud Alert: Prevention
Please ignore pop-up ads
We have had customers complain about FREE CREDIT REPORT windows popping up when they visit our website or other financial websites. We would like to remind our customers that we do not use pop up advertising and we do not affiliate with other companies that do. NEVER click pop up ads. If you are concerned you may have inadvertently opened a pop-up ad, please watch your account information closely for any unexplained charges or activity. And please, call your nearest banking center for assistance with any question you may have.
Keep personal data private
Secure your personal and financial records behind a password or in a locked storage device whether at home, at work and on your mobile device. Familiar fraud is a serious issue with 12 percent of fraud victims knowing the perpetrator personally. Other ways to secure information include: not mailing checks to pay bills, shredding documents, monitoring your accounts weekly, and protecting your computer and mobile device with updated security software. Use a trusted and secure Internet connection (not a public Wi-Fi hotspot) when transmitting personal or financial information, and direct deposit payroll checks.
Look for security features
When paying online be sure you have a secure connection. Two ways you can denote a secure connection are to look for "https" and not just http at the start of the merchant's web address or a bright green box and padlock graphic in the address bar of most browsers. Check for either one of these before entering personal or payment information.
Think before you share
Before providing any sensitive information, question who is asking for the information. Why do they need it? How is the information being used? Do not provide the information if you are unsure about the legitimacy of the request. Be careful when clicking on links that then take you to a page asking for personal information. If an organization asks you for your Social Security number to validate your identity, request another question.
Fraud Alert: Detection
There are many different levels of identity theft protection and consumers should work in partnership with institutions on identity theft prevention. By setting up alerts that can be sent via e-mail and to a mobile device and monitoring accounts online at bank and credit card websites, consumers can take a more proactive role in detecting identity fraud and stopping misuse. In 2018, 38 percent of fraud was first detected by the victims.
There are a wide array of services available to consumers who want extra protection and peace of mind including payment transaction alerts, credit monitoring, credit report fraud alerts, credit freezes and database scanning. 3 out of every 5 identity fraud victims did not know the source of their fraud, but many services will now provide alerts directly to a consumer's smartphone. Some services can be obtained for a fee and others at no cost to the consumers who are victims of a data breach. These services can monitor credit reports, public records and online activity for signs of fraudulent use of personal information.
Fraud Alert: Resolution
Take any data breach notification seriously
If you receive a data breach notification, take it very seriously. If you receive an offer from your financial institution or retailer for a free monitoring service after a breach, you should take advantage of the offer, closely monitor your accounts and put a fraud alert on your credit report.
Report problems immediately. If you suspect or uncover fraud, contact your bank, credit union, wireless provider or protection services provider to take advantage of resolution services, loss protections and methods to secure your accounts. A fast response can enhance the likelihood that losses are reduced, and law enforcement can pursue fraudsters so they experience consequences for their actions.
If you are using the Internet, you must use Antivirus software. We recommend you choose a recognized brand that provides you at least daily updates of virus definitions, if not multiple releases per day. We also ask that you verify that your definitions are updating daily.
Computers accessing the Internet without antivirus protections almost always become infected, often within minutes of being connected to the Internet, and quickly fall under the control of malicious pranksters and/or professional criminals. Because of the overlapping layers of security we apply to your data and our website, your computer or other internet device is the weakest link in your online security chain, and the people who are developing ways to defraud you, have targeted online devices as their primary point of attack.
There are many vendors of antivirus products, many of which also stop a wide variety of other dangerous types of software being spread online, but none of them can stop every threat. This is just one critical layer of security that you must have if you plan to do banking or any other business transactions online.
Is it time to change your password? At First Federal, our online banking system requires that you change your password once each year. For your protection, we require that you use strong passwords, and we prefer that you incorporate a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals and some special characters.
Remember that your Password:
- Is case sensitive
- Cannot be same as your social security number
- Cannot be same as your Logon name
- Must contain a mixture of letters and numbers
- Must be at least 8 but no more than 12 characters long
- Should contain upper and lower case letters, numbers & special characters
We strongly suggest you use passwords that are unique to your First Federal Community Bank logon. They should not resemble any other passwords or pattern of password creation that you use at any other websites. If you do write them down, do not keep them where others may have access to them.
We recommend that you increase the security protections on your computer as high as possible for your Internet zone and raise your Trusted Zone security to at least Medium settings, then add ffcbank.com to your Trusted Sites list.
Raising your normal Internet settings may adversely affect other sites you visit, depending upon their settings and programming. If you raise your security settings, you may need to add affected sites to your trusted sites list, but only do so if you truly trust the site.
One Logon per User
Regardless of the relationship between parties, it is very important that each individual has their own dedicated login to the online transactional system of First Federal Community Bank.
We have many layers of security in place to protect you and us from fraudulent activities on the Internet. One of them is a system that examines and remembers specific details about where and how you use our online products. Once the system has learned your patterns of behavior, it can compare activity to determine the likelihood of whether those actions are actually being conducted by you. It is much harder for this security feature to work as intended if two or more people are using the same login credentials.
If you are currently sharing logon credentials with another person, please come to our nearest banking center or apply now to get your very own login credentials to access your accounts.
Review Account Activity
We encourage you to monitor your accounts regularly to quickly see if any unauthorized or unexpected activity has occurred.
- You can monitor activity by checking your transactions online
- You can set daily email alerts that inform you when your balance dips below a personal limit, transactions occur on your account or someone logs online or takes other online actions on your account
- You can set up text alerts for attempts to use your debit card
To set these alerts, login to your online banking and follow the alert instructions. If you need help, feel free to contact us.
By law, Tax Identification Numbers, most commonly called Social Security numbers, should never be used for any other purpose except for proper reporting of income, taxes and tax benefits. You should never provide this information to anyone other than your employer, your banker or the government. Gaining this number is the most common first step to stealing or duplicating your financial identity.
If you have any concerns about your financial identity you may call or go by your nearest banking center, or go straight to the Federal Trade Commission, the federal agency charged with managing identity theft and other consumer fraud.
Security is a critical component of any Internet banking solution, whether phone, table, laptop, or desktop computer. Our practice is to provide many layers of mitigation to these risks, but it should be clearly understood that every step toward convenience is a step away from protection. We take these issues very seriously and urge you to do so as well.
We recommend you purchase and use the security features and programs available for your gadget of choice. Take extra precautions with devices without added security applications and secure them as soon as good solutions are released. As responsible Internet user, you should always be thinking about securing your devices and the data that they hold.
Here are some other steps to follow:
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices — This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Enable encryption — Enabling encryption on your smartphone is one of the best ways to safeguard information stored on the device, thwarting unauthorized access.
- Log out completely — Each time when you finish a mobile banking session, make sure you log out of the session instead of minimizing or closing the browser or app.
- Protect your phone from malware — Viruses and malicious software attack your phone just like your computer. Install mobile security software approved or recommended by your phone's manufacture.
- Use caution when downloading apps — Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
- Download the updates — Updates provide security fixes and other enhancements for your phone and mobile apps.
- Be careful with sensitive information — Don't keep non-public information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device unless it is encrypted.
- Warn your bank — Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers — The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
- Beware of mobile phishing — Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected or that you have won money.
- Watch out for public Wi-Fi — Public connections aren't very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
- Disable unwanted services when not in use — Bluetooth and Near Field Capabilities (NFC) can provide an easy way for an unauthorized user near by to gain access to your data. Turn these features off when they are not required.
- Install a phone locator/remote erase app — Misplacing your device doesn't have to be a catastrophe if it has a locater app. Many such apps allow you to log on to another computer and see on a map exactly where the device is. Remote erase apps allow you to remotely wipe data from your device, helping minimize unauthorized access to your information in the event you cannot locate the device.
- Wipe your mobile device — Before you donate, sell or trade your device, wipe all memory using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique.
- Monitor your account daily — Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.