North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Helpful Guide to Cyber Security

The ever increasing importance of cyber security is an issue that effects everyone who utilizes technology today. As such, North Brookfield Savings Bank is proud to support our communities by continuing to provide access to the latest resources, information, and tools. As a staunch proponent of online safety and security, North Brookfield Savings Bank has compiled the below resources, in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, on how to stay protected and secure online.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in October of 2004 in an effort to help all Americans stay safe and secure online and is celebrated annually every October.


Online Safety Basics

Online safety is key, making sure that you and your loved ones are secure when online is easy.

  • Logout of any of the accounts you’ve accessed before leaving the computer, even if it’s a home computer.
  • Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know. No matter how tempting it is!
  • Never share your password with anyone and make sure you change them frequently using a variety of alpha, numeric and symbols and it’s not something easily memorable.
  • Never post your vacation plans and photos until you’re back home.
  • Do not download pictures or attachments from an unknown source.
  • Never send money or account information to a source you haven’t verified.
  • And never give out identifying information such as your name, home address, school name, or telephone number.

Following theses simple guidelines will help to ensure that you and your loved ones make the most on the internet while staying safe and secure.


How to Stay Secure Away from Home

Staying safe and secure outside of the home includes all of these Online Safety Basics as well as some additional precautions. Whether you’re just going to work or you’re travelling, staying protected is always important.

Before you leave home make sure that your devices have up-to-date security software, web browsers, and operating systems. As well, if you can, make sure your device has anti-virus software. You should also back-up your data; like contacts, financial data, photos, videos, and anything else you wouldn’t want to lose in the event that your device is compromised.

While away from home make sure to turn off all auto-connecting features, some devices will automatically seek and connect to available wireless networks or Bluetooth devices, making it easier for cyber-criminals to access your device. If you do need to connect to a network when away from home make sure it is a secure one, by confirming the name of the network and exact login procedures with the appropriate staff.

If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time ensure that you do not announce your coming trip on social media. An empty home often makes a prime target for theft.


Privacy Settings, Passwords, and Multi-Factor Authentication

Privacy and security go hand in hand. The Internet touches almost all aspects of our daily lives. We are able to shop, bank, and connect online. These activities require you to provide personally identifiable information (PII) such as your name, date of birth, account numbers, passwords, and location information. It is inevitable in today’s world that you will at one point or another have to do one of these things. The important thing to remember is to take precautions and be vigilant when doing so.

Some steps you can take to ensure your security are, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA). You can enable MFA by using a trusted mobile device, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small device that hooks onto your key ring. Also change up your passwords; use the longest password or passphrase possible and make sure that you use different passwords for every account you have.

Creating unique and secure passwords can be hard. Just keep in mind these tips when creating a new password; try a passphrase, they’re easier to remember and more secure when you add punctuation or symbols. Also, try to avoid putting personal information in a password like a last name or phone number. Replace some letters with symbols or numbers to further increase the security of your password.

If you want to alter your privacy settings for an account or device but don’t know where to look to do so, the National CyberSecurity Alliance has created a guide with direct links on how to update your privacy settings for a variety of accounts and devices.


Staying Safe on a Mobile Device

A mobile device could be your smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop. Your mobile devices need to be protected. Take the following precautions and enjoy peace of mind while you are on the go. Keep your machine clean, meaning, keep any security software up-to-date and make sure that any apps you no longer use are uninstalled.

Mobile apps can often be so convenient that you might download them without thinking about some considerations, like what information might they gather from your device, and who gets that information? Some apps access only the data they need to function; others access data that’s not related to the proclaimed purpose of the app. Whether it’s the app developer, the app store, an advertiser, or an ad network, someone may be collecting your data. If you are concerned about how your information is being shared, check the “privacy” settings on your device or look for ways to “opt-out” of data collection in the app privacy policy.

Some hackers have even created apps that can infect phones and mobile devices with malware. If your phone sends emails or text messages that you didn’t write, or installs apps that you didn’t download, it could be signs of malware on your device. If you think you have malware on your device, you have some options you can take. You can contact customer support for the company that made your device, or you can contact your carrier for help.


Fraud and Scams to Be Aware Of

Fraud and scams are an unfortunate part of our digital world. Being able to mitigate that risk comes from having the knowledge and information to identify these attempts to steal your personal information. You can learn more about common types of fraud and scams with North Brookfield Savings Bank’s article “North Brookfield Savings Bank Shares Types of Scams and Their Red Flags” 


Security Center

The North Brookfield Savings Bank Security Center is a fantastic resource dedicated to helping customers and community members stay safe from things like fraud, scams, and identity theft. It offers various resources on how to prevent it, what to do if it happens to you, and how to report such events.

Cyber security is an ever increasingly important concern and North Brookfield Savings Bank is dedicated to bringing resources and awareness to our customers and community members. Don’t become a victim. Arm yourself with knowledge and best practices to keep yourself and your information private and secure.

If you feel your North Brookfield Savings Bank accounts may have been affected by fraud, scams, or identity theft, act now and contact us.