A Guide For Financial Cyber-Security

New internet technologies have greatly improved the speed and convenience of financial transactions.  However, new technology has also opened possible avenues for criminal behavior including identity theft, email phishing, fraud, and other illegal activity. While Liberty Bank takes a number of security measures to protect both the bank and our consumers, we highly recommend our customers implement the following precautions when using technology to share financial information:

Protect your computer. Install software that detects and removes malware and malicious third party software, which often times can access your information without consent and transfer or sell your data to criminals. Use a firewall program to prevent any unauthorized access to your PC. Make sure your software is always updated to the latest version.

Be mindful of your internet connection. Only conduct financial activity on your personal device through your own secure and isolated network –  never through publicly available networks such as a hotel, library, coffee shop, or free WiFi hot-spots. Assume that any publicly accessible network might not be secure and any web traffic could be intercepted by a third party.

Use the strongest method available to log into your accounts. Use two-step verification, if available. Create different passwords for different accounts that are difficult to guess using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Change passwords regularly, or at once if you suspect an unauthorized user might have gained access. Although using the same password for all your accounts might be tempting, doing so could put all your accounts at risk if one password becomes compromised.

Understand internet safety features. Always make sure to log out of your accounts when you are finished or anytime you are away from your device. While many internet browsers offer some built-in security features, you can have greater confidence that the websites you visit are secure by checking the domain in the address bar. Sites that start with “https://” are authentic and will usually encrypt data during transmission. Some browsers will notify you if a website does not have a valid certificate, or will display a lock icon ( ) if the site is secure. Check your web browser’s user instructions for more details.

Be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails asking for personal information, or with unknown links or attachments. It’s fairly easy for a criminal to copy the logo of a reputable company into a phishing email. A simple request may seem harmless, but could lead to the unwanted installation of malware. Double check the sender’s email address and the email itself, taking note of spelling or grammar mistakes, or incorrect/suspicious information that could be an indication the email is fraudulent.  Your safest strategy is to ignore unsolicited requests from third parties.

Use caution on social media. Cyber criminals often use personal data found on blogs and social network sites to impersonate a user online. Be aware about posting personal identifying information, including your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, childhood pet names, or any other information that would allow an attacker to guess or reset your passwords. Utilize the platform’s privacy settings and use caution with “friends” online who request money, financial information, or other identifying personal data.