Cache Valley Bank wants your computer and personal information to be safe on the internet, whether you are visiting our website or any other website. We’ve come up with some suggestions on how you can keep your computer and personal information safe online.
Operating System Updates
Most of our clients use Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X as the system software of choice for their computers. From time to time, Microsoft and Apple provide updates and patches that should be applied in order to correct problems and security issues that may be discovered. Both Microsoft and Apple provide ways for you to have patches and updates automatically downloaded and applied to your computer. To learn more about automatic patching, please visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com or use the software update tool in the Mac OS X System Preferences.
A vitally important part of protecting yourself online is having strong passwords protecting your online accounts. We strongly recommend that, when choosing a password, it contains a minimum of six characters and be made up of letters (both lowercase and uppercase) and numbers. Many people are tempted and do create passwords that contain personal information like a spouse, pet or child’s name. You may also be tempted to use common dates like birthdays or anniversaries. Do not do this when creating your password. A combination of letters and numbers makes it much more difficult for someone else to guess your password and compromise your accounts. Here are some examples:
Good Password Examples:
You may think that passwords such as these are hard to remember and inconvenient. However, think about how much more inconvenient it will be when someone guesses your password and gains access to your personal information.
Email and Text Messages
For some time now, criminals, intent on gaining access to people’s money and other personal information, have sent out spam email claiming to represent reputable financial institutions. These emails claim that you need to click on a web link provided in the email and enter in your personal information in order to confirm their records, otherwise your accounts could be suspended. Do not fall for this trick. These sorts of emails are known as phishing or spoofing attempts. Reputable companies will NEVER send you email asking for your username and password. Cache Valley Bank will NEVER do this. If you see any such emails, report them to the customer service telephone number or email address of the company. The link that you click will send you to a website of the sender’s choosing that does not belong to the company they are claiming to represent and their only purpose is to steal your information.
There have also been reports of text messages being distributed to random cell phones with a message informing them that their debit or credit card has been suspended. The message instructs the recipient to call a phone number where they can enter personal information, such as their account number or credit/debit card number, to reactivate their card. This is a fraudulent text message and phone number that have been set up to steal account information from financial customers. Cache Valley Bank will never solicit personal information from you, such as account numbers, credit/debit card numbers, passwords, or PINs. If you are a customer and have disclosed your personal information, contact us immediately at (435)753-3020. If it is after bank hours, you may call (800)528-2273 for debit card assistance or (800)325-3678 for credit card assistance.
New viruses are released on a regular basis. Some disrupt your computer’s operation by damaging files, while others exist to gather information about you and your computer and send it to the author of the virus. All computers should have antivirus software on them. There are a number of companies that make good antivirus software for you to purchase. Your local computer store should have copies for you to purchase. The companies that develop antivirus software send out regular updates as new viruses are discovered. Make sure that you either check for those updates on a regular basis or set your antivirus software to automatically update itself for you. Scan your computer from time to time with the software just to make sure that your computer is still clear of viruses.
Firewall software is used to protect your computer’s internet connection and stop hackers from getting into your machine to cause damage and steal information. A properly installed firewall can stop many attacks on a computer connected to the internet. Firewall software is especially important to those of you using broadband internet connections such as DSL or cable, where your computer is continually connected to the internet. Your local computer store should have firewall software that you can purchase and install.