Online Safety
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The safety of your personal information is top priority to us but we still need your help.

Protect the data on your computer.

Did you know someone can get to your online passwords by simply installing malware on your computer? They do this multiple ways. You might receive an email that intrigues you so that you click on a hyperlink or attachment. Social media sites are loaded with bad things you can click on and there are even legitimate web pages that may have been hacked and malicious links are then placed on the site.

There are ways to prevent malware. Software patching and the use of anti-virus and firewall software. Please keep in mind you just don't install software and forget about it. You need to make sure the software is updating on a regular basis which can be automated. Sometimes the automation fails, so get into the habit of checking your version status and virus definition dates. Know what software is on your computer. With a little bit of internet research you will learn if any of the software you have has known vulnerabilities that have been exploited. When these software companies become aware of the vulnerability they will release software patches to fix the issue in most cases. The major software your computer uses will have the auto-update feature for you to turn on to make it easy to maintain. Again, verify those updates are running as they should be. Please bear in mind, you can be up to date with everything and still obtain malware but you have at least lowered your risk. There is no such thing as 100% full proof security. Because of this many people will recommend the computer you use to access your online accounts should only be used for such, and then you should have another computer to randomly surf the web.

Create strong passwords

A strong password is an important mechanism used to protect your personal data. Here are steps you can take to create a strong password:

  • Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters.
  • Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing "and" to "&" or "to" to "2."
  • Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months.
  • Variety. Don't use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.

There are many ways to create a long, complex password. Here are some suggestions that might help you remember it easily:

What to do


Start with a sentence or two.

Complex passwords are safer.

Remove the spaces between the words in the sentence.


Turn words into shorthand or intentionally misspell a word.


Add length with numbers. Put numbers that are meaningful to you after the sentence.


Again a reminder, if you ever feel like your computer or passwords have been compromised, it is very important to call your financial institution IMMMEDIATELY! Click for additional information on check/debit card fraud or identity theft.

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