Category: Security

Teaching Your Children the Basics of Online Security

Financial Education

If you’re like many parents in the United States, your preteens and teenagers may be running circles around you when it comes to utilizing the latest technology. Whether that’s Facebook’s latest updates, new iPhone technology, or the latest app hitting the scene, the amount of new knowledge and innovation seems endless. For your growing adults, this may look more like an endless playground than a minefield, but at times it can be both. To help your children use technology while still remaining safe we have these simple suggestions:

Passwords are important. Instead of defaulting to the same password for every account, explain to your son or daughter why they should have a complex password for each separate account. Leary cyber criminals are able to gain access to all your accounts instead of only one when they discover the passwords are all the same. The strongest passwords contain lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Great apps like LastPass can help to store all current passwords in addition to creating stronger password options.

Privacy matters. On Facebook and most other social media outlets, there are options to make your profile private or public. For children, and adults, we strongly recommend keeping your personal online profile private. While you and your children can connect with friends and other known acquaintances, it can become dangerous to push your information out to anyone who wants to read it. For instance, if you post about leaving for a family vacation, and the profile is set to public, potential thieves could now view your home as an easy target while you’re away.

Don’t talk to strangers. Just as you had the “Stranger danger” discussion with your son or daughter when they were younger, this message follows a similar point, but within the chat rooms and friend requests online. While in an ideal world, we wouldn’t face issues like catfishing or cyberbullying, the truth is that these actions can cause real world issues and aren’t always left online. To promote in-person communication, remind them of the importance of speaking with friends and family outside of the web, and if they ever do need someone to talk to, then you and your family are always there to listen.

Only use secure wifi. After school, your teen may head to a part-time job or extracurricular. If they’ll be going away from your home or school, be sure to encourage them to steer clear of unsecure wifi. While many afterschool hotspots offer free wifi for customers, there may be potential cybercriminals broadcasting a false signal. These unsecure signals can give them access to your child’s computer if the wifi is accepted. The criminal could then access personal information, passwords, or hold the computer access for ransom. To avoid situations like this, instruct your teen or preteen to only use wifi at home and at school unless you have approved of an additional location such as the library.

Teach your children how to use the internet responsibly, and perhaps they can show you how to capitalize on the creative and efficiency tools it offers. At Putnam Bank, we think that family is one of the most valuable parts of life and we want to help your family grow. If you’d like to start a checking or saving account for your teen or preteen, then stop in today!

 

The Most Common Phishing Scams and How to Avoid Them

Putnam_Blog_TheMostCommonPhishingScams

Phishing is a common term for the unfortunate schemes hackers and online criminals use to lure users into giving their personal information. Typically disguised as familiar online activity, these scam artists have cleverly found several distinctive ways to attempt to trick YOU into handing over your private details. Be on the lookout for these common phishing scams next time you’re roaming the web!

  1.   Foreign Lottery Scam

With this tactic you generally receive an email informing you that you have just won the lottery of some far-away land! To obtain these exorbitant funds you simply have to send a small fee to cover the transfer cost. A simple online search will show that this thrilling lottery is no more than phony website with a long distance phone number. Typically if the sending address doesn’t look familiar, or if you have not applied to any foreign lotteries, it will be a dead giveaway that this email is just an attempt to get your information and your money.

  1.   Survey Scam

Do you like supporting the humane society or other animal organizations? This scam takes advantage of your online history and sends you a survey to submit your opinion on issues that matter to you. Instead of using your responses on animal treatment, this system discovers your email address, and other relative personal information, to hack your account and send out further spam emails.

  1.   Online Banking Scam

Most phishing schemes disguise themselves as something familiar, often as PayPal or even your personal bank. This particular scam typically indicates that some type of immediate action is needed, and your financial account is at risk. Before sending any type of reply communication, check the source of the email, and call your personal contact at the organization to see if the email is legitimate. If you question the validity of any portion of the email, delete it and call the company this con artist is attempting to masquerade as ASAP.

  1.   Clickbait

Social media has a hacking arena all its own. With links scattered across newsfeeds, it’s often hard to determine what is genuine and what is clickbait. Clickbait is a link generated using common controversial issues to get you to click on it. Once clicked, the link may switch to a Facebook login, where you login again. Unfortunately this false login page is a common maneuver by cyber criminals to get your social media login. Having this information, online criminals can now access your account and spam the people you are connected with.

If you think you’ve been a victim of an online phishing scam and your personal banking information has been compromised, call Putnam Bank. We’ll help you watch for signs of identity theft within your personal bank accounts.

NEW CARD – NEW PIN – NEW SECURITY

Chip Enabled Debit Cards

Chip Technology makes an already secure card even safer! The new Mastercard® Chip Technology keeps your purchases private while offering the flexibility of a magnetic strip, making purchasing easy from wherever you are.

With the excitement of this big change we know you have some questions, and we’d like to help answer them!

Q: How is this card more secure?

A: The new debit cards feature Mastercard® Chip Technology, which generates a separate code for each purchase you make. This individualized code makes it nearly impossible for potential criminals to gain your information through in-store purchases.

Q: Does this change anything with my accounts?

A: This card will act as a replacement for any debit cards you currently have with us. Your previous card will be deactivated approximately 30 days after you receive your new card. If you have any reoccurring bills set-up using auto-pay, your payments should continue, but still touch base with your vendors to ensure a smooth transition.

Q: What do I do with my old debit card(s)?

A: After you have activated your new chip card shred or cut your old debit card into pieces and then dispose of responsibly, OR bring your old card to Putnam Bank and we will dispose of it for you!

Q: Can I use this card for purchases if it is only associated with a savings account?

A: If you card is attached to a savings account only, and not a checking account, then it will act as your ATM card, and continue to be limited for cash withdrawal purposes.

 Q: Where can I use my card?

A: The United States has begun adapting chip technology across the country, but many businesses don’t yet have the processing equipment. If businesses are still using traditional card processors you may also use the magnetic strip on the back of your card to pay for purchases. Chip technology is now accepted in over 80 countries, so wherever you’re going your card can go with you!

Enjoy the security of your new Putnam Bank debit card with added Mastercard® Chip Technology! If you have additional questions stop by or call 1-800-377-4424 today!

Putnam Bank
Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

NEW CARD – NEW PIN – NEW SECURITY

Debit Cards

Chip Technology makes an already secure card even safer! The new Mastercard® Chip Technology keeps your purchases private while offering the flexibility of a magnetic strip, making purchasing easy from wherever you are.

With the excitement of this big change we know you have some questions, and we’d like to help answer them!

Q: How is this card more secure?

A: The new debit cards feature Mastercard® Chip Technology, which generates a separate code for each purchase you make. This individualized code makes it nearly impossible for potential criminals to gain your information through in-store purchases.

Q: Does this change anything with my accounts?

A: This card will act as a replacement for any debit cards you currently have with us. Your previous card will be deactivated approximately 30 days after you receive your new card. If you have any reoccurring bills set-up using auto-pay, your payments should continue, but still touch base with your vendors to ensure a smooth transition.

Q: What do I do with my old debit card(s)?

A: After you have activated your new chip card shred or cut your old debit card into pieces and then dispose of responsibly, OR bring your old card to Putnam Bank and we will dispose of it for you!

Q: Can I use this card for purchases if it is only associated with a savings account?

A: If you card is attached to a savings account only, and not a checking account, then it will act as your ATM card, and continue to be limited for cash withdrawal purposes.

 Q: Where can I use my card?

A: The United States has begun adapting chip technology across the country, but many businesses don’t yet have the processing equipment. If businesses are still using traditional card processors you may also use the magnetic strip on the back of your card to pay for purchases. Chip technology is now accepted in over 80 countries, so wherever you’re going your card can go with you!

Enjoy the security of your new Putnam Bank debit card with added Mastercard® Chip Technology! If you have additional questions stop by or call (800) 377-4424 today!

Putnam Bank
Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender

5 Quick Tips to Keep Your Mobile Banking Account Secure

Mobile banking security tips

Remember when doing any of your banking meant going to a branch or calling into an automated telephone banking system? Today, you have 24-7-365 access to your bank accounts right on your phone with Mobile Banking.

With great convenience comes great responsibility. Although our mobile banking system uses industry standard security, when, where and how you access your accounts can still put them at risk. Use the following security points to ensure you are the only one accessing your money.

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Secure Your Smartphone [8 Tips]

Mobile Banking is convenient, but make sure you're staying safe when using it.

Mobile Banking is convenient, but make sure you’re staying safe when using it.

Do you use a smartphone? The answer is most likely yes, and if so, you aren’t alone. A recent survey from eMarketer suggests nearly half of American adults will use a smartphone by the end of this year. That’s tons of texts, selfies and social media updates.

It also presents opportunities for criminals, especially when you are logging in to your Mobile Banking account. In order to keep yourself and your information secure, here are a few tips for your smartphone’s security.

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Windows 10 scam

Please be aware there are several active malicious campaigns attempting to either embezzle funds from people or to fool users into compromising their computers’ security. These campaigns are taking advantage of Microsoft’s offer of free upgrades to Windows 10 for qualifying Windows users. We are strongly recommending everyone to handle any e-mails or pop ups regarding Windows 10 upgrades with a high degree of caution. For information from Microsoft about reserving your free Windows 10 upgrade please see information at the following link:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade?

These malicious campaigns prey on people’s fears and curiosity using several tactics including, but not limited to:

  • Asking the user for money to secure their “free” upgrade
  • Worrying the user that by not upgrading his or her security will be compromised
  • Luring the user to click on malicious links in order to upgrade his or her machine
  • Luring the user to open malicious attachments in order to upgrade his or her machine

Plainly put, Microsoft is not forcing anyone to upgrade to Windows 10. The best source for information about this offer is at the website link above. The decision to upgrade, should you qualify, is purely up to you.

Financial Self-Defense for Seniors

blog-senior-fraud

May is Older Americans Month, a time to reflect on the contributions our parents and grandparents have made over the course of their lives. They provided services or goods to community members when they worked, served the community through local organizations and charities and are a living link to decades of history.

Unfortunately, there are those out there that try and take advantage of their age and kindness. Con artists and scammers target seniors across the United States every day in attempts to steal from them. The first step in combating these attacks on our older population is identifying the problem and how these crimes are committed.

Why are seniors targeted?

There are a few reasons why criminals target seniors. First, they are more likely to have a “nest egg” or savings for retirement. Generally speaking, they were raised to be polite and trusting, a trait con artists prey on. Seniors are also less likely to report fraud because they don’t know who to report it to. When they do, they often make poor witnesses because of memory or recall issues.

With that in mind, here are a few key phrases and things to watch out for.

“I’m certified.”

Your move: There are over 170 designations for financial professionals, but three letters mean more than most: CFP. This ensures they are actually certified and have completed all exams, experience requirements, and, most importantly, adhere to the CFP Board’s code of ethics and professional standards.

“The details are complicated, don’t worry about them.”

Your move: If you don’t understand what you are being sold, don’t buy it. Don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t understand the product or service. There are no dumb questions, so don’t be shy about asking. If necessary, get a second opinion from a financial professional you trust and who will advise in your best interest.

“Lunch & Learn” Programs

Your move: Keep the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” in mind. A sales pitch will follow the meal, so be ready. Don’t give out any personal information, and don’t put too much stock in what is being said. The presenter knows his product and the wealth demographics associated with your zip code, not your unique financial situation.

Other Common Fraud and Scams

There are numerous other types of scams and types of fraud perpetrated against seniors:

  • Telemarketing fraud
  • Nigerian letter or “419” fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Advance fee schemes
  • Health care fraud
  • Investment schemes

The only way to help seniors is to help them be aware of these type of scams. Family members should talk with older parents or grandparents to ensure they know the signs of a scam or fraud. Be sure to share this post to help.

Seniors have given a lot to our community and our country as a whole. Together, we can limit the effect of scam artists trying to take advantage of our parents and grandparents.

Putnam Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender