The following are some general tips to help safeguard your personal information and secure your personal computer or laptop.
Secure Your Computer
- Install anti-spyware and anti-virus protection and make sure the signatures are updated regularly.
- Using a firewall prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer, or monitors transfers of information to and from the computer while connected to the Internet. Make sure it is turned on!
- Operating system and software updates, sometimes called "patches" or "service packs," should be installed very soon after they are released. Follow good proactive procedures by backing up your computer before installing any patches.
- Web browser updates are deployed with your security in mind so keep them current.
- Turn off your computer or disconnect from wired/wireless network when it is not in use.
- Use caution when opening attachments or downloading files from emails you receive.
- If you are unsure whether or not your computer is at risk for viruses/worms please visit Symantec's threat research center for more information.
Secure Your Home Network
- Change the default password on any networking equipment (routers, switches, wireless access points, etc.).
- Use the built-in security features offered in many routers/switches/access points to help "harden" your home network.
- Turn on encryption for wireless networks. Use the highest encryption available if possible.
- Change the default System ID (SSID) on your wireless access point.
- Turn off all wireless networks when leaving your house for an extended period of time.
- Place the wireless access point away from windows and near the center of your house to decrease the signal strength to prevent outsiders from accessing your wireless service.
Internet Browsing Tips
- Always use caution when browsing the Internet, especially unfamiliar sites.
- Avoid clicking on advertisements. Even on legitimate sites, the advertisements are coming from other servers and could contain links to compromised sites. If you like the product in the advertisement, go to that company's main website instead of clicking the link.
- Most emails are written with code designed for websites and they can contain links. Be cautious with emails from unknown senders and do not click on any links or pictures in those emails. See our Phishing Scams section for more information and an example of a phishing email.
- Always use your browser's pop-up blocker
- If a window pops up unexpectedly saying you've won something, you have a virus, or you must enter your password to continue, it is most likely malicious and should be handled as such. Do not click anywhere on the window, instead hit the CTRL, ALT, and DELETE keys at the same time, select Task Manager, and choose End Task on the browser window (Windows Users).
- Be aware of online offers to back up your computer over the Internet or of free computer security scans, these can be malicious and provide intruders an avenue to your personal data.
- Disable the feature in your browser that keeps and stores all passwords.
- Always log out of websites by clicking "log out" on the site. It's not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another address because your session may remain active.
- Remember that the Internet is a public resource. Avoid putting anything online that you don't want the public to see or that you may want to retract.
- First Robinson Savings Bank is now on Facebook! The purpose of our Facebook page is to encourage community involvement, provide financial education, and to learn more about you and how we can help. We know you're eager to join the conversation, but before doing so, please take note of Facebook's privacy and security policies, as well as some of our own. If you can't agree to all policies, please reconsider your decision to interact on the First Robinson Savings Bank Facebook page.
- Adjust Facebook privacy settings to help protect your identity. Unlike some other social networking sites, Facebook has provided some powerful options to protect you online - but it's up to you to use them!
- Check sites privacy policies. Some sites may share information such as email addresses or user preferences with other companies. This may lead to an increase in spam. Also, try to locate the policy for handling referrals to make sure that you do not unintentionally sign your friends up for spam. Some sites will continue to send email messages to anyone you've referred until they join.
- Children are especially susceptible to the threats that social networking sites present. Although many of these sites have age restrictions, children may misrepresent their ages in order to join. By teaching children about Internet safety and to be aware of their online habits as well as guiding them to appropriate sites, parents can make sure that children become safe and responsible users. See our Children's Security section for more information.
Secure Your Mobile Devices
- Mobile device security refers to measures designed to protect sensitive information stored on, and transmitted by, smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices.
- You don’t have to be a high-profile person or big company to have the need to protect your data. Every computer device, mobile or not, is a potential target.
- Be aware of what you click while you’re on-the-go. Studies have shown that users are 3 to 8 times more likely to respond to a phishing attack on a mobile device than a desktop.
- Utilize these top mobile device security practices:
- Enable user authentication on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This means using a password or personal identification number (PIN), fingerprint or facial recognition measures to unlock access to the device.) Many businesses now also utilize multi-factor authentication.
- Update your operating systems (OS) regularly. OS updates regularly include security updates that handle the latest known threats. (Tip: Always restart your device right after an update so that the new OS can begin working.)
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. Valuable information such as bank account numbers and passwords are easily able to be intercepted by criminals.
- Use a password manager. It’s a digital file of passwords, protected by a strong password. (Make sure to create and use secure passwords.)
- Remote lock and data wipe. This feature allows for remote locking of a device and/or wiping of all data on the device.
- Back it up on the Cloud. Upload activity and data to your Cloud regularly. If you end up replacing a lost or stolen device, the last back up you have on the Cloud will be the most recent data available for your new device.
- For more information on how to protect your mobile device and its data, we suggest taking a look at this Consumer Information article from the FCC.
Be Aware of Trickery
- Screen locks, ID recognition, PIN codes, and super strong passwords are great, but they won’t help if you’re tricked into providing the info locked behind those virtual walls. Protect yourself by understanding common ways criminals try trick us to gain information.
- Social engineering is a widely utilized criminal tactic of using trickery to exploit human psychology and gain access to data, buildings, systems, or people. It can be done in-person, on the phone, via text messaging, email, social media message apps, and more.
- Criminals might prepare in advance by gathering information that will help convince targets of their legitimacy. (So be careful with what info about yourself is available online.)
- Examples of common social engineering techniques include:
- Receiving an impersonated phone call from supposed law enforcement (or auditor, etc.) requesting sensitive information like account numbers or demanding payment for a previously unknown debt or violation.
- Taking advantage of politeness. One great example is being asked to “hold the door” for someone who “forgot” their access card or key, and allowing them entry.
- Online misrepresentation such as fake charities, or obscure companies. These can even be spurred by customized phishing attacks that target your interests.
- Direct messages from apps or social networks. Outside of email, text message or in-app messages (ex. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, app-games and social media chat), consisted of over 80% of phishing attacks in 2019. (source)
- Email scams for money and account information are infamous — (think Nigerian Prince scam) — yet somehow email still remains the #1 method of initiating cybercrime.
- For information on many of the latest cyber scams and to report suspected scams you come across online, you can visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.