fishermen newburyport dunes

Security

Keeping your money safe is our top priority.


Here are some things you should know about protecting your money and ensuring you do not become a victim of fraud.  Together we can identify and prevent fraud to keep your money safe.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Coronavirus Scams on the Rise
 
 
FBI: COVID-19-Themed Business Email Compromise Scams Surge
Click the above link to read about how fraudsters are taking advantage of the global COVID-19 pandemic to ramp-up business email compromise scams, the FBI and security researchers warned this week.

More COVID-19 Scam Info
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus by setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts to steal money and personal information. For more information click on one of the links below:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A significant percentage of breaches are caused by weak, stolen, or reused passwords. The following are security guidelines to help mitigate some of the risks.

DO:
 
  • Make Your Password Long
    Minimum of 8 characters, 12 or more are better. Complexity is nice, but length is key, a longer simple password is better than a shorter complex one. Each character you add to a password makes it an order of magnitude harder to attack via brute-force methods.

  • Use Passphrases
    Even better than passwords are passphrases. A collection of words that form a phrase or sentence, perhaps the opening sentence to your favorite novel, or the opening line to a good joke, as long as it’s not too well known. Another option is to use the first one or two letters of each word in the phrase to form a password that is easy to remember but hard to guess.

  • Use a Password Manager
    Password managers, like LastPass or 1Password, allow you to have strong and unique passwords for each and every site.

  • Keep Your Password Secret
    Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, roommates, coworkers, etc.). Never write your password down, especially not anywhere near your computer.

  • Use Two-Factor Authentication
    Two-factor provides for an extra layer of security. Dedicated authentication apps are a lot safer than just getting a code over SMS, but both are safer than a password alone.

DON’T:
 
  • Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary
    Password-cracking tools freely available online often come with dictionary lists that will try thousands of common names and passwords.

  • Unacceptable Passwords
    Never use personal information, such as names and birth dates, keyboard patterns, like qwerty or 12345. Particularly avoid sequences of numbers in order or repeating characters, such as
    mmmm3333.

  • Repeat Passwords
    Don’t use the same password in more than one place. A compromise at one site may make it that much easier to compromise your password on a completely different and unrelated site. Never use the password you’ve picked for your email account at any online site. If you do, and an e-commerce site you are registered at gets hacked, there’s a good chance they will get access to your email. From reading emails, hackers can determine your banking and credit card accounts. They can
    then go to one of those sites and request a password reset be sent to your now compromised email account.  
Any password that has previously been compromised is no longer safe to use.
 
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Financial exploitation of Seniors is more common than you think and it's happening right here in your own community!
 
If you think you or someone you know may be a victim of financial exploitation call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.
 
Could someone you know be
  • Taking your money or belongings without your knowledge?
  • Signing your name without permission?
Protect yourself from exploitation
  • Never sign anything you don’t understand.
  • Never give away property in exchange for care.
  • Know your banker, attorney, or financial advisor.
  • Document financial arrangements in writing.
  • Check the references and credentials of anyone who wants to work in your home, including utility workers and town employees.
  • Beware of door-to-door sales people and telephone sales pitches.
  • Don’t give out your bank account number, credit card number, or other personal information over the phone or Internet.
  • Stay socially active.
If it doesn’t make sense, ask for help.
 
SAFETY TIPS:
  • Never sign anything you don’t understand.
  • Plan ahead. Consider a trust or power of attorney.
  • Don’t isolate yourself, keep up with friends.
  • Get to know your bank personnel.
  • Use Direct Deposit.
  • Ask for help.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
FDIC Consumer News has compiled a list of 10 scams targeting Bank customers.
 
The scam popularly known as 'phishing' - email messages trying to deceive you into surrendering personal information over the Internet. Competing with it more and more for headlines is a newer scam: pharming.

Unlike phishing, which requires victims to voluntarily visit a criminal's website, pharming simply redirects victims to fraudulent websites without assistance. Pharming subverts a basic service of the Internet known as the 'Domain Name Service' or 'DNS.' Each machine connected to the Internet knows the location of one or more DNS servers. This service translates a human-friendly URL name such as www.institutionforsavings.com into an IP address, which is a unique number that has been assigned to each web server on the Internet.

To execute pharming, suspects first must gain access to the DNS server used by many people, such as the server of an ISP. Once accessed, the suspect will replace the IP number for the financial institution's URL with the IP number of his or her fraudulent website. When this occurs, any person using that DNS server will be redirected, silently, to the fraudulent website.

The good news is that pharming requires either an unpatched software/server vulnerability to exist on the DNS server itself, or an insider at the ISP or financial institution to make unauthorized DNS server changes. This is rare.

Please be assured that the Institution for Savings manages and updates its DNS server's software to maintain a high level of security. We maintain the highest standards; our customers are protected from pharming that would result from a compromise of our DNS server.

If you are suspicious about a website, consider contacting the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Most likely you've seen them: email messages asking you to verify personal information over the Internet.
 
The scam, popularly called 'phishing,' involves the use of replicas of existing Web pages to try to deceive you into entering personal, financial or password data. Often suspects use urgency or scare tactics, such as threats to close accounts.
 
At the Institution for Savings, we will never ask you via email to verify account information. We will never use email to threaten account closure.
 
Other safeguards to help protect you from phishing scams:
 
  • Be suspicious of any email messages that claims to be from us that use an urgent or scare tactic tone.
  • Do not respond to email messages asking you to verify personal information.
  • Delete suspicious email messages without opening them. If you do open a suspicious email message, do not open any attachments or click any links.
  • Install and regularly update virus protection software.
  • Keep your computer operating system and Web browser current.
If you see a suspicious-looking email message claiming to be from the Institution for Savings, please contact us with any questions or concerns. We continually monitor such reports and act on them promptly. Additionally, also consider contacting the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
 
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
 
The loss or theft of personal data such as credit card, Social Security and/or checking account numbers soared to unprecedented levels in recent years, according to financial experts...and the trend isn't expected to turn around any time soon. But you can reduce your risk of fraud by following these and other tips to guard your personal information!
 
If you have given out your credit, debit or ATM card information
 
  • Report the incident to the card issuer immediately
  • Cancel your account and open a new one
  • Review billing statements carefully after the incident
  • If the statements show unauthorized charges, send a letter to the card issuer via regular mail (keep a copy) describing each questionable charge
  • Schedule recurring transfers between accounts

Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges

Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50 (policies vary). If the loss involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use; in general, you may only be liable for a very small amount but always check with your individual card company for their exact policy.
Your liability depends on how quickly the loss is reported. You risk unlimited loss by failing to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you.
 
If you have given out your bank account information:
 
  • Report the theft to the bank as quickly as possible
  • Cancel your account and open a new one

If you have downloaded a virus or 'Trojan Horse'
 
  • Some phishing attacks use viruses and/or a 'Trojan Horse' to install programs called "key loggers" on your computer. These programs capture and distribute any information you type to the phisher, including credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, Social Security Numbers, etc.
  • If this occurs, you likely may not be aware.
  • To minimize this risk, you should:
    • Install and/or update anti-virus and personal firewall software
    • Update all virus definitions and run a full scan
    • If your system still appears compromised, fix it and then change your password again.
Check your other accounts - suspects may have accessed different accounts: eBay account, PayPal, your email ISP, online bank accounts, and other e-commerce accounts.
 
If you have given out your personal identification information

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information such as your name, Social Security number, credit card number or other identifying information, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes. If you have given this information to a phisher, you should do the following:
  • Report the theft to the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion Corporation, and do the following:
    • Request that they place a fraud alert and a victim's statement in your file
    • Request a FREE copy of your credit report to check whether any accounts were opened without your consent
    • Request that the agencies remove inquiries and/or fraudulent accounts stemming from the theft
Major Credit Bureaus:
Equifax
Experian
Trans Union
 
 
Notify your bank(s) and ask them to flag your account and contact you regarding any unusual activity: If bank accounts were set up without your consent, close them; If your ATM card was stolen, get a new card, account number and PIN; Contact your local police department to file a criminal report; Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline to report the unauthorized use of your personal identification information; Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of your identity theft; Check to see whether an unauthorized license number has been issued in your name; Notify the passport office to watch for anyone ordering a passport in your name; File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission; Ask for a free copy of "ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen in Your Good Name"; File a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
 
For victims of Internet fraud, IFCC provides a convenient and easy reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.
 
Document the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak with regarding the incident. Follow-up your phone calls with letters. Keep copies of all correspondence.
 
If you see a suspicious-looking email message claiming to be from the Institution for Savings, please let us know. We continually monitor such reports and act on them promptly. Additionally, also consider contacting the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
 
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Corporate Account Takeover & Information Security Awareness:
An Overview for Customers courtesy of Conference of State Bank Services (CSBS)
 
What is Corporate Account Takeover?
A fast growing electronic crime where thieves typically use some form of malware to obtain login credentials to Corporate Internet Banking accounts and fraudulently transfer funds from the account(s). Domestic and International Wire Transfers, Business-to-Business ACH payments, Internet Bill Pay and electronic payroll payments have all been used to commit this crime.
 
How does it work?
  • Criminals target victims by scams.
  • Victim unknowingly installs software by clicking on a link or visiting an infected Internet site.
  • Fraudsters began monitoring the accounts.
  • Victim logs on to their Internet Banking.
  • Fraudsters collect login credentials.
  • Fraudsters wait for the right time and then -- depending on your controls -- they login after hours or if you are utilizing a token they wait until you enter your code and then they hijack
    the session and send you a message that Internet Banking is temporarily unavailable. 
Where does it come from?
  • Malicious websites (including Social Networking sites)
  • Email
  • P2P Downloads (e.g. LimeWire)
  • Ads from popular web sites
  • Web-borne infections: According to researchers in the first quarter of 2011, 76% of web resources used to spread malicious programs were found in 5 countries worldwide: United States, Russian Federation, Netherlands, China, & Ukraine.
What is Rogue Software/Scareware?
  • Form of malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or simulated removal of malware.
  • Has become a growing and serious security threat in desktop computing.
  • Mainly relies on social engineering in order to defeat the security software.
  • Most have a Trojan Horse component, which users are misled into installing.
    • Browser plug-in (typically toolbar).
    • Image, screensaver or ZIP file attached to an e-mail. 
    • Multimedia codec required to play a video clip.
    • Software shared on peer-to-peer networks 
    • A free online malware scanning service
E-mail Usage
CAUTION !
  • What may be relied upon today as an indication that an email is authentic may become unreliable as electronic crimes evolve.
  • This is why it is important to stay abreast of changing security trends.
  • Some experts feel e-mail is the biggest security threat of all. 
  • The fastest, most-effective method of spreading malicious code to the largest number of users.
  • Also a large source of wasted technology resources
  • Examples of corporate e-mail waste:
    • Electronic Greeting Cards
    • Chain Letters
    • Jokes and graphics
    • Spam and junk e-mail
What we can do to PROTECT
  • Provide Security Awareness Training for Our Employees & Customers
  • Review our Contracts
  • Make sure that both parties understand their roles & responsibilities
  • Make sure our Customers are Aware of Basic Online Security Standards
  • Stay Informed
  • Attend webinars/seminars & other user group meetings
  • Develop a layered security approach
Layered Security approach
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • Watermark image
  • Monitoring of IP Addresses on login
  • Challenge questions/phone verification on login and ACH/Wire generation
  • User Authority Limits to control account entitlements
  • Calendar File – Frequencies and Limits
  • Dual Control Processing of files on separate devices –recommended
  • Out of Band Confirmation on every wire transfer
  • Monitoring of every ACH batch that is originated
  • Secure Browser Key
  • Secure Token requirement for Cash Management customers
What can Businesses do to Protect?
  • Education is Key. Train your employees! 
  • Secure your computer and networks.
  • Limit Administrative Rights. Do not allow employees to install any software without receiving prior approval.
  • Install and Maintain Spam Filters.
  • Verify system users are currently employees and their access privileges align with their job responsibilities.
  • Work with IT consultants or dedicated IT staff to implement and maintain Network Segmentation.
  • Review and update network security including patch management and access privileges frequently.
  • Purchase Cyber Insurance to protect you against Cyber Crime Incidents.
  • Surf the Internet carefully.
  • Install & maintain real-time anti-virus & anti-spyware desktop firewall & malware detection & removal software. Use these tools regularly to scan your computer. Allow for automatic updates and scheduled scans.
  • Install routers and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to your computer or network. Change the default passwords on all network devices.
  • Install security updates to operating systems and all applications as they become available.
  • Block Pop-Ups.
  • Do not open attachments from e-mail. Be on the alert for suspicious emails
  • Do not use public Internet access points.
  • Reconcile accounts daily.
  • Note any changes in the performance of your computer.
  • Dramatic loss of speed, computer locks up, unexpected rebooting, unusual popups, etc.
  • Make sure that your employees know how and to whom to report suspicious activity to at your Company and the Bank.
  • Contact the Bank if you:
    • Suspect a Fraudulent Transaction
    • If you are trying to process an Online Wire or ACH Batch & you receive a maintenance page.
    • If you receive an email claiming to be from the Bank and it is requesting personal/company information.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
The vast majority of cyber thefts begin with the thieves compromising your computer(s). Perpetrators often monitor the customer’s email messages and other activities for days or weeks prior to committing the crime. You should be vigilant in monitoring account activity. You have the ability to detect anomalies or potential fraud prior to or early into an electronic robbery.
 
Warning signs visible to a customer that their system/network may be compromised include:
  1. Inability to log into online banking (thieves could be blocking customer access so the customer won’t see the theft until the criminals have control of the money);
  2. Dramatic loss of computer speed;
  3. Changes in the way things appear on the screen;
  4. Computer locks up so the user is unable to perform any functions;
  5. Unexpected rebooting or restarting of the computer; 
  6. Unexpected request for a one time password (or token) in the middle of an online session;
  7. Unusual pop-up messages, especially a message in the middle of a session that says the connection to the bank system is not working (system unavailable, down for maintenance, etc.);
  8. New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons; and
  9. Inability to shut down or restart the computer.
Examples of Deceptive Ways Criminals Contact Account Holders:
  1. The FDIC does not directly contact bank customers (especially related to ACH and Wire transactions, account suspension, or security alerts), nor does the FDIC request bank customers
    to install software upgrades. Such messages should be treated as fraudulent and the account holder should permanently delete them and not click on any links.
  2. Messages or inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service, Better Business Bureau, NACHA, and almost any other organization asking the customer to install software, provide account
    information or access credentials is probably fraudulent and should be verified before any files are opened, software is installed, or information is provided.
  3. Phone calls and text messages requesting sensitive information are likely fraudulent. If in doubt, account holders should contact the organization at the phone number the customer obtained from a different source (such as the number they have on file, that is on their most recent statement, or that is from the organization’s website). Account holders should not call phone numbers (even with local prefixes) that are listed in the suspicious email or text message.
If you know or have any reason to suspect your computer may be compromised contact the Bank immediately to have your Internet Banking login disabled to avoid theft.
 
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Online Security for Your Cash Management Account
 
The vast majority of cyber thefts begin with the thieves compromising the computer(s) of the business account holders. Perpetrators often monitor the customer’s email messages and other activities for days or weeks prior to committing the crime. The corporate customer is most vulnerable just before a holiday when key employees are on vacation. Another risk period is on a day the business office is relocating or installing new computer equipment. Employees may be distracted and think a problem conducting online banking is due to a new network or equipment. Therefore it is important and necessary for the corporate customer’s employees to follow established security practices. Basic practices to implement include:
  1. Provide continuous communication and education to employees using online banking systems. Providing enhanced security awareness training will help ensure employees understand the security risks related to their duties;
  2. Verify system users are currently employees and their access privileges align with their job responsibilities;
  3. Work with IT consultants or dedicated IT staff to implement and maintain Network Segmentation;
  4. Review and update network security including patch management and access privileges frequently;
  5. Update anti-virus and anti-malware programs frequently;
  6. Update, on a regular basis, all computer software to protect against new security vulnerabilities (patch management practices);
  7. Communicate to employees that passwords should be strong and should not be stored on the device used to access online banking;
  8. Adhere to dual control procedures;
  9. Use separate devices to originate and transmit wire/ACH instructions;
  10. Transmit wire transfer and ACH instructions via a dedicated and isolated device;
  11. Practice ongoing account monitoring and reconciliation, especially near the end of the day;
  12. Purchase Cyber Insurance to protect you against Cyber Crime Incidents;
  13. Adopt advanced security measures by working with consultants or dedicated IT staff; and
  14. Utilize resources provided by trade organizations and agencies that specialize in helping small businesses.
Red Flags of a Possible Takeover of a Business Account Include:
  1. Configuration changes to cash management/online banking profiles:
    • New user accounts added;
    • New ACH batches or wire templates with new payees;
    • Changes to personal information;
    • Disabling or changing notifications; and
    • Changes to the online account access profile;

  2. Compromised internal systems used by employees resulting in:
    • Inability to log into online banking system (thieves could be blocking the bank’s access while they are making modifications to account settings);
    • Dramatic loss of computer speed;
    • Changes in the way web pages, graphics, text or icons appear;
    • Computer lock up so the user is unable to perform any functions;
    • Unexpected rebooting or restarting of computer;
    • Unexpected request for a one time password (or token) in the middle of an online session;
    • Unusual pop-up messages, such as “try back later” or “system is undergoing maintenance”;
    • New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons; and Inability to shut down or restart.
Examples of Deceptive Ways Criminals Contact Account Holders
  1. The FDIC does not directly contact bank customers (especially related to ACH and Wire transactions, account suspension, or security alerts), nor does the FDIC request bank customers to install software upgrades. Such messages should be treated as fraudulent and the account holder should permanently delete them and not click on any links.
  2. Messages or inquiries from the Internal Revenue Service, Better Business Bureau, NACHA, and almost any other organization asking the customer to install software, provide account information or access credentials is probably fraudulent and should be verified before any files are opened, software is installed, or information is provided.
  3. Phone calls and text messages requesting sensitive information are likely fraudulent. If in doubt, account holders should contact the organization at the phone number the customer obtained from a different source (such as the number they have on file, that is on their most recent statement, or that is from the organization’s website). Account holders should not call phone numbers (even with local prefixes) that are listed in the suspicious email or text message.
An Incident Response Plan for your Business
Since each business is unique, customers should write their own incident response plan. A general template would include:
  1. Contact information for the bank;
  2. Steps the account holder should consider to limit further unauthorized transactions, such as: 
    • Changing passwords;
    • Disconnecting computers used for Internet banking; and
    • Requesting a temporary hold on all other transactions until out-of-band confirmations can be made;
  3. Information the account holder will provide to assist the bank in recovering their money;
  4. Contacting their insurance carrier; and
  5. Working with computer forensic specialists and law enforcement to review appropriate equipment.
As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.