There are many conveniences when using
on-line or mobile banking but as the
old-adage goes “the chain is only as strong
as its weakest link”. Ashton State Bank
takes many steps to protect your private
information when allowing our customers to access their a
ccount information via on-line or mobile banking.
One very important step Ashton State Bank cannot help
you with is securing the device you utilize to do
your on-line or mobile banking. Below are some reminders
and steps to follow to ensure your PC or mobile device
is secure as possible when viewing your accounts with
Ashton State Bank. We have also included some helpful
reminders when using your bank debit and ATM card.
RPC and Mobile Threats
Phishing happens when fraudsters
try to use email to lure you to fake bank
websites and trick you into giving out your
sign in information. "SMiShing" (SMS Phishing)
is like email phishing on a PC, except it sends
phishing messages via your Short Message Service
(SMS) text service. The message may ask you to
update a password, re-enter your credit card or
provide sensitive information that can be used to
defraud you. It may even try to commandeer your
phone to launch bot attacks or damage your files.
Spam is always annoying, but
some of it will consist of unsolicited offers or
SMiShing, both designed to get your personal
information for financial gain or file destruction.
Don't open email if you don't know the sender.
If any sender asks you to provide sensitive information,
don't. If such a request seems to be from a business
you know, use your browser to go to their website or
a phone to call the business.
Snoopware can be used to eavesdrop
on your conversations, emails, text messages, contact
lists and passwords. If you use a smartphone to make
financial transactions, snoopware can be programmed to
eavesdrop on those as well.
Secure your computer
Set your computer's operating system to
receive automatic updates if possible;
if not, download and install updates regularly.
Make sure you're using the most recent version
of your Internet browser; previous versions can have security
weaknesses that put you at risk.
Use an Internet browser that supports advanced
security features such as phishing site detection,
and support for extended security certificates.
Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and
set them to auto-update as well.
PC Do's and Don'ts
Do use a firewall with default settings at a
very minimum. Don't click pop-ups or download
files from websites you don't trust.
Do make sure web addresses begin with
HTTPS (not HTTP) and look for a key or
padlock icon in your browser window.
Do look for the green address bar
in your web browser indicating the
site you're on is using extended
security certificates and is a genuine website.
Do sign out at the end of your session and
close your browser as you leave a secure
Don't click links or open attachments
in suspicious emails.
Don't ever send personal or
sensitive information by email.
Do choose passwords that are difficult
to guess and change them on a regular basis.
Memorize them and never share them with anyone.
Don't use the same passwords for all
websites, especially for secured sites like ours.
Do back up your important computer files at least
once a month.
Don't let anyone look over your shoulder if
you're banking online from a public computer.
Better yet, select "Hide My Typing."
Secure Your Mobile Phone
Just as you should always secure your PC with
up-to-date Internet security software,
you should protect your smartphone with
security software that will protect it
against the latest security threats.
Install security software
for your phone and keep it up-to-date.
Check to make sure the security
software you're using has features
that let you:
Detect and eliminate
mobile threats before they can infect your phone
Remotely wipe data and erase sensitive
information on your phone if it's lost or stolen
Track your phone's location
(so you can easily find it if it's lost or stolen)
The Do's and Don'ts of Mobile Banking
These days, your bank may be as close as your
phone. But the increasing reliance on
smartphones for financial transactions
means that the bad guys are targeting these
devices. Most experts agree that it's critical
to exercise caution when you bank by phone.
Follow these do's and don'ts and feel safe
when you're banking on the go:
Do protect your phone password.
Use your device's locking or password mechanism to
make sure the bad guys can't access personal
info stored on your phone.
Don't choose automatic login options.
When you visit password-protected websites, take
the time to type in the password. Otherwise, a
thief could access sensitive information simply
by unlocking your phone.
Don't install third-party apps.
Only download apps from trusted sources such as
links sent by your bank or directly from your
Do use your bank's mobile website.
Make sure you're actually on your bank's website by
typing the name into your browser. And remember that
on most smartphones, you can save a website with
an icon on your mobile desktop screen
(just like an app from an app store).
Do communicate carefully with your bank.
Understand that your bank won't send emails or texts
asking for personal information. Don't save messages
from your bank containing passwords either.
Secure your Account Info
Review your account statements,
and do it regularly. Report any suspicious activity
and unauthorized transactions immediately.
Consider requesting electronic statements,
but only if the company can send them to you securely
or make them available from your account.
Lock away your Social Security Card,
bank passwords and account numbers.
Take care of checks,
making sure to account for all new ones
when you receive them, and store new and
cancelled checks in a secure place. Don't
include your driver's license and Social Security
Numbers on pre-printed checks. If your checkbook is
lost or stolen, contact your bank right away to stop
Monitor Your Credit
ID Theft occurs when criminals use your
personal information to make purchases, take
out loans or commit other forms of fraud. Victims
of ID Theft usually aren't held liable for crimes
committed in their names, but they can spend months -
even years - repairing their finances and credit history.
The more proactive you are about preventing ID Theft,
the less chance you'll fall victim.
Beware of calls from companies
with names that sound like government agencies or
well-known organizations as well as those claiming
you've won a prize when you never entered a contest.
anyone your Social Security or credit card numbers
to purchase products or qualify for prizes,
especially if you didn't initiate the call. Ask for
written information on the offer and ask for references.
Add yourself to the national Do-Not-Call registry
at donotcall.gov or
If things sound
too good to be true, they probably are.
Sign the back of new
credit cards immediately.
Cancel unused credit cards,
but spread cancellations out over time so your
credit score doesn't suffer (based on your total
Check your Social Security
Earnings and benefits statement once a year to
make sure no one else is piggy-backing on this
information for employment purposes.
If you're a fraud victim, set
up free alerts through one of the bureaus. These
alerts will last 90 days. Alerts are renewable, but
credit bureaus may not allow continuous renewals if
you're trying to use them as a credit monitoring tool.
Freeze your credit. A recent law
allows you to freeze your credit, preventing criminals
from opening new accounts in your name. Check out the
Credit Freeze Protection information and
consider setting one up on your credit file.
Identity and credit fraud are now hitting closer to home
- your kids. Criminals are now targeting children,
and sometimes parents don't discover it until their
kids are older and apply for credit. Think about
requesting credit reports for your kids as you
would for yourself.
Review your statements and
look for transactions with strange payees or
amounts you don't recognize; let your financial
institution know right away.
Check your credit report
regularly. You can order one free report per
year from each credit bureau
Experian) (that's 3 free reports per year). Visit
www.annualcreditreport.com to get started.
Make sure each bureau's credit information about you is
correct; if not, request a correction.
If you stop receiving mail or if it's been tampered with,
contact the post office right away. You should remove
mail from your mailbox every day (consider signing up
for electronic statements) and, when possible, send
outgoing mail from the post office only. Thoroughly
shred mail - especially credit card bills, statements,
and offers for preapproved credit - before you throw it away.
Be Smart at the ATM
Automatic Teller Machines provide outstanding
convenience, but also require a sharper focus on security
and personal caution. ATMs can be located just about
anywhere, and they're available 24/7. One of today's
biggest concerns is ID Theft, when a bad guy steals
your account information and then runs up charges and
other bills in your name. These criminals often begin
their theft with stolen ATM information. Here's how to
help prevent this from happening to you:
Protect your Debit Card as if it
were cash. Report a lost or stolen card to your bank,
Safeguard your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
ATM fraud is most often committed by individuals who know the ATM cardholder.
Don't give the number to anyone.
Don't write your PIN on your card or keep it in your wallet and avoid using
numbers that are easily identified (birth date, etc.).
Never leave your receipt behind
- even with an incomplete transaction.
Discarded ATM receipts are a primary means of ID Theft and account fraud.
Even at home, receipts can be a source for identity thieves - they rummage
through the trash to find account numbers and other personal information.
Shred receipts before discarding them.
For your personal safety, minimize your time at the machine.
Have your Debit Card ready when you approach the machine.
Count your money later, not at the ATM.
Remember to take your receipt.
Give people ahead of you space
to conduct their transactions. When you use the
ATM, make sure no one watches you key in your
PIN. You can use your body to shield the ATM keypad.
If you leave your car to use the ATM,
be sure to lock it up.
At night, make sure there is ample lighting
and the ATM is clearly visible from the street.
Tell the bank (or ATM owner) about overgrown bushes,
poor lighting or anything else you feel compromises
personal safety and security at the ATM.
Be wary of an ATM scam called "Skimming."
This is when thieves attach realistic-looking electronic
devices to the ATM designed to capture your card information
and PIN. Skimmers applied to card readers (think fake card
readers on top of the real ones) are designed to capture
debit card magnetic stripe data, while tiny wireless
cameras or overlays to existing personal identification
number pads are designed to capture PIN information.
Once thieves capture such data, they can use it to make
fake cards or sell the information online If an ATM card
reader appears unusual or bulky compared to other ATMs,
check with the bank (or ATM owner) or use another ATM.