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Protecting Yourself From Online Fraud

Internet security does not rely on technology alone. Each of us has a responsibility to protect our own systems and ourselves. The following are some key tips on what you can do to protect yourself:

  • Keep your computer up to date with the latest patches for known vulnerabilities: For Windows users, open your browser, and go to "Tools." Click on "Windows Update," and follow the instructions on downloading the latest patches.
  • Make sure your computer has the most current anti-virus software and run it regularly. Anti-virus software needs frequent updates to guard against new viruses. We recommend that you use a program that automatically upgrades your virus protection on a regular basis. If you currently do not have this automatic upgrade feature, make sure you update your virus detection program daily and when you hear of a new virus.
  • Run anti-spyware software to remove any spyware from your computer. If your anti-virus product doesn't include spyware protection, we recommend that you install a reputable spyware detection product as well. Many commercially available anti-virus software packages can detect adware/spyware programs on your computer. If detected, you should remove them immediately. (Pop-up ads are indications that adware/spyware is most likely running on your machine.)
  • Don't reply to any email that requests your personal information. Be very suspicious of any email from a business or person that asks for your password, Social Security number, or other highly sensitive information. Also beware of any email that sends you personal information and asks you to update or confirm it. Access National Bank will never request sensitive information by email and we will never ask you for your password.
  • Be alert for scam email. These may appear to come from a trusted business or friend, but actually are designed to trick you into downloading a virus or linking to a fraudulent website and disclosing sensitive information.
  • Open email only when you know the sender. Be especially careful about opening email with an attachment. We advise you to not open attachments unless you are confident that you can trust the source.
  • Carefully review the Privacy Policy for organizations on the Internet that offer "free services" such as Internet acceleration or email virus scanning. Some of these organizations have Privacy Policies that are loosely defined as to allow them to harvest and share information that is universally considered to be personal and highly sensitive. It is very important to read the privacy policy before downloading any software regardless if it is free or purchased.
  • Do not send sensitive personal or financial information unless it is encrypted on a secure website. Regular emails are not encrypted and are more like sending a post card. Anyone can read it. Look for the padlock symbol to ensure that the site is running in secure mode before you enter confidential personal information.
  • When your computer is not in use, shut it down or disconnect it from the Internet.
  • Act quickly if you suspect fraud. If you believe someone is trying to commit fraud and/or if you think you may have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent email or website, report the incident immediately, change your passwords and monitor your account activity frequently.

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