The best defense is a good offense.
To keep your online banking information secure, think like a target and use protective tools. We’re here to help with both.
Here are six plays to run in a successful offense:
Banking Online Safely
Guard against emails and websites that try to steal your information or your money.
What about links in email?
As a rule of thumb, NEVER open emails or click links in an email from people you don’t know. Also, even if you do know the sender, it makes sense to hover your mouse over the link (or button or banner) and verify that the link goes to a trusted site.
Peoples Bank email with a link to the Peoples Bank website.
Bogus email with a link to a spammers website.
Some email links are safe to use—but always verify
We often send emails to customers with links to sites we have reason to believe are safe. Below are some examples:
Our own website, for example:
(Note the link has our official web address in the link. Official website for our bank is PeoplesBankNC.com)
If you have question about third party links in our email or on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly:
Customer Service Hours
8:00am – 6:00pm, Monday through Friday
Be skeptical of email from people you don’t know (and some you do!)
Many consumers (and businesses) lose money because they were victimized by scammers using email to create an urgent or compelling reason to respond to the email. Never divulge personal or financial information or click on a link that allows criminals to steal information from or take control of your personal computer.
However, there is an important exception to links in emails you receive from Peoples Bank.
We may send emails that contain links to our website or to our trusted business partners. Those are links that we consider safe. Still, it makes sense to hover your mouse over the link (or button or banner) and verify that the link goes to a trusted site.
What about attachments?
Don’t open any attachments from a source you do not absolutely trust. There may be exceptions, for example, your attorney may send you documents in an attachment. But, if you are not absolutely sure about the sender, or if you get an email you didn’t expect, do not open any attachment until you verify that is legitimate – by contacting the sender.
Navigating the internet safely
Scammers have two primary means of getting what they want, and both of them can be successfully dealt with by simple precautions. One way is to appear to be somebody they are not, like Amazon, or your bank. The other way is to hack into the computers of legitimate web properties and grab a database of passwords or other sensitive information (that might include yours).
How many times have you thought you typed “amazon.com” but found yourself at “anazon.com” instead? Some clever exploit such a typo, so make sure that you are where you intend to be before entering your personal information. Imposters are also rampant in social media. Some software tools will help by blocking such imposter sites, pop-ups and suspicious links.
To reduce risk, do not use the same password for every website. Your passwords for financial websites should never be the same as the password to another site. See our blog posts about striking the appropriate balance between online safety and online convenience for tips and techniques that will help.
Get more information about online banking security threats.
Your online security depends much upon the security of your computer, mobile device or tablet. Follow three simple steps to protect them.
1. Keep your software up-to-date to ward off online threats
Most computer operating systems and program applications have settings for that allow for automatic updates, including those that relate to user security. It is suggested that users allow those updates to automatically be installed on their computer, thereby providing ongoing protection against current and known threats. You can usually go online, to official websites, and find out if you have the most current version of operating systems and applications.
2. Keep your computer safe from prying eyes.
No firewall and anti-virus software can defend against theft of, or physical access to, your computer or mobile device. Take precautions by requiring a password to log on to the connected device, and require that password to get past the screen saver.
3. Guard your computer cache
Your computer cache is a specialized form of computer memory. Cache is designed to speed up the computer by prioritizing its contents for quick access.
Users are cautioned to be careful about permitting their web browser to cache information (login IDs, passwords, user name, etc.) which contains banking or other critical and private information. To monitor and control your browser cache try these steps: (1) go the Help page of your browser, (2) search for “clear cache,” and follow the directions.
Businesses should assign a high-priority to their online security and ensure appropriate resources to support that priority. Here are some tips:
Think strategically to determine the relative importance of information maintained by the company and the means of accessing that information.
Develop your people to protect your business
The people in your company are about the biggest risk to information security you’ve got. Regularly and often train your people in security best-practices.
Consumer-grade software tools are generally insufficient for businesses. Your business must be able to manage technology components, preferably from more than one location. Business technology assets that must be managed centrally, not just individually, would include:
If your company has a dozen computers or more, protect sensitive information with well-formed, centralized management. In most cases, employees should not be allowed to install software on their computer, and the company should know when computers on its network are running out-of-date virus software – and be able to fix that problem quickly.
Small businesses can manage their systems on an individual, ad hoc basis. If your company has more than 10 employees, it should take a good, hard look at the people and the technology that stand in front of (not behind) its information. Perhaps it is time to hire an outside expert.
Peoples Bank has extensive resources devoted solely to online security.
It starts with rigorous technology requirements, for itself and its partners. Extensive reviews and audits are regularly conducted. High standards and ethical behavior are demanded and received by employees and the employees of partners and vendors. The bank’s systems are protected by multiple physical and digital access control. The bank’s databases are protected by multi-factor authentication and off-set data connections. In addition, thousands of different types of transactions are constantly monitored for unusual or excessive activity. All of this requires substantial investment and resources, of a magnitude that is simply out of the reach of smaller institutions.
Nobody can protect against each and every threat. But Peoples Bank is doing all it can with known technology resources and insight to protect its information, your information.
We go to great efforts to make sure that the person attempting to log in to an account on The Real Peoples Bank has been approved and is qualified to do so.
Please talk to your knowledgeable and trained Peoples Bank employee if you have questions about online account access.