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Protecting your personal information

The best defense is a good offense.

To keep your online banking information secure, you will need to think like a target and have good tools. This site exists to help with both. Start to think strategically about your online safety (if you haven’t already) and evaluate readily available hardware and software tools. Online security should have a relatively high rank within your life’s priorities, which means it should receive greater priority in your personal budget.

For those handymen and women out there, think how you feel about cheap tools like that plastic ratchet screwdriver that failed when you really needed it. Recreate that feeling when making a decision on hardware or software that costs 15% more than the cheaper alternative. Chances are you can’t afford to go with the cheap option – really. Not with your finances and identity at risk.

In addition to the right attitude about online security, you will need some other things:

  • You need good malware protection. Software such as those provided by Microsoft, Intel (formerly McAfee), Symantec and other companies can keep your computer clean from known software and routines that would breach your security practices.
  • You need a good computer. Resist the urge to save money with that really good computer system deal on eBay from some obscure person in a foreign land. The risk of malware isn’t worth the savings. Unless you are a professional geek, don’t use a computer if you don’t know where it’s been. That’s good advice your mother would approve of.
  • You need a good password, a well-managed computer or mobile device, and a secure internet connection at home. The best password scheme is to have a different password for each web site that is not the same as the password that protects your computer or mobile device. Very good “password managers” exist that address this process. Check out Roboform or 1Password for a solution that works on both Windows and Apple computers and mobile devices.

More information is available below. These same tips also apply to safely shopping online.

Banking Online Safely

Be on guard against emails and web sites that appear to be legitimate but are in fact attempting steal your information or your money.

  • Carefully inspect the web site address of any site asking for financial information or password.
  • Emails from the bank will only direct you to the TheRealPeoplesBank.com website.

Phishing is a technique the bad guys use to trick you to provide your information (such as user ID, password, email address, etc.) by appearing to be a legitimate entity. These fraudsters then use the information to access your accounts, sometimes within minutes, maybe even seconds. Generally they try to get you to “confirm your information” either by a pop-up window or email. Be wary of this type of threat, and pay careful attention to the source of the request. Don’t click on the link without first inspecting it to see if the link itself is the same as what it says it is.

Navigating the internet safely

The bad guys 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). Let’s talk about how you can protect yourself against each type of internet threat, the imposter and the hacker.

The threat of imposter is as old as the internet itself. How many times have you thought you typed “amazon.com” but found yourself at “anazon.com” instead? Some clever people have thought about how to exploit such a typo and go to extensive effort to keep you from realizing the mistake until you have given them your email address, user id and/or password. So make sure that you are where you meant 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.

Hackers are considered one of many “advanced persistent threats” or APTs in the information security business. If they can hack into high-profile government and corporate sites, they can hack into anything. (At least, you are better off making that assumption.) To reduce the threat to yourself, do not use the same password for every web site. Your passwords for financial web sites should never be the same as the password to another site. If you think this is too inconvenient, think how inconvenient it will be when your identity and money is stolen. Having different passwords at each site means that hackers can’t use what they got from one site (say target.com) and use it at another, your bank’s online center or other shopping web sites, for example. See our blog post about striking the appropriate balance between online safety and online convenience for tips and techniques that will help.

By the way, this article with its tips and suggestions is not comprehensive. There are as many variations as there are bad guys. The types of threats (and their number) continue to escalate. Understanding the threat and the basic principles of mitigation will protect against most threats.

We hope this information is helpful to you. At Peoples Bank we are committed to the safety and stability of the financial system and put every effort into protecting it for you and your family. We will continue to provide information important to our customers and the community.

How Peoples Bank Keeps Your Banking Information Secure

Small enough to care, big enough to protect you.

Some financial institutions, especially credit unions, have little resources to devote to the increasing threat to online security. The Real Peoples Bank doesn’t have that problem. The bank has extensive resources devoted solely to online security and brings this sizeable leverage to benefit its customers.

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 knows to do with known technology resources and insight to protect its information, your information.

User authentication

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.

  • A customer can’t just get to their account online without first telling us the account should have such access.
  • At the time of account setup, the customer’s verified email account is used to make sure that only the person with access to that email account can begin the process of online account access.
  • The user id is never the email address.
  • The password is never emailed. A temporary password is emailed and intended to be used immediately. It is sent to the email address already set up on the account and does not include the additional piece of information needed to login, the user id.
  • The password to our online system has a rigorous requirement of length and character combination.

Please talk to your knowledgeable and trained Peoples Bank employee if you have questions about online account access.

Report Fraud

Contact us immediately if you think one of your Peoples Bank accounts or services has been compromised.

Report Fraud