Computer crime, also referred to as cybercrime, remains a big concern for most people and businesses. The financial losses experienced as a result of cybercrime may range from minimum to catastrophic; the impact to a person’s life can be devastating as they try to recover from identity theft. There is no magic method to prevent cybercrime, but there are critical steps that everyone can take to help prevent cybercrime and avoid becoming a victim.
Riverview Bank cannot act as an advisor to you for your computer security. We do not recommend any specific settings. The decision to accept and implement any of the security tips within this document remains your individual decision. The Internet offers a tremendous amount of computer security information that you should review periodically to see if you can improve your system’s security. We hope you find this information helpful.
Yes, we all hate them, but when implemented correctly, they help prevent others from accessing information we do not wish them to see or have. Consider requiring a password to access your computer, particularly if it is a laptop or tablet. Should it be lost or stolen, there is a better chance your data may not be compromised. Also, make sure the password you select is not easily guessed. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers and make it at least 15 characters long – longer is better! Incorporate a passphrase. That’s simply a sentence used as your password. Include numbers and punctuation and you have a better password.
Turn on data encryption or use one of the many relatively inexpensive data encryption packages available. This renders your data useless to anyone that does not have the “key” to decrypt the data. Should you choose to implement encryption on any system, make sure to keep the key in a secure location that can be accessed should the need arise. Otherwise, the data may be unrecoverable - even to you.
Many systems come with a software-based firewall available and already installed. You should enable it. The rules it enforces depend on the security level you chose to implement. High levels are better, but there may be a trade-off between security and usability. Most importantly, make sure the firewall is enabled before connecting your computer to the Internet. There is a short time between connecting to the internet and becoming infected without proper precautions.
Antivirus and Antispyware
Make sure you install and regularly update antivirus and anti-malware software to protect your systems. This software should be scheduled to run automatically. Generally, the default settings are adequate. For mobile devices, make sure you only install apps from trusted sources as rogue apps can easily compromise systems and steal passwords and user IDs. From that point, the theft of your data and even bank account compromises are possible.
Ensure that your wireless connection is secure. Read the documentation that came with your wireless access point and make sure encryption is set to the highest level available. Make sure to change the default name of the system to something that will not easily identify you. Set the password to access the device to a complex password/passphrase as described above. Your access point provider can assist with implementing security in most cases.
Email is a delivery system for malware. You should be aware of the signs of phishing.
Smart Phones and PDAs
Consider implementing the password lock to protect your device and the information on it. These types of devices are now frequently used to house a lot of personal and even financial information. This has not gone unnoticed by criminals. Similar protective software on these devices to that on your home systems may be necessary to provide adequate security. As mentioned above, turn on device encryption.
You should back up your data regularly. Many cloud services are in place for storing your data. Should you store data on your device, investigate options for backing up your data to your cloud storage provider. Most of them have tools that make it easy.
Unknown Data Storage Devices
Be suspicious of any found USB drive as they may have malicious software loaded on them.
Just because you decide to dispose of your computer, the data you had on it does not magically disappear. You can obtain software that will scrub the data from the drive. If you really want to protect any personal data, remove the hard drive and destroy it yourself.
Remain aware and question anything that is not normal. Changes in the way an application functions, inability to access certain files, and worse yet, suspicious account activity could all mean your system has been compromised. Take action to determine what has happened. If you determine your system has been compromised and do not feel capable of correcting the issue, seek help to minimize the damage and prevent further spreading of any malware.
While the services offered by social media services can be good, make sure your use of them does not put you at risk. Pay attention to security settings and what they mean. Do not be overly giving with birthdates, ages, locations, or other information that can be used to build a profile of you that may be used for identity theft. Keep in mind, what other people post about you on their sites can reveal things that you may not want publicly known. There are guides on the Internet to assist you with security for these services.
Bank Managed Social Platform Expectations & Security
At Riverview Bank your online security is very important to us. Please read our Social Platform Security Statement to review our guidance and expectations to assist you in protecting your private information on these public forums.
Get More Information
For additional information on phishing and identity theft, go to the Federal Trade Commission's Website at www.ftc.gov. There is a lot of good information available there to assist you in protecting yourself and your assets.
Important Contact Information if You've Been a Victim of Identity Theft
U.S. Government Agencies
Federal Trade Commission
Social Security Administration
Fraud Hotline: 800-269-0271
Credit Reporting Agencies