||Online banking certainly provides great convenience -- and can save you a lot of time. Online banking lets you check your balances, transfer money between accounts, and pay bills. However, you need to be vigilant and protect your online accounts. Taking these simple precautions can go a long way toward stopping unauthorized access to your computer.
Protect your username and access code
Third parties may offer you services that require you to give them your access information (Username and access code). Proceed with caution before giving any third party private information. Consider the privacy and security risks. Anyone to whom you give your access information could access your account information and conduct transactions using Community Financial's eAccess. You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of your passwords. Community Financial cannot take responsibility for access or transactions that result from your failure to protect your access information.
Action: Do not give your username and access code to anyone you don't trust.
Log in to your account on a regular basis, even if you don't have any transactions to do.
Simply take a look. It only takes a moment to review your information so that you know what's going on -- and to make sure nothing is wrong.
Action: If you do discover a problem or a discrepancy, contact Community Financial immediately.
Manage your access code
Despite all of the media attention given to unauthorized computer usage, many people continue to use passwords such as family names, pet names and birthdays that are all too easy to guess. A much better password is one that you make by combining randomly selected letters and numbers. If a string of random letters and numbers is too hard to remember, try using two unrelated words combined with a number (for example, skate2dye). It is recommended that you change your password every 30 to 60 days.
Action: Change your password at least once a quarter. If you suspect there may be a problem, immediately change your password and call your financial institution.
Don't ever try to access your account through an emailed link -- no matter how much that email looks like it came from your financial institution. These kinds of emails that request you to log into your bank account are most likely 'phishing' scams. For more info on phishing scams, www.scambusters.org/phishing.html. Plus, don't give out any personal information if someone who claims to be from Community Financial contacts you by email.
Action: The best way to be reasonably sure that you really are dealing with your financial institute is to always initiate the contact yourself.
Check for secure connections. When you log into eAccess, make sure that the page where you type your login information always starts with https: The 's' means that the URL is on a secure server.
Action: Never type confidential information or passwords into a non-secure page.
Install Barriers. If you are doing online banking, your computer should have the following software installed:
Action: Install a good firewall, spyware blocking software, and updated anti-virus software program.