Category: Security

Tips for Cyber-Security When it comes to Your Mobile Device

Odds are you’re probably reading this blog post on your cell phone, which you found through an app on your smartphone and then used it to get directions to Raccoon Valley Bank. Seventy-seven percent of Americans now own a smartphone and use it on a daily basis. With so many people accessing, searching and downloading things on their cell phones, are we really using the same caution and protection we would use when it comes to our computers? Odds also are, you’re not. With a few tips, you can start better protecting your smartphone from things like data theft, malware and privacy invasion.

Needed Protection: You may be wondering what exactly needs to be protected when it comes to your smart phone. Luckily, they can be broken down into three categories.

  1. Device Protection – In case your phone was ever stolen, this kind of protection would wipe all information and data from your phone, which is beneficial if you utilize mobile or online banking.
  2. Data Protection – This protection was designed to keep work information from place of employment from being spread to your personal apps.
  3. App-Management Security – Having login information, credit card information and other personal information within apps should be protected from falling into the wrong hands. App-management security does just that.

Trusted Apps: Not all apps are created equal. Since it’s becoming increasingly easier for third-parties to create apps this means there are more apps out there than there’s ever been. One way to help protect yourself is to only download apps from the trusted app store. You should also review existing apps’ privacy policies and settings for permissions.

Public Wi-Fi: One thing you should know is public Wi-Fi is generally not secure. Hackers can get in-between you and the Wi-Fi connection point and when you’re submitting information on your phone you’re actually sending it to the hacker. It’s recommended to protect yourself using a VPN, which encrypts your data, essentially scrambling the information.

Jailbreaking Phones: While it may seem like the cool thing to do to format your phone without the factory standards, you’re actually setting your phone for several security risks. One of those risks is Malware and loss of personal information.

We hope these tips can better protect you and your smartphone. There are several companies that can protect your mobile devices, including Norton Mobile Security and McAfee Mobile Security. If you have any questions or concerns about you protecting yourself, we encourage you to contact us. Our team would love to assist you.

Protecting Yourself While Shopping Online this Holiday Season

As the holidays roll up, buying items online increases exponentially. Unfortunately, cyber attacks and identity theft also increases with that number. That’s why the professionals at Raccoon Valley Bank have come up with some helpful tips and tricks to stay safe when shopping online this holiday season!

Don’t Use Unknown Wireless Networks

If you are in a coffee shop or airport and a network pops up for you to connect to, your chance of being hacked skyrockets. When the network you are on is not protected, hackers have a chance to get into your phone and locate passwords, account information, and more. Even though you want to check your email or see if there is a good deal somewhere, try to resist in order to protect yourself.

Use Different Passwords

Yes, it is hard to use a different password for each site when you are connected to 50 or 100 sites. However, if a hacker gets ahold of one password, they can instantly use that password with your email to log into all other sites that have the same one.

Don’t Store Credit Card Info On Sites

When online sites have you enter your credit or debit card information, many of them give you an option to save your card information. They say it’s secure and most of the time it is, but hackers are still able to get into their account and find your information. Even though it’s a little more work to type your information in each time, it’s more work to deal with getting your money back after someone has stolen your information and used it.

Avoid Clicking Links

When shopping online, there are millions of links connected to products or telling you they will bring you to the product you are looking for. These are easy ways for hackers to bring you to a site they created to give you malware. If you are on a trusted site, you can click the links there because they will only bring you to other places within their own site.

Shop Secure Sites

As mentioned above, it is okay to trust links within a secure site. However, if you are online searching for a certain gift to give someone and find a list that links to different sites, do not trust those sites. Search online about which sites are to be trusted before you go to them and give them your credit card information.

These tips will aid you in being a security savvy shopper when the holidays begin to hit. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, be sure to contact Raccoon Valley Bank. Our team of professionals is here to help if a problem of stolen information does arise!

True or False: Catch Me if You Can

Check Fraud

Starting in 1963, Frank Abagnale began his criminal career. Made famous from the film, Catch Me if You Can, this mastermind of forgery made a name for himself at a young age by impersonating pilots, lawyers, and doctors. Throughout these impersonations, Frank found new and inventive ways to defraud the United States and at least eight other countries. When he was  captured at age 21, he had defrauded multiple nations upwards of $1.3 million dollars. After serving five years of his twelve year federal sentencing, he agreed to work with the FBI to help investigate and proactively protect the United States from further check fraud.

 

As Frank’s history with the FBI began to grow, he started to share the distinctive patterns and signatures behind the best of check fraud criminals. See if you can determine which of these check fraud facts are true and which are just cinematic magic:

 

True or False? Big corporations such as Pan Am had a much higher risk of check fraud than small mom and pop shops.

 

FALSE:  Although Pan Am was depicted as the start of Frank’s larger check fraud scheme, large scale business models face less risk than most small businesses. Did you know one in four businesses have fell victim to fraud? While larger companies have internal security and protective insurances for such instances, most local businesses rely on their employees and their customers to ensure an honest and accurate transaction.

 

True or False? Paper check forgery still is prominent today.

 

TRUE: With small businesses as the largest targets, paper check fraud is still a relevant issue, even today. Often times, the culprit can be employees who write a business check to themselves. Other instances can be a vendor who is able to alter the ink on the check to reflect an amount that they would prefer. While there are many additional cyber fraud crimes possible today, the threat of a paper check fraud is still imminent.

 

True or False? This movie largely encourages check fraud and teaches criminals how to hone their craft.

 

FALSE: While this movie does display many techniques in producing fraudulent checks, the premier intention of the film is to educate both banks and businesses in what to look for concerning false checks. There are many simple markers and signs that a check may be a fake, and while the storyline depicts the various lifestyle choices of a criminal, it reveals in the end, that Frank Abagnale began to help the FBI identify these markers to prevent future check fraud.

 

What to look for in fraudulent checks straight from Frank Abagnale:

 

  • Keep any checks, deposit slips, or check re-orders under lock and key in a secure location. Many times those close to your business are the culprits in a check fraud crime.
  • Use Remote Deposit Capture from Raccoon Valley Bank. This service ensures that the check is treated just like a debit. If there are no funds in this account or it represents a false account, you will know as soon as the transaction completes.
  • When receiving a check in a transaction, scan the check to make sure it has a perforated edge, marking where it was torn from the checkbook.
  • Never cash a check you are unsure of. If something does not seem right, it is always safer to ask for further identity verification, or simply deny their request to cash the check.

If you’re curious how to keep your small business secure against check fraud, come by Raccoon Valley Bank today and speak with one of our local commercial lenders.

The Most Common Phishing Scams and How to Avoid Them

Scams

The Most Common Phishing Scams

Phishing is a common term for the unfortunate schemes hackers and online criminals use to lure users into giving their personal information. Typically disguised as familiar online activity, these scam artists have cleverly found several distinctive ways to attempt to trick YOU into handing over your private details. Be on the lookout for these common phishing scams next time you’re roaming the web!

 

  1.   Foreign Lottery Scam

With this tactic you generally receive an email informing you that you have just won the lottery of some far-away land! To obtain these exorbitant funds you simply have to send a small fee to cover the transfer cost. A simple online search will show that this thrilling lottery is no more than phony website with a long distance phone number. Typically if the sending address doesn’t look familiar, or if you have not applied to any foreign lotteries, it will be a dead giveaway that this email is just an attempt to get your information and your money.

 

  1.   Survey Scam

Do you like supporting the humane society or other animal organizations? This scam takes advantage of your online history and sends you a survey to submit your opinion on issues that matter to you. Instead of using your responses on animal treatment, this system discovers your email address, and other relative personal information, to hack your account and send out further spam emails.

 

  1.   Online Banking Scam

Most phishing schemes disguise themselves as something familiar, often as PayPal or even your personal bank. This particular scam typically indicates that some type of immediate action is needed, and your financial account is at risk. Before sending any type of reply communication, check the source of the email, and call your personal contact at the organization to see if the email is legitimate. If you question the validity of any portion of the email, delete it and call the company this con artist is attempting to masquerade as ASAP.

 

  1.   Clickbait

Social media has a hacking arena all its own. With links scattered across newsfeeds, it’s often hard to determine what is genuine and what is clickbait. Clickbait is a link generated using common controversial issues to get you to click on it. Once clicked, the link may switch to a Facebook login, where you login again. Unfortunately this false login page is a common maneuver by cyber criminals to get your social media login. Having this information, online criminals can now access your account and spam the people you are connected with.

 

If you think you’ve been a victim of an online phishing scam and your personal banking information has been compromised, call Raccoon Valley Bank. We’ll help you watch for signs of identity theft within your personal bank accounts.

7 Tips to Decrease Your Gardening Costs This Season

Saving Money on Gardening

Gardening season is upon us! Whether you’ve been gardening for decades or are flexing your green thumbs for the first time, save some green as you grow this spring with these helpful tips from Raccoon Valley Bank:

 

  1. Study the sun. You can burn hundreds of dollars by accidentally placing plants in areas that receive too much or too little sunlight. Take time before planting to make notes on the sun’s path across your yard, scoping out key sunny and shady spots along the way.
  2. Invest in mulch. A layer of fresh mulch aids in protecting against soil erosion while cutting the costs of weed killer.
  3. Reuse newspapers. Before you lay down protective mulch, spread layers of old newspapers directly onto the soil to block weeds and lock in moisture. Eventually the newspaper decomposes while saving on water costs in the long-run.
  4. Try natural bug protection. Instead of buying pricey pesticides and bug zappers, place fabric softener sheets next to outdoor light fixtures to deter flying insects.
  5. Make your own weed killer. Eco-friendly and inexpensive, you can create your own weed killer by mixing 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 ounce of liquid dish soap. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and directly apply to weeds for the maximum effect.
  6. Start composting. Create nature’s best fertilizer in your own backyard by forming a small compost pile of kitchen and yard waste. Not only do you reduce your footprint by saving space in a landfill, but your homemade compost saves you money and increases the yield of your plants.
  7. Plant the pricier edibles. To save money, time, and precious garden real estate, invest in planting herbs and vegetables that would normally cost you a bundle at the grocery store. Grow pricier crops such as raspberries, shallots, and basil yourself and buy cheaper produce like lettuce, carrots, and parsley at your local farmers markets.

At Raccoon Valley Bank, it’s always growing season when it comes to building your wealth. If you’re looking to prosper your financial gains stop by and give us a call at (515) 993-4581 today!

Making Banking Easier: Our Online Tools

Mobile Deposit

Raccoon Valley Bank

Online Banking Tools

 

Technology is a constantly evolving medium, and we’re continuing to grow with it! At Raccoon Valley Bank we offer a variety of digital tools for our customers. Take a look and discover a new way to manage your finances through our online technology!

 

Online Banking: Conveniently access all your banking accounts through our secure online portal. Not only does this give you a quick and easy way to manage your finances but it’s also where you can view a complete account history, re-order checks, transfer funds, and more!

 

Mobile Banking: Enjoy all the perks of online banking from the comfort of your mobile device. This easy mobile tool allows you to keep up on your finances while you’re away or during your busy day.

 

Remote Deposit: Not sure if you’ll have time to stop by for a quick deposit? Deposit your funds on the go with our quick and secure remote deposit. Available on our convenient app!

 

Online Bill Pay: Tired of writing checks for your monthly expenses? With our Online Bill Pay you can schedule reoccurring payments and take the hassle out of paying your monthly expenses. Go through our easy setup process and you can start paying bills directly from your Online Banking account!

 

Online Mortgage Applications: You can now apply for a home loan from anywhere!  Simply visit the Raccoon Valley Bank Mortgage page on our website and follow the easy step-by-step process.

 

E-Statements: Make a difference and go green with our E-statements at Raccoon Valley Bank. Not only are you helping the environment, but our E-Statements offer a quicker, simpler process to obtain your monthly statements. Simply log-in to your Online Banking page, click on User Services and select Account Statements to sign up!

 

Open a Savings or Checking Account: We want to make your transition to Raccoon Valley Bank as simple as possible! If you’re looking to open a new account simply hop on our website to sign-up.

 

Here at Raccoon Valley Bank it’s all about YOU, our customers! We love the ease and simplicity these products offer for the everyday financial tasks. Sign up online or call us at (515) 993-4581 to try them out! We would love to help you find the best product solution for your individual needs.

 

Raccoon Valley Bank

Member FDIC

Equal Housing Lender

8 Tips for Improving Your Smartphone’s Security

Use these tips to improve your smartphone's security.

Use these tips to improve your smartphone’s security.

Smartphones are incredibly useful pieces of technology. Not only do they allow you to communicate, but you can also access vital information. This includes your Raccoon Valley Bank accounts accessed through Mobile Banking or your device’s web browser.

 

However, there are criminals who have mastered the art of gaining access to your smartphone to steal information. If you access your bank accounts on your phone, your account numbers can be stolen. The best thing to do is follow security best practices, such as the following:

Continue reading

Identity Theft: What You Need to Know and Warning Signs

The dangers of identity theft and how to spot it

While terrifying, identity theft is nearly completely preventable when the right steps are taken.


With today’s technology and social media trends, a lot of your information is out there for anyone to see, which can be dangerous. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself and lower the financial impact of fraud. At Raccoon Valley Bank, we understand the seriousness of identity theft threats, and we want to keep you informed on what you can do, since identity theft is usually discovered by the consumer first. Read on to find out how to protect yourself and your hard-earned money.
 
Watch and monitor your accounts
Use Raccoon Valley’s online and mobile banking tools to monitor your accounts daily, or at least weekly.  Always review statements right when you get them.
 
Use eStatements and online banking
eStatements will come sooner than mail, so you can detect fraud sooner.  See how to sign up for eStatements here. Not only will you be protecting yourself, you are also helping the environment.
 
Follow up when you use Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Pay makes sending your monthly payments easy, but you still need to follow up with each vendor to ensure they received your payment. The system is secured using industry-standard encryption, but it never hurts to double-check.
 
Know the warning signs
If any of these things happen, you should contact your bank right away.

  • Denied credit. Check your credit report if you are denied credit or are offered unfavorable credit terms for strange reasons.
  • Unsolicited credit cards. Make sure you question any credit cards you receive that you didn’t apply for. Call the company right away to be safe.
  • Collection calls for things you didn’t buy. Be extremely careful of this because there are many different types of fraudulent calls happening.
  • Missing bills or statements. Alert Raccoon Valley Bank if something expected doesn’t show up in the mail or on your email account.
  • Unexpected charges.

 
These things might seem like obvious signs, but people often ignore them or don’t address them right away because they assume they are mistakes, not identity theft.
 
Check your credit report
You get one free look at your credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Keep up to date with your credit report and contact the credit bureaus to dispute something on the report or freeze your credit if you believe your identity has been stolen.
 
Raccoon Valley Bank wants you to understand possible threats to your money and how to spot them immediately. The sooner you can respond to identity theft, the less financial impact it will have and the less time spent dealing with it. At Raccoon Valley Bank, we take pride in keeping your accounts secure, but with today’s cyber-criminals, you can never be too cautious. Take these steps to stay on top of your accounts and protect yourself.

We're Centered Around You