A Checklist for Your Online Safety

We take online safety personally.
When it comes to cybersecurity at Washington Business Bank, we look out for the safety of all our clients. Below are a few reminders about simple things you can do to protect your computer, devices, and money from criminals who make the internet their home.

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Ensure your computer security programs are running and regularly updated against the latest threats.
Have antivirus software installed to prevent malware that can potentially steal information such as your passwords and account numbers. Make sure to have your computer’s firewall up and running to help prevent unauthorized access to your devices.

Always be aware of your surroundings when you use the internet to connect to your bank account.
It can be risky when you use public Wi-Fi hotspots and computers outside your home, especially if the place you are in does not have an up-to-date security software or system in place.

Stay up-to-date and informed on the latest standard Internet safety features and practices.
Things such as https:// displayed at the start of a web address (i.e. https://www.website.com) means that the website encrypts data between your computer and the website itself to help protect sensitive information. A padlock symbol shown before a https:// symbolizes the page is secure.

Do not open suspicious emails, open attachments, or click on links in emails you do not recognize.
Everyday, cybercriminals are getting more clever when disguising malware in emails. Many of the dangerous emails they send today appear to be legitimate at first glance but there are signs to you can look for to spot a fake. Always verify the email address to the letter, number or symbol as one you recognize and know is from a safe source. Even a single added number or letter to an email you may recognize will give away that the email is not legitimate. Never respond to emails asking for passwords, social security numbers, or bank account numbers. If you can and know how mark any suspicious emails as a phishing scam.

When logging into your bank accounts try to use the most secure process possible.
Make sure your passwords are considered “strong”. Sometimes when you create a password, the website or software you are using will tell you if your password is weak, moderate, strong, or very strong. Always aim for highest strength level. Also, try not to reuse the same passwords or PINs (personal identification numbers) for multiple accounts of any kind.

Be discreet with your social networking profiles.
The information you put into social networking site profiles can be used by hackers to gain access to your online accounts. Information such as your date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, or even the name of your high school mascot can be used by criminals to answer account secret questions when initiating a password reset.

Watch out where you leave your electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops.
Leaving one of your devices unattended, especially in a public setting, opens up avenues for criminals to gain access to your passwords and other sensitive information. This is especially true if you are auto-signed into certain apps or websites.

Talk to your children about being safe online.
Let your children know about best safety practices when they go online. Talk to them about the dangers of sharing their personal information with strangers, answering suspicious emails, or clicking suspicious links. Make sure the devices they use has up-to-date security software and patches installed.

If you’re a small business owner, have policies in place and training sessions concerning cybersecurity with your employees.
Teach your employees how to keep your computers and network secure. Help employees to understand policies in place and how to follow them.