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Security Tips

The security of your account information is one of The Dime Bank's top priorities. Our experienced team of professionals monitors your accounts and safeguards your information with state-of-the-art fraud prevention systems.

In addition, arming yourself with knowledge and monitoring your accounts on a daily basis are two ways you can assist The Dime Bank in protecting your financial information.

Please take a few moments to read and implement these important security tips.

Cyber Secure Families: Cyberbullying and Information Sharing

As technology continues to evolve, the tools and toys available to your children increase in number and evolve in capabilities. Technology can be used to educate and inspire creativity in kids, but it also exposes them to a risky landscape most of us didn’t have to worry about during childhood. Adults can discuss with children how the digital world is a great resource, but we must remain cyber aware. We all should be responsible with the information we share and the ways we explore. Here are a few things we should all do to protect our kids and our home networks.
 
Keep Software Updated
Think of all the devices in your household that connect to the internet – phones, tablets, computers, gaming systems, smart appliances, even lightbulbs! One of the most important things you can do to keep your devices safe is to ensure your devices are up to date and using the latest software. When your devices notify you about a software update, install the update right away or set them to automatically update. Those updates contain security patches that close loopholes that attackers can use to gain entry and access your data like your passwords, payment information, photos, and more. Always make sure you know what apps are on your children’s devices. Know what those apps do and what type of information they monitor or collect. This can be done easily by checking the app settings and privacy disclosures. If you have children prone to installing anything that looks new and flashy, consider requiring a PIN or password only you know before allowing installation of new applications.
 
Internet Domain Name System (DNS) Filtering
As we all know, surfing the web can be a risky business. While we can usually identify scams and malicious links, children may not catch on so quickly and see that the link their friend’s hacked account just sent them for a free game is a malicious website in disguise.
 
Implementing DNS filtering, which prevents devices on your network from connecting to known bad websites, is a free and easy way to help prevent everything from phishing and ransomware to spyware and viruses. It is so useful that some of largest IT companies in the world have joined forces to provide it for free to public users. This includes no sign-ups, tracking, or personal information saved by those providers. DNS filtering can even be set up on your home router with very little effort, which will help protect anyone or device on your entire network. DNS filtering services can also be used to implement parental controls to deter kids from going to unwanted or inappropriate websites. Additionally, you can limit kids’ screen time and monitor their online surfing activity if you choose to do so. By doing this, you can create a family-friendly online space in your home while also protecting your identity and blocking cyber-villains.
 
Free DNS filtering options for families:
  • Quad 9: When your computer performs any Internet transaction that uses the DNS (and most transactions do), Quad9 blocks lookups of malicious host names from an up-to-the-minute list of
    threats. Quad9 is also free to use, and no contract is required. It also doesn’t collect any personal information about you.
  • Cleanbrowsing: A free DNS system that focuses on privacy for households with children. It provides three free filter options and blocks most adult sites.
  • OpenDNS: Owned by Cisco, OpenDNS has two free options: Family Shield and Home. These are incredibly useful for monitoring and preventing adult site access as well as general internet safety and performance.
When You Return Home
Finally, make sure you talk to your kids about cybersecurity. Just like other issues that have the potential to harm our children, keeping an open line of communication regarding cybersecurity is vital to keeping
them safe.
 
Outside of adjusting privacy settings and parental controls on devices your kids use, make sure they learn how to spot unusual behavior and encourage them to tell you about it. Teach your kids about proper online etiquette and encourage appropriate interactions.
 
Supervise their screen time and make sure you are in the know about who they talk to and interact with online. Talk to them about the importance of keeping some information private such as their name, home address, and phone number.
 
Check their apps and devices frequently to make sure your kids haven’t turned on location sharing or made their social media accounts public to anyone and everyone. As they get older, remind them that once information is online it can’t be taken back. It’s online forever.
 
Cybersecurity was not something past generations of parents had to worry about when raising their children, but it is a big part of all our lives now. And even though we may not like all that comes with these
technologies, they’re here to stay, so it is imperative that we teach our children how to use them responsibly and safely use them. Let’s give our children the foundation they need to be able to safely and
securely engage in today’s connected world.

Special thanks to the Education and Awareness Working Group for providing the content for this month's security tip.
The Dime Bank wants to help you keep your information safe. Protecting your personal information is a shared responsibility

Verify it's The Dime Bank. Fraudsters pose as credible companies "phishing" for your information. The Dime Bank will never call to ask for your online login information. If you are unsure, get the individual's name and hang up and call your local branch.

Do not open suspicious texts or emails or click on links within them. Fraudsters impersonate companies to get consumers to click links and provide personal information. Clicking on links can also infect your device with malware.

A password is the first line of defense against cybercriminals. We recommend creating a complex password that is difficult for others to guess but easy for you to remember. Use a different password for each site.

Monitor your accounts regularly, respond to fraud alerts, and report unauthorized transactions promptly.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents access to computer files, systems, or networks and demands a ransom payment for their return.

The simplest way would be to avoid internet connectivity. LOL. Right! As that is not practical in our connected world today, what else can you do?

Auto-install updates. One of the most important controls to protect against ransomware is updating your devices and apps, including browsers (ie: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge, etc).

Most software companies regularly release updates for security loopholes. Computers and laptops are configured to scan, patch, and update automatically. Unfortunately, not applying the updates leaves you open to attack. Many ransomware and other malware attacks take advantage of out-of-date software.

One of the most common ways that computers are infected with ransomware is through social engineering. Remember to exercise common sense with suspicious email, websites, and other scams. If it seems suspect, it probably is.

Be unpredictable. There are two common password attacks, brute force and dictionary attacks. Both  involve trying a sequence of numbers and/or common words like 123456, hence, trying to crack a password using “brute force” or common “dictionary” words. To minimize this type of exposure, don’t make your passwords predictable.

Be creative. Related to being unpredictable, consider creating a phrase and use the first or second letter of each word, or substitute a special character for letters and/or numbers. You can use a password generator which provides creative and secure password options.

Be long. The longer the password, the more possible combination, and permutations of the password there are, and thereby the safer they generally are. However, don’t forget the first two tips, because long common words and sequences of numbers are still easier to crack!

Be selfish. Believe it or not, one of the more common reasons passwords are compromised is because people share their credentials. Quite simply – never, ever share your password(s)!

Be mindful. Think before you click. Phishing is where you receive an email or text message asking for you to confirm your details or take some other action where you need to enter your personal credentials. These types of acts are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can look very legitimate, like an email from someone you know. As a good rule of thumb, unless you make a request, don’t ever enter your credentials. Or, if you have any doubts, contact the organization requesting the information directly.

Be unique. You should use different passwords for different logins – yes, a different password for every login. Having a unique password for all your accounts helps prevent that if or when one is compromised the others remain protected. Pro tip: If you can’t remember all your passwords, consider using a secure password manager.

Use the built-in firewall on your computer.

Turn on automatic updates for ALL software you use, including your internet browser(s).

Use antivirus and anti-malware software  and keep it current.

Create a long phrase for your password instead of a short password.

Don’t open suspicious attachments or click unusual links in email, tweets, posts, online ads, messages, or attachments. 

Browse safely.  Don’t visit illicit sites.  They may contain malware or a download that contains malware. 

Refrain from streaming or downloading movies, music, books, or applications that are not from a trusted source.  Pirated material may include malware.

Avoid malware and viruses by only using external devices you own or receive from a trusted source.  

Unexpected or suspicious email attachments should never be opened. They may execute a disguised program (malware, adware, spyware, virus, etc.) that could damage or steal data. If in doubt, call the sender to verify. A good rule of thumb is to only open file attachments if you are expecting them and if they are relevant to the work you are doing.

Signs of a Malicious Attachment

.exe Files: .exe files are executable files - meaning that they can run a program; while .exe files are not inherently malicious, they can be used to install malware on your computer; there's no reason for an .exe file to be shared via email, so if you receive one, you should delete it.
  • .exe files can also be disguised in .zip folders - if you receive an email with a .zip, and open the folder to find an .exe, you shouldn't run the file.
  • Be careful, some attachments might show the icon for a document, PowerPoint, etc., but they still have the .exe extension.
  • Just because a file isn't an .exe, doesn't mean it's not malicious - there have been instances of macro-viruses that hide themselves inside of Office Documents.
Unsolicited Email/Strange "From" Field: don't open attachments that you're not expecting, or from users who you don't know.

Strange "To" Field: if the email has a long, alphabetical list of recipients, or if the "To:" field is blank, then the email is probably illegitimate, and the attachment shouldn't be opened.

Vague Subject Line/Body: if the subject line or the body text is vague, then the attachment probably is illegitimate.

Missing Salutation: most legitimate emails have a salutation.

Poor Grammar/Spelling: legitimate emails are carefully proofread before they're sent out; if the email has a lot of spelling/grammatical errors it's probably not legitimate.

Sense of Urgency: (i.e. - "this attachment will expire in 24 hours”, “you have an unpaid invoice") most illegitimate emails try and create a sense of urgency so that the recipient will download and run the attachment without carefully looking at it.

Remember attackers/bad actors rely on user interaction. Their goal is to try to trick users into opening a malicious document to exploit system vulnerabilities. Stay alert, stay safe!
If someone says you can only pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, or loading money on a cash reload card - it is a scam! Whether someone tells you to pay to claim a prize, deal with tax issues from the (so-called) IRS, says your accounts have been compromised, or asks you to help someone out of trouble, nobody legitimate is ever going to say you have to pay by wiring them money or by putting it on an untraceable gift card of any type. If you comply with their request, you stand to lose a lot of money.

If you receive a phone call, text, email, or letter with this type of request, it is a scam. If someone tells you they are from The Dime Bank and you are unsure, ask for their name and phone number, hang up, and call us immediately at 570-253-1970 or toll free at 1-888-4MY-DIME (1-888-469-3463). If the call was truly from The Dime Bank, you will reach us by calling us back on our published phone numbers.

Please help us safeguard your information. We’re here to help you in any way we can.
If you receive a letter, a text, an email, or a phone call claiming to be from or associated with The Dime Bank but it sounds unusual and out of the ordinary, please be cautious. It's always a good rule to check with us directly to make sure the communication is truly coming from us!

Please confirm that a request asking for your sensitive, personal, or bank information, is from a Dime Bank employee. Please call our fraud department right away at 570-253-1970 x7790 to verify that it is a legitimate request. Doing so will prevent you from falling victim to potential fraud.



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