Using Technology to Remain Financially Fit

Are you interested in trying a new bank technology but not sure what’s available? Look no further! Technology is almost limitless and staying up to date can help make your life a bit easier. FDIC Consumer News offers an overview of some current services and most of them are free!

 

Personal Financial Management and Budgeting: Financial planning tools are one way to stay financially fit. One great tool is an electronic check register on your home computer (many consumers find this much easier to use and balance than an old-fashion paper check register.) There are also “companion applications” for your smartphone that allows access to your electronic check register wherever you are.

Mobile banking services go one step further. They allow you to access your bank account from anywhere using your smartphone, iPad, computer or other device. According to FDIC Consumer News “an estimated 30 million Americans currently manage their finances using mobile devices.”

Think about this? Let’s say you are in a store and trying to decide upon a major purchase, you would need to know if you have enough money in your account to cover the cost. If you’re balance is low, you can use mobile banking to transfer funds from one account to another, in order to cover the charge.

Depositing checks using your smartphone or other mobile device: Many banks have rolled out a “remote deposit capture” (RDC) feature. We, at Community Bank of the Chesapeake, like to call it “mobile deposit capture.” This is a feature that allows customers to take a picture of a check with their mobile device and deposit that check electronically, without the interruption of visiting a branch or using an ATM. This is convenient for customers who do not live or work close to a bank branch, yet would like their money ASAP.

If you use mobile RDC, carefully keep track of the checks you deposit. For instance, you can write the date you deposited the item on the front of the paper check and hold onto it until the check has cleared and the money is in your account. We recommend holding it for 5 business days! Then you can destroy the check, preferably using a high-quality paper shredder. Contact us with any questions.

Account Alerts: Community Bank of the Chesapeake and most mobile banking systems, will allow you to sign up to get text messages on your mobile phone or e-mails if your account balance drops below a set dollar amount, which can help ensure that you don’t overdraw your account. We also call if we observe “suspicious” — potentially fraudulent — transactions involving your account. Setting up mobile alerts is a convenient and safe way to monitor what is going on with your checking account in real time!

Bill Paying: Paying bills through your mobile device or computer is just another way technology makes your life easier. Imagine you forgot to send your check in the mail and your bill is due! With Bill Pay your e-bills can be scheduled and set for auto pay, making sure you’re never late on a payment. Tip: We even let you create an “approved list” on our bank’s online banking web site.

As with any mobile banking service, always check with us before signing up to make sure you know about fees or other key factors.

Finally, when using any mobile financial service, keep privacy and security issues in mind. Protecting your devices with passwords is always a smart idea.

National Clean Up Your Computer Month!

Your computer. It’s always there when you need it, an integral part of daily life, and has more of your personal information than many of your friends and family members you’ve known your whole life.

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Most of us don’t realize how important our computers are until something happens and we have to live without them!

There’s a special time of the year to remind us about the importance of our computers and taking care of them — National Clean Up Your Computer Month. This annual awareness month, which takes place every January, reminds us to clean up our computer’s hardware and software, which are vital in ensuring the health and longevity of our computers. Here are some specific ways you can give your computer the TLC it deserves:

  • Clean your keyboard and mouse. Both are havens for germs, dust, and other unwanted debris. Use canned air to get in between keyboard keys. Also, wipe down your keys and your mouse with computer-approved cleaning agents.
  • Wipe down your monitor. Be sure to use products specifically designed for computers and to follow the instructions. Never use glass cleaner and other household cleaning products.
  • Remove unused files. Carrying excess files can slow down the performance of your computer. Take some time to delete old files as well as temporary files.
  • Empty your trash or recycle bin. You wouldn’t leave a full trash barrel under your kitchen sink, so why leave a full barrel of trash in your computer?
  • Back up important files. If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a file you needed, you know how important it is to regularly back up your files.
  • Clean out your cookies. If you do a lot of Internet surfing, you’ll probably have old cookies that can affect the performance of your computer. Clean out cookies in your browser.
  • Do a virus scan. If you don’t have virus protection software, make sure you purchase it from a reputable provider and run a scan immediately and regularly.
  • Uninstall old software programs. If you haven’t used an application in the last several months, take it off your computer by running an uninstall program. You just might find your computer runs faster.

Start celebrating National Clean Up Your Computer Month today!

Tip for Shopping Online

Tips for Shopping Online 
(Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information)

Know who you’re dealing with.

Anyone can set up shop online under almost any name. Confirm the online seller’s physical address and phone number in case you have questions or online shoppingproblems. And if you get an email or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don’t reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information that way.

Know what you’re buying.

Read the seller’s description of the product closely, especially the fine print. Words like “refurbished,” “vintage,” or “close-out” may indicate that the product is in less-than-mint condition, while name-brand items with bargain basement prices could be counterfeits.

Know what it will cost.

Check out websites that offer price comparisons and then compare “apples to apples.” Factor shipping and handling into the total cost of your purchase. Do not send cash or money transfers under any circumstances.

Check out the terms of the deal, like refund policies and delivery dates.

Can you return the item for a full refund if you’re not satisfied? If you return it, who pays the shipping costs or restocking fees, and when you will get your order? A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule requires sellers to ship items as promised or within 30 days after the order date if no specific date is promised. Many sites offer tracking options, so you can see exactly where your purchase is and estimate when you’ll get it.

Pay by credit card.

If you pay by credit or charge card online, your transaction will be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, you can dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them. In the event that someone uses your credit card without your permission, your liability generally is limited to the first $50 in charges. Some companies guarantee that you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges made to your card online; some cards provide additional warranty, return, and purchase protection benefits.

Keep Records.

Print or save records of your online transactions, including the product description and price, the online receipt, and the emails you send and receive from the seller. Read your credit card statements as you receive them; be on the lookout for charges that you don’t recognize.

Protect Your Information

Don’t email any financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting financial information like your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number. If you begin a transaction and need to give your financial information through an organization’s website, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a URL that begins “https” (the “s” stands for secure). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some fraudulent sites have forged security icons.

Check the privacy policy.

Really. It should let you know what personal information the website operators are collecting, why, and how they’re going to use the information. If you can’t find a privacy policy — or if you can’t understand it — consider taking your business to another site that’s more user-friendly.

Introducing a safer way to pay

The last time you were in a retail store, you may have noticed swiping your card through a brand new card reader. Many retailers are currently in the process of updating their payment systems to accept chip cards, the latest and safest way to pay. In the coming weeks, Community Bank of the Chesapeake will begin updating our customers’ cards, issuing new Checkcards with security chips. Here are a few things you need to know in advance ofGraphic_2 the rollout.

What does the microchip do?

The chip in your card adds an extra layer of security by creating a unique, one-time use code every time you dip your card at a chip-enabled terminal. Your purchase can only be approved with the chip-generated code. The bad news for would-be fraudsters is that the chip in your card is virtually impossible to duplicate, meaning that making counterfeit chip cards is much more difficult than counterfeiting magnetic striped cards.

How do you pay with a chip card?

Paying with a chip card is easy! Instead of swiping it like you would a magnetic strip card, you insert the card into the slot at the bottom of the machine so that the chip can be read. Leave the card in the machine while the transaction processes. You may be prompted to sign for your purchase. On some terminals, the machine will beep to alert you that the transaction is complete and that it is safe to remove your card. Remember to always take your card out of the machine!

You can use your new chip card anywhere magnetic cards are accepted.

Your card will still have a magnetic strip, which means that you can still use the card at a retailer that hasn’t upgraded to a chip-enabled point of sale terminal. Be aware, however, that the chip functionality will only work at retailers that have activated their chip terminals.

You still need to guard against fraud when you use your card online, over the phone or by mail.

Unlike with in-store transactions, there is no card-reading device receiving the secret, one-time authentication code from the microchip to verify your card’s authenticity. This means that you still need to remain vigilant when shopping online or giving your card data over the phone or by mail. You should always be sure to monitor your account on a regular basis and report any unauthorized transactions to your bank as soon as possible. When shopping online, always verify that the site is secure before entering your payment information.

While these new chip cards cannot completely eliminate the threat of fraud or data breaches, they will go a long way to help keep your card data and information safe. If you have any questions about chip cards or how to use them, please visit your local branch or call us toll free at 888-745-2265. Be sure to keep an eye on our website, cbtc.com, for updates on when you can expect to receive your chip card.

Check out this infographic from the American Bankers Association to learn more about how to use your chip card!

We will begin issuing EMV cards to all card holders beginning November 30, 2015. There is no need to request a new card and there is no extra charge.  You will automatically receive your new card in the mail before your current card’s expiration date.  Once your new card arrives, be sure to activate it for use and then destroy your old card. If you have any questions, please contact your local branch or call us toll free at 888-745-2265.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

It’s the most “spooktacular” time of the year. That annual ritual when young pirates, princesses, superheroes, mermaids, and other characters venture out into the streets to collect tasty treats from friends and neighbors. But while Halloween can bring joy and excitement to children, it can bring worries to parents about their children’s safety. Here are some simple tips to ensure your child enjoys the treats of the season — and stays safe.Halloween Safety

 

Food Safety:

  • Instruct your children to eat only factory wrapped candy or treats from people they know and trust.
  • Carefully examine all the candy and treats for any signs of tampering.
  • Read the labels on all candy packaging. This is especially important to parents whose children have dangerous food and other allergies.

Costume Safety:

  • Ensure costumes are flame retardant.
  • Do not have your children wear masks or other equipment that obstructs their vision.
  • Before applying makeup, be sure to test it on a small section of your child’s skin to prevent an allergic reaction.
  • Ensure your child’s costume is not too long, which could cause them to trip or fall.
  • Choose comfortable shoes, such as sneakers. While princess heels may look great, they may cause your child to fall or experience foot pain.
  • Make sure your costumes are bright or reflective. Or, purchase reflective tape that can be adhered to any costume.

Road Safety:

  • Make sure young children are always accompanied by an adult.
  • Have children carry flashlights so that they can see and be seen.
  • Keep children on sidewalks and instruct them to walk not run.

General Safety:

  • Adhere to the trick-or-treat hours your city or town has established.
  • Instruct children to stay away from candles and lighted jack-o-lanterns or other decorations that use fire.
  • Teach children not to enter any houses without being accompanied by a trusted adult.
  • Ensure children only go to houses of people they know.
  • If a house is dark, instruct children to stay away.

Home Safety

If you plan on handing out treats, here are some safety rules to ensure the safety of trick or treaters who visit you.

  • Turn on outside lights and make a clear path so young visitors can see where they are going.
  • Choose healthier, lower calorie snacks.
  • Limit the amount of snacks you provide to your young guests.
  • Turn out your lights when trick or treating has ended in your city or town or when you run out of candy.

Treat yourself to more safety tips.

For more helpful tips on keeping children safe, visit the Center for Disease Control or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Protect your business from account takeover

Provided by: The American Bankers Association 

 

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software spread through infected attachments and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts, transfer funds from the accounts and steal private Webinformation, a fraud referred to as “corporate account takeover.”

Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards small businesses need and the numerous programs available that help ensure fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals are legitimate, accurate and authorized. Companies should train employees about safe internet use and the warning signs of this fraud, because they are the first line of defense.

Here are some precautions you can take to help protect your business from account takeover:

  • Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.
  • Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud.
  • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened.
  • Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.

To learn more, see the American Bankers Association’s Small Business Guide to Corporate Account Takeover.

 

8 Tips to Protect Your Identity

Provided by: the American Bankers Association 

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft has topped its list of consumer complaints every year, for the last 15 years. Identity theft occurs when a criminal obtains and misuses someone’s personal information without permission, typically for economic gain. For many victims, it can result in drained bank accounts, poor credit, and a damaged reputation.

In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Community Bank offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of ID 8 waysidentity theft:

  • Don’t share your secrets. Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.
  • Shred sensitive papers. Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Keep an eye out for missing mail. Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don’t mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.
  • Use online banking to protect yourself. Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.
  • Protect your computer. Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.
  • Protect your mobile deviceUse the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments – especially for senders you don’t know.
  • Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

In addition to these precautions, Community Bank of the Chesapeake recommends adding the additional protection of Identity Restoration services. Contact your local branch manager for more information and to sign up.

12 Ways to Protect Your Mobile Device

Provided by: the American Bankers Association

 

Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same

Modern mobile phone with icon of lock.Isolated on white background.3d rendered.

convenient access for criminals. Follow these tips to keep your information (and your money) safe.

  1. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  1. Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  1. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  1. Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary “permissions.”
  1. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps.
  1. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
  1. Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  1. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you’re punching in sensitive information.
  1. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  1. Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in emails and texts, especially from senders you don’t know. And be wary of ads (not from your security provider) claiming that your device is infected.
  1. Watch out for public Wi-Fi. Public connections aren’t very secure, so don’t perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, try disabling the Wi-Fi and switching to your mobile network.
  1. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

We live in an unpredictable world, and it’s impossible to tell when or where the next natural or manmade disaster will strike. But as a business owner, 3d image Disaster recovery  issues concept word cloud backgroundone of the things you can do is make sure you’re prepared. Here are some ideas to consider for handling an emergency that make good common sense.

Important Files

  • Store a copy of all computer operating systems and important files offsite.
  • Back up critical data on a regular basis and rotate storage disks (floppies, CDs, tapes) to an offsite location.
  • With many programs having a “remember this password” feature, it can be easy to lose track of passwords (and IDs) used for different systems. Writing down passwords is not advisable for security purposes, so be sure there is more than one trusted employee who can reset passwords for key systems.
  • For important financial records like balance sheets, income statements and tax returns, keep a copy in a secure location.
  • Keep copies of critical contracts, licenses and operating agreements offsite. Don’t forget to update these offsite materials regularly.

Physical Assets

  • Keep an updated inventory of all equipment and other fixed assets. This should include identification numbers, costs and locations.
  • Make sure all physical assets are adequately insured.

Useful Information

Keep a file of contacts, phone numbers and email addresses offsite. In an emergency, being able to contact employees, vendors and customers is critical. Be sure to include office and mobile numbers, as well as email addresses.

Communication Plan

It is important to have a plan outlining how to contact critical parties. Specific people should be assigned to handle specific contacts—employees, vendors, customers and others. You may also want to have a designated media contact. In the confusion of a disaster, it is critical that accurate and consistent information is made available.

Summary

Common sense, a well thought-out plan and remaining calm are some of the key ingredients for successfully dealing with an emergency. Make sure you and your business are prepared for whatever the future holds.

4 Simple Steps to Stop a Cyber Thief

In recognition of National Data Privacy Day on January 28, Communiidentity_Theft_Laptopty Bank of the Chesapeake reminds you to take an active role in protecting your data.

To help ensure the safety of personal information, try following these four tips:

1. Create c0mplic@t3d passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. It is also important to change passwords at least three times a year. Because friendly theft–theft by someone the victim knows–is the most common type of identity theft or fraud. Don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information.

2. Keep tabs on your accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the monthly statement. You are the first line of defense because you know right away if a transaction is fraudulent. If you notice unusual or unauthorized activity, notify your bank right away. When a customer reports an unauthorized transaction in a timely manner, the bank will cover the loss and can take additional measures to protect the account.

3. Stay alert online. Be sure computers and mobile devices are equipped with up-to-date anti-virus and malware protection. Never give out your personal financial information in response to an unsolicited email, no matter how official it may seem. Your bank will never contact you by email asking for your password, PIN or account information. Only open links and attachments from trusted sources. When submitting financial information on a website, look for the padlock or key icon at the top or bottom of your browser, and make sure the Internet address begins with “https.” This signals that your information is secure during transmission.

4. Mobilize your defenses. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments–especially from senders you don’t know.

Data breaches can happen anytime, anywhere and can affect anyone. At Community Bank, we can help you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’ll have an expert on your side if your identity is stolen. Learn more about how our ID Restoration Services can help you in the event your identity is compromised or stop by one of our convenient branch locations for details.