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Internet/Computer Safety

Protect Your Computer from Malicious Software (viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, rootkits, etc.)

- Ensure you have a firewall between your computer and the Internet.  Microsoft Windows has had a firewall turned on by default since Windows XP SP 2, though having that version of Windows or later is no guarantee of its effectiveness. In addition, most home network equipment has basic firewall capabilities. There are various, free testing services on the Internet that can check your firewall for you without requiring you to install any software or make any other changes. As with everything on the Internet, be cautious if a site tries to install software on your computer or requests payment.

- Ensure your machine's operating system and applications are up-to-date with all security patches. "Patches" are software updates that address known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by viruses and other malware, as well as rogue websites. For Microsoft Windows users, Automatic Updates may or may not address all of your installed software, such as Microsoft Office products, which can also present a risk when surfing the Internet. Apple Mac software can be updated through the "Software Update" utility. Other software, such as Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Apple iTunes, Sun Java, and more should be updated as well.

- Ensure that you have anti-virus software installed and running, as well as ensuring that it is being updated regularly. Anti-virus companies issue updates on an almost-daily basis and sometimes more frequently than that. Given the prevalence and sophistication of viruses and other malware, it is critical that your anti-virus software be kept up-to-date.

Don't Become a Victim of Phishing Attacks!

Please be cautious when clicking links in unsolicited e-mails as e-mails are easily forged and can point your computer to malicious websites. Some contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Best practices when opening e-mail include asking the following questions:

1. Did I expect this e-mail?
2. Is it from someone I know and trust?
3. Is the content reasonable and/or relevant?
4. Are there spelling mistakes or is there unusual grammar being used?

If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply and do not click on any links in the message. In most phishing schemes, the fraudulent e-mail message will request that you "update", "validate", or "confirm" your account information. Some even threaten a dire consequence if you don't respond. The messages direct you to a fraudulent website that may look very similar to a legitimate business website. These bogus websites can steal your identity, steal your money, or commit other crimes in your name. If you receive an e-mail that is requesting information regarding your Bank 34 account or if you receive a questionable e-mail in reference to your Bank 34 account, please contact us immediately at 623-463-1440.

If you have any questions regarding these tips please feel free to give us a call.



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