Security

Security Risks

Jump to information specific to: #Consumers  #Businesses

Howard Bank Contacting You

Howard Bank will NOT, under any circumstances, contact you and ask for passwords, pin numbers, or any electronic banking credentials.

Your Password

You will be responsible for maintaining one of the most important security measures: your password. Please be sure to keep your password a secret. We recommend you memorize your password. It is not recommended you write it down or carry your password in your purse, wallet, or computer bag. Make sure no one watches you enter your password and always close your browser when leaving the computer. Make sure you regularly scan your computer for viruses that could be used to capture password keystrokes. You ultimately hold the key to your password security. Below are some suggestions on Password Dos and Don’ts:

Password DOs
  • Change passwords regularly and whenever they may have become compromised
  • Use the first (or last) letter of each word in an easily remembered phrase. For added security, substitute symbols for letters. For example using the phrase “If money doesn’t grow on trees then why do banks have branches?” would be IMDGOTTWDBHB? or 1md9077wD6Hb?
Password DON’Ts
  • Don’t give your passwords to ANYONE for ANY reason
  • Don’t write your passwords down:
    • Anywhere near your computer
    • In your purse, wallet, or computer bag
    • In user manuals
    • Electronically in word documents
    • Sent in emails
  • Don’t use personal information such as; your name, your friend’s name, pets, address, social security number, phone number, license plate number, important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries
  • Don’t use words that can be found in any language’s dictionary. Or these words spelled backwards or with numbers or symbols added to the beginning or end
  • Do not use the same password for multiple sign-ins when possible
  • Do not use easy to spot passwords such as “qwerty”, “123456”, or “aaaAAA”
Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing problem and consumers need to take measures to protect themselves at all times.  Awareness is one of the best deterrents against fraud. Criminals can steal your identity in many ways, and are inventing new avenues every day. Howard Bank takes real interest and responsibility in protecting our customers against fraud, and while we have many checks in place to detect deceitful activity, we both can only benefit from customers who are educated on the risks.

For more information on how to protect yourself against identity theft, please click here.

Protect Yourself
  • Use a dedicated computer for financial transactional activity. DO NOT use that computer for general web browsing and email.
  • Never open attachments or click on links from unsolicited emails.
  • Apply operation system and application updates (patches) regularly.
  • Use the latest versions of Internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome with “pop-up” blockers and ensure that updates (patches) are most recent versions.
  • Use and maintain updated spam filters and anti-virus software.
  • Have host-based firewall software installed on computers.
  • Turn off your computer when not in use.
  • Review your banking transactions daily.
Potential Signs Your Computer System May Be Compromised
  • Inability to log into online banking.
  • Dramatic loss of computer speed.
  • Changes in the way things appear on the screen.
  • Computer locks up so the user is unable to perform any functions.
  • Unexpected rebooting or restarting of the computer.
  • Unexpected request for a one time password in the middle of an online session.
  • Unusual pop-up messages, especially a message in the middle of a session that says the connection to the bank system is not working.
  • New or unexpected toolbars and/or icons.
  • Inability to shut down or restart the computer.
If You Have Suspicions

If you notice suspicious activity within your account or experience security-related events, please contact your branch or call 410-750-0020, immediately.

Consumers

Your Protection Under “Reg E”

Howard Bank follows specific rules for electronic transactions issued by the Federal Reserve Board.  Known as Regulation E, the rules cover all kinds of situations revolving around transfers made electronically.  Under the consumer protections provided under Reg E, you can recover internet banking losses according to how soon you detect and report them.

For a copy of Howard Banks most recent “Regulation E” documents, please visit a conveniently located branch or call 410-750-0020.

Businesses

Business Account Takeover

Business Account Takeover is the business equivalent of personal identity theft. Businesses not only need to protect themselves from identity theft but also ensure they have protections in place so that they do not have a business account takeover.

Hackers, backed by professional criminal organizations are targeting small and medium businesses to obtain access to their web banking credentials or remote control of their computers. These hackers will then drain the deposit and credit lines of the compromised bank accounts, funneling the funds through mules that quickly redirect the monies overseas into other accounts.

See our expanded information on how to protect yourself against business account takeover.

Controls Evaluation

Howard Bank recommends that an online banking assessment and control evaluation be completed periodically by all of our business customers who use online banking.

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