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Identity Theft and Internet Banking Safety

Online Computer Safety Tips

To provide our customers with secure online access, Benton County State Bank continually works to maintain and improve our online security. To help you protect your own security, Benton County State Bank has comprised a list of tips to help you protect your computer and your account information.

Keep your computer operating systems up-to-date.If your computer is more than five years old, its operating system (e.g., Windows 98) may not offer the same level of protection as newer systems. Manufacturers provide updates that help make your system more secure. Some updates are supplied automatically through e-mail or your Internet connection. You may also check your operating system's web site.

Always use a current web browser. When you are working online, make sure that you are always using a current web browser. If you are using an older browser it may not be able to protect the transactions on Internet banking. You may need to upgrade your browser.

Install a personal firewall. Though many office networks include firewall protection, many home computers do not have the necessary security to protect you. Check with your operating system to see if a firewall is already included before purchasing a separate one.

Install and update anti-virus software. Anti-virus software helps protect your computer by reducing the risk of your computer contracting computer viruses. These viruses can compromise your security, and the anti-virus software program offers upgrades to protect against the latest computer viruses.

Activate a pop-up blocker. Many companies offer free pop-up-blockers online. You should make sure these programs are from legitimate companies before downloading. This can protect you against fake e-mail sites. When you have the pop-up blocker activated, you may need to turn off the blocker to view some information that only appears on pop-up windows.

Scan your computer for spyware. Spyware and adware are programs that look in on your Web activity and potentially could relay information to disreputable sources. Search the Internet for free spyware or adware removal programs. Make sure that the removal program is from a legitimate company.

Use secure web sites for transactions and shopping. Be sure the web page you are browsing offers encryption of your data. Often you will see a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your Internet window. Also, the web address you are viewing may begin with “ https://... ”. The “s” means that the web address is a secure address and uses encryption.

Avoid downloading from unknown sources. Downloads from unfamiliar sources may have hidden programs or viruses that can affect your computer’s security.

Disconnect from the Internet when not in use. DSL and high-speed cable provide a constant connection between your computer and the Internet. Disconnect the Internet to avoid unwanted access to the information on your computer.