Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chip Cards Offer Additional Security for Holiday Shopping Season

chip card reader for added security
In the wake of several highly-publicized cases of retailer breaches over the past few years, consumers have a layer of added security this holiday season: the chip card. By now, most credit and debit cards come with a small square chip in the front. You may have received a new card in the mail with chip technology, and been asked to use the chip reader recently at your favorite store. But what exactly does the chip card do?
What makes the chip card different?
Chip cards are different than the old magnetic strip cards because they assign a unique code to each transaction. This makes it harder to commit fraud by stealing your card data or using fake cards. Even if your card data and individual transaction code were stolen, it could not be used again for a new transaction. Chip cards still come with a magnetic strip, so if a merchant doesn’t have a working chip reader, you can still use the swipe method for a transaction.
Keep in mind that chip cards only offer this extra layer of security when used in-person, with a chip reader. When using the magnetic strip method, or making a purchase over the phone or online, the chip feature is not engaged in the transaction.
How do you use the chip card?
At first, using the chip card may take a bit longer than using the magnetic strip, as shoppers get used to it. But as it becomes automatic, the time to process a chip card is only slightly longer than the swipe method.
The chip card is inserted into the chip reader at the bottom of a checkout keypad. Shoppers need to remember to remove their chip cards after the transaction has been processed. Some chip readers sound an alarm when it’s time to remove the card. This is so you don’t forget your card by leaving it in the chip reader.
If your credit or debit card has a chip, rest assured that your in-store purchases are more secure than ever this year, as long as you use the merchant’s chip reader, and remember to take your card after the transaction is complete.
McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the banking needs of the people of McHenry County, Illinois, for over 60 years. With branches in McHenry, Richmond, and Johnsburg, we are a full-service financial institution with personal, commercial, and investment services. Please visit our website, or call us at (815) 385-3000 for more information. “We are local people making local decisions.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tips for Older Adults to Keep Your Money Safe

Tips for Older Adults to Keep Your Money Safe
Older Americans are an attractive target for scammers. Many have built a considerable nest egg from a lifetime of saving, home equity and savvy retirement planning. Add to this naivety regarding the tactics of a scammer, and you have the perfect recipe for criminals to bilk you out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.  Here are seven tips to protect older adults from the illicit practices of scammers and keep their money safe.
  1. Financial Trustee – Choose a trusted advisor to make financial decisions on your behalf. This is a great way to keep all financial considerations under a professional’s watchful eye.
  2. Know who is in your home – Caregivers, cleaning professionals and other contractors may have access to many private areas of your home. Conduct background checks and ask for references for anyone you employ within your home.
  3. Delay signing papers – If you are unsure what a financial paper means, consult your attorney or financial advisor before you sign anything. If you are being pressured to sign, this might be an indication that something is not right.
  4. Know what a Power of Attorney (POA) means – Giving a family member the power to make decisions on your behalf also means they have access to your financial accounts. Get professional 3rd party help when setting up a POA and do not just go by what your family member recommends.
  5. Trust your gut – If something just doesn’t seem right, don’t do it, no matter how convincing the scammer might be.
  6. Don’t leave a paper trail – Shred old documents and even junk mail to ensure you are not giving scammers an easy way to access personal information. Store important documents in a safe deposit box.
  7. Lock ‘em up – Store checkbooks, credit card and other financial information in a safe place. Consider purchasing a small home safe for these valuable items.
At McHenry Savings Bank, we believe our job is to partner with our customers to keep their money safe. We provide a variety of saving and checking account options and we take security of those accounts very seriously. We also offer our valued customers financial and retirement planning services through our wholly owned subsidiary, McHenry County Investment Services Inc. If you have questions or concerns about your financial decisions, please feel free to contact one of our trusted experts.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Importance of Cyber Security

As the Internet continues to grow, online accounts and transactions are becoming more and more popular.  The ever-growing use of the Internet brings the need for tighter security measures.  Cyber security, also known as information technology security, is the protection of information from theft or damage.  Cyber security protects computers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized access.  At McHenry Savings Bank, we handle online banking and security with the highest importance.  In an effort to prevent identity theft and Internet fraud, follow these tips:

Protect Your Identity – Identity theft is a problem for millions of people in the US.  The best way to prevent identity theft is protecting your online presence.  Never give out your social security number, passwords or pins.  Also, changing your passwords periodically ensures even more safety.  At McHenry Savings Bank, we recommend you sign up for text or email alerts within our Personal and Business eBanking modules in case there is unusual activity.

Online Security – While the Internet has many advantages, it is also vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.  To keep your personal information private, protect your computer with virus protection software that is up-to-date.  It is also a good idea to set strong passwords and security questions for logins.  Before you buy something online, make sure the website uses secure technology.  

Mobile Security – Your mobile device is a convenient way to access the Internet.  Unfortunately, it is a device that offers convenient access for criminals.  Use caution when using your phone for personal information by setting a passcode, logging out completely from mobile banking sessions, making sure you are downloading only secure apps, and using public Wi-Fi with caution.  Most importantly, avoid storing sensitive information on your mobile device.

Safe banking involves making good choices and decisions that will help you avoid costly surprises and scams.  At McHenry Savings Bank, we are dedicated to the safety of our customers’ personal information.  

To learn more about McHenry Savings Bank, browse our website at or call 815-385-3000.  

Your Bank, Your Kind of People who are Committed to Customer & Community.

Monday, September 26, 2016

How The Internet Has Affected Banking

The Internet is an ever-evolving platform bringing the latest technology to consumers.  From smart-phones to personal computers, the Internet has made banking a more efficient and painless experience.  With emerging online banking services, consumers can now check account balances, review account information and transactions at their convenience.  Take a look at some of the ways the Internet has changed banking:

Say Good-Bye To Banking Hours
With the convenience on the Internet, banking hours no longer apply to consumers.  Online banking provides access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for those looking to manage accounts.  24-hour online banking is extremely convenient for customers who want to access their account outside of business hours and when banks are typically closed.

Declining Teller Transactions
Instead of driving to the bank, waiting in line and consulting a teller, online banking now allows transactions from the convenience of your home.  Consumers can now transfer funds, make deposits, request withdrawals and pay bills through online banking.  Recently, the convenience of the Internet has caused teller transactions to decline.

Cyber Security
Personal information is shared through online banking transactions.  McHenry Savings Bank has significant safety measures in place to protect the information of our customers. While there is a possibility for security breach and identity theft at nonregulated sites, the most important thing YOU can do is to limit the personal information you give out to only secure and verified platforms.

At McHenry Savings Bank, the Internet has changed the way we do banking!  We are proud to offer online and mobile banking for the convenience of our customers.  With safe and secure online services, check your balances, transfer funds, pay your bills, pay people and receive eStatements. Our eBanking website is also fully functional through your tablet or Kindle. For more information on McHenry Savings Bank, visit our website or call 815-385-3000.   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Every Millennial Should Know About Banking

Millennials can be described as the generation born between the mid-1980’s and the early 2000’s. Millennials are currently the largest generational segment in the United States, reaching nearly 80 million people. While the millennial generation is thought to value experiences over monetary gain, it is extremely important to start planning for a financially sound future sooner rather than later.  

Just because technology is constantly at our fingertips doesn’t mean it’s easy to make the right financial decisions. Here is what every Millennial should know when it comes to banking.

Browse Banking Options
Every bank offers something different. Make a list of what banking services are most important to you and browse account details online. You will be able to find the best prices, closest locations and lowest fees bank accounts.

Utilize Mobile and Online Banking
As a tech-savvy millennial, you will want to use a bank account that offers mobile and online banking. This makes it easy for you to manage finances with the click of a button.

Get Email or Text-Alerts
Utilizing email and text-alerts can help you take control of your finances. You can set up custom alerts that will inform you if your credit card reaches a certain limit or if there was a fraudulent charge.

Manage Personal Finances
Some banks, including McHenry Savings Bank, will help you manage your finances through one-on-one financial advisement and budgeting tools including savings calculators, insurance calculators, mortgage calculators, etc.

Set Aside Savings
Open a “rainy day” fund that will serve as emergency financing for unexpected expenses including car repairs, broken utilities, medical emergencies and injuries.

Plan Ahead
Are you planning on buying a house, car or other large expense? You can “plan ahead of a major purchase” by exploring your loan options or creating a specific savings fund account for that major purchase. Christmas Club accounts are an excellent example of saving and planning ahead. Also, if you bank online and have savings account, you can transfer money regularly to your savings accounts to build your funds faster. And if you do use credit cards, pay your credit card bill on time and in full as much as possible.

At McHenry Savings Bank, we are dedicated to helping customers of all generations with their banking needs. If you are a millennial in need of financial assistance and banking service, we can help. McHenry Savings Bank utilizes the latest and greatest financial technology including mobile and online banking. To learn more about what you can gain at McHenry Savings Bank, visit our website today!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Six Tips to Spruce up Your Finances This Summer

Summer is in full swing here in the Midwest. With it comes a flurry of activities that can take up your time and eat up your finances.  Don’t let the busyness of summer take a bite out of your financial plans. Take some time to implement some (or all) of these tips to help keep your finances healthy.
  • Pay off debts – Lingering debt can wreak havoc on your financial outlook. Summer is the perfect time to create a debt reduction plan so that your finances are in good shape for the end of the year. Additionally, consider contacting your creditors to inquire about lowering your interest rate. 
  • Examine and update your budget – Your financial outlook is not a stagnant thing, and your budget should not be either. Review your budget and determine where updates should be made to meet your current financial situation.
  • Go mobile – Mobile banking has revolutionized the way we interact with financial institutions. McHenry Savings Bank offers customers an easy to use mobile banking app that puts your finances right at your fingertips. Download the app to your Smartphone here or contact us for more information.
  • Set-up direct deposit – Many employers offer their employees the convenience of direct check deposits. This eliminates trips to the bank or even lost or stolen checks.
  •  Review your credit report – With the onslaught of data breaches and credit scams, now, more than ever, it is imperative to review your credit annually (at least).  You are allowed one free report each year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). Review your reports carefully and follow-up on any errors or inconsistencies. These could have a detrimental impact on your credit score and make it difficult to obtain a loan.
  • Go electronic – McHenry Savings Bank offers its customers the simplicity of e-statements as well as automatic bill paying services. E-statements eliminate the clutter and mess of paper statements and keep your financial information right at the tip of your fingers. Automatic bill-paying services ensure that you are never late on a payment. Set-up amount and date of withdrawal and rest easy knowing that your payments will be on time every month.

Are you looking for more ways to get your finances in order this summer? Contact a personal banker at McHenry Savings Bank for more great ideas. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Secure Your Mobile Device With These 7 Tips

7 TipsAccording to Digital Trends, the average American uses their mobile device 4.7 hours over the course of a day and checks their social media accounts (often via smartphone) upwards to 17 times a day.  With the increasing use of smartphones, it’s no wonder why cyber criminals are targeting the devices that know so much about us.

Luckily, securing your smartphone is an easy and efficient way to keep your information safe. Here are 7 essential tips for protecting your mobile device:

Secure Your Phone
Most of you probably already use a password, code or fingerprint scan to screen lock your phone.  The best way to secure your phone from strangers if it is ever lost or stolen is to choose a discreet password.

Don’t Forget To Log Out
If you are logged onto mobile banking sessions or other websites that hold your private information, log out after you finish.  Better safe than sorry!

Update Your Device
Keeping your phone up-to-date with the latest security software and app updates can help prevent malicious software or malware.

Only Download From Secure Sources
When you download apps and files online, make sure they are from a trusted source.  If not, you might be downloading malware and viruses with the capability to steal your personal information.

Do Not Store Personal Information
Do NOT use your smartphone to store important information like passwords and pin numbers.  If your phone does get stolen, you won’t want sensitive information in the wrong hands.

Be Weary of Public Networks
While everyone loves free Wi-Fi, it’s important to be weary of what wireless networks you are connecting to.  If you are on a public network, try to avoid banking transactions.

Wipe Your Mobile Device
If you are trading, selling or donating your phone, don’t forget to wipe your device completely.  A simple factory reset still has the opportunity to recover personal information.

If you believe your private banking information might be at risk, contact your bank right away.  At McHenry Savings Bank, we take the personal information of our customers very seriously.  Our mobile banking app is a safe and easy way to securely check your banking when you need to.  Any questions?  Give us a call at 815-385-3000.