Monday, August 28, 2017

6 Banking Tips for Millennials

Millennials have grown up alongside technology. They remember the days when having a RAZR flip phone made them the talk of the 6th grade. They remember playing Solitaire on a tube monitor connected to dial-up internet on a clunky desktop computer. Technology continues to evolve, and banking has evolved along with it. Here are 6 aspects of banking to consider before choosing a bank to trust with your finances.  

Millennials McHenry Savings Bank

Best Banking
You’re allowed to be selective! Find a bank with services, prices, locations, and loans that are in line with your personal preferences. Also consider security features with regards to things like PayPal and online shopping. 

Saving Smart
Set up an auto transfer from a checking account to a savings account. This is a great way to save up without having to transfer each pay period.

Accessible App
Banking through a smartphone is fast, easy, and convenient. Make sure to investigate the privacy settings and never use public wifi when accessing your banking app. Make sure to keep the app updated for the newest features.

Automatic Alerts
Most banks automatically call or text the account holder if an account falls below a predesignated amount. Account holders can also request a confirmation on purchases made at or above a certain amount.

Secondary Savings

If we expect the unexpected does that make it expected? Set up a secondary savings account for large purchases like car maintenance, health problems, or costly home updates. This can help save an account holder money when these unexpected financial situations arise. This allows interest rates to be avoided and loan applications to be omitted. Plus, the money deposited will collect interest every month!

Staying Social

Social media is a great way to connect with a local bank, ask questions, and keep up with any changes.

When it comes time to choose a bank, we hope you’ll trust McHenry Savings Bank with your finances. McHenry Savings Bank (MSB) offers helpful tools like mobile banking, people pay, eGift Cards, bill pay services, mobile check deposit, SecurLOCK to monitor and protect your MSB debit card, and more. Visit our website to find out more or give us a call at (815) 385-3000.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Avoiding Malware, Phishing, and Spyware

Avoiding Malware, Phishing, and Spyware

Malware, spyware, and phishing prey upon unsuspecting citizens by attempting to collect personal information, oftentimes without an individual’s knowledge or consent. Not only does this invasive activity cause annoyance, it can result in identity theft, negatively impact your credit record, and even steal money from your bank account. Online and mobile banking, internet financial transactions, and more have become modern conveniences many people enjoy, but the rise of online criminal activity makes it more important than ever to take precautions to protect yourself and your finances.

Phishing, spyware, and malware share the goal of stealing information, but understanding the differences between them helps us fight them more effectively.

  • Phishing is an attempt to collect information or money by pretending to be a trustworthy source. Examples include emails that purport to be from government agencies and financial institutions, but ask for personal information such as passwords or bank account numbers. Often, phishing emails contain links to fake websites that appear reputable, in hopes the recipient will enter personal information. Some links in phishing email take the unsuspecting recipient to a site that installs malware.
  • Malware refers to unwanted and unfriendly software installed on another computer in order to disrupt and gain access to its system, and oftentimes, to personal information.
  • Spyware, a form of malware, logs a user’s keystrokes, browsing habits, and more without his or her knowledge, and in this way, collects information such as passwords, account numbers, and more.   

To combat these intrusions and protect your privacy:

  • Invest in an anti-virus service that has a reputation for quality, making sure it includes a firewall, anti-malware, and anti-spyware technology.
  • Download the latest software and security updates for your operating system and anti-virus service. Set both to “automatic updates” so you never miss the latest patches and security upgrades.
  • Any email requesting personal information should be treated with extreme caution. Do not open attachments, reply, or click links in these messages. When in doubt about the email’s authenticity, call the business or institution to check.
  • Avoid visiting suspicious websites.
  • Set your browser security level to “medium” or above, and clean out your internet cache regularly.

McHenry Savings Bank cares about protecting our customers from identity theft, financial scams, and fraudulent banking activity. If you notice unauthorized activity on your accounts, or receive suspicious emails purporting to be from our institution, please call us right away.

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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Online Banking: Being a Safe Internet Explorer

Cell phones have put so many things quite literally at our fingertips. A few quick taps on the screen can wish mom a happy birthday, make a car payment, order a pizza, or send a picture across the world. With a world of technology rapidly expanding, mobile users can open the virtual door for cyber criminals - no ski mask needed. Yes, online banking has become a portal for hackers to steal personal information, bank account numbers, and identities. Online banking is extremely convenient and can be very safe as well. Follow these tips to enjoy the benefits of online banking safely.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Public wifi networks can compromise the security of your mobile device. With the right skills, hackers can plant viruses that can snag personal information. Not all public wifi is evil. Networks with password protection tend to be safer. If a public network is used, make sure to “forget” the network so the mobile device won’t connect when in range without the user’s knowledge.

Identity theft

Stay Protected Online: Make sure any device that is used to access personal information has antivirus software. Always check URLS for the little lock icon that indicated an encrypted line of communication which makes hacking much more challenging.

Create a Secure Password: “Pet’s name123” won’t cut it here. The password used for online banking should be different from any other password for things like Facebook, Instagram, or E-mail. Consider using capital and lowercase letters, number, and symbols.

Never stay logged in when using a mobile phone or computer. If your device is ever lost contact your bank immediately to freeze your vulnerable accounts.
McHenry Savings Bank is 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.”
Looking for a safe and easy mobile banking app? Check out our free app here!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Avoiding Identity Theft

In the past 6 years, over 107 billion dollars has been stolen from Americans through identity theft. In 2016 alone, 16 billion dollars were reported stolen as a result of identity theft. In a cyber world, as technology gets smarter so do the criminals that infiltrate it. Armed with sneaky computer viruses, credit card skimmers, and scammy pop-ups, phone calls, and emails there is suspicion lurking around every corner. Here are 6 ways to help avoid becoming part of this 107 billion dollar statistic by preventing an identity theft. 
  1. Protect Personal Information- Never share your social security number online or over the phone. It is important to not share your pin number with anyone, even those you trust.
  2. Shred it- If you receive mail or statements with personal information, shred them before recycling them to ensure your information stays safe.
  3. Utilize Online Banking- Most banks have some sort of mobile application which allows you to check balances, make deposits, or transfer funds on the go. They also allow email or text message alerts that can notify the account holder if they incur a transaction more than X amount of dollars or if an account drops below a certain pre-designated amount.
  4. Monitor Credit Reports- Everyone can receive a free copy of their credit report from one of three credit reporting agencies. Space these out correctly, and you can receive a report once every four months to make sure there are no surprises.
  5. Protect Devices- Never access the internet without first acquiring virus protection software. Check the URL of a website before entering any information. Look for an “S” after “Http” to be sure that the site is secure. Cell phones should always have a passcode in case they are ever lost. If you choose to sell or trade your phone, make sure to completely wipe all of the information stored within the phone’s internal memory.
  6. Report suspicious activity to your bank immediately.
McHenry Savings Bank is a full-service financial institution with personal, commercial, and investment services. Visit our website, or call us at (815) 385-3000 for more information. “We are local people making local decisions.”

Monday, April 10, 2017

Financial Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! As the snow melts, the sun returns, and the temperatures rise you see them… salt stains in the mud room, an intimidating colony of dust bunnies in the hallway, and something nearly unidentifiable just under the fridge. You put on your rubber gloves, blast some music, and grab your arsenal of cleaning products. It’s time to spring clean. Certain things need to be tidied up each spring but might not be so obvious. There’s no dust, dog hair, or debris gathered on your finances; but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a good clean-up. Here are 5 ways that the American Bankers Association (ABA)  encourages consumers to get organized with their finances.
Evaluate Your Debt
Reevaluate your payment plan and increase payment size if possible to reduce the amount of interest paid over time.
Review/ Update Your Budget
Did you get a new job this year? Did you have a child? These are all life changes that impact your family budget. Develop a spending/saving strategy and stick to it. Come next spring, you’ll be happy you did.
Check Your Credit Report
You are eligible for one free credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus. Screen these reports for any mistakes that could jeopardize your credit score or ability to receive a loan.
Download Your Bank’s Mobile App
Most banks have some form of mobile application. By having your finances in the palm of your hand, you can quickly and easily transfer funds, deposit a check, or check your balance. You may also opt to go paperless by receiving an e-Statement each month as opposed to a paper copy. This will keep you informed while keeping more paper clutter from entering your home.
Pay Your Bills Automatically
There’s no sense in jeopardizing your credit score over a forgotten bill payment. Set up autopay for recurring expenses like car payments, insurance payments, and bills. The money will be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account on the same day each month.
Need help cleaning up your finances? McHenry Savings Bank is a full-service financial institution with personal, commercial, and investment services. Visit our website, or call us at (815) 385-3000 for more information. “We are local people making local decisions.”

Monday, March 6, 2017

What You Need to Know About Preventing Tax Fraud

As we enter into the 2017 tax season, it is imperative to take extra precaution when filing your return to prevent exposure to tax fraud. People who commit tax fraud use clever tactics to obtain personal information from their unsuspecting victims and submit false tax claims. It’s is important to know what to do and what not to do during tax time in order to keep your personal information private and prevent tax fraud.

  1. File Early: Give criminals less time to use your information to falsify tax claims. Generally, false claims are filed earlier in the year and victims are unaware until they file their actual return and learn one has already been filed in their name.

  1. Find a Tax Preparer You Trust: When handing over personal information, be sure to use a reputable service. Do your homework ahead of time so you are not scrambling at the last minute.

  1. Use a Secure Mailbox: If you are doing your taxes by mail, do not mail your tax return from home. Criminals have been known to look for prepared tax forms in home mailboxes during tax season. Instead, use a mailbox at the post office.

  1. Use protected WiFi: Many people file electronically, and that’s great, as long as you’re  connected to a password-protected personal network. Avoid using public networks whenever there is personal information involved, especially tax preparation.

  1. Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams: Know that the IRS will not contact you by phone, email, text, or social media. The IRS will contact you by mail first if they need any information.
  1. File or Shred: Keep any sensitive documents that you need in a secure location. Be sure to shred anything you don’t need containing personal information.

  1. Keep Track of Mail: If anything seems to be missing or tampered with, such as W-2’s, your tax refund, or other mail containing financial information, contact the IRS right away.

If you have been a victim of tax identity theft or if the IRS denies your tax return because one has already been filed in your name, alert the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490. You should also:  

  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • Contact your bank to see if any accounts were opened without your permission or tampered with.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit records through the three major credit bureaus:

Learn more about how to keep your money safe and secure by visiting McHenry Savings Bank website or calling (815) 385-3000 .