Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Scoop on Credit Card Chips

If you’re a credit card user, you may have noticed your old card was replaced with a new one, featuring a small metallic chip on the face. According to CreditCards.com, this chip, known as EMV (which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa) is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches and increasing rates of credit card fraud, card issuers are migrating to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud. Here are three commonly asked questions about the new EMV cards:

How are the EMV chips safer?
EMV chips create a unique code for each transaction, which ultimately means your credit card information is constantly changing. Before, a credit card thief would only need to get the card information by either stealing the numbers from the card itself, or skimming the information that was previously stored in the card’s magnetic strip. Your card’s data stored in the magnetic strip was unchanging, so thieves could complete transactions with your account again and again until the fraud was caught by you or your banking institution. The new cards make it difficult to duplicate information, and cannot be skimmed because the “dipping” method of inserting your card into a reader rather than swiping.

How do I use it when paying for my purchases?
At participating retailers, your new chip-protected credit card will be read in a similar card reader, only a different way. Instead of swiping your card along the right, there will be a slot at the bottom of the reader for you to insert your card. Once your card has been inserted, the reader will hold your card for several seconds while reading the information and verifying the transaction. It will take a little bit longer than the traditional swipe method, because you are required to leave your card dipped in the machine while it is verified. The machine will let you know when you can take it back out, though! Unfortunately for online shoppers, the chip offers no extra protection in cyberspace. When shopping online, always be sure you’re surfing the sites of reputable retailers.

What if a store I frequent doesn’t have a chip reader?
No problem! The first round of EMV cards will include a traditional magnetic stripe as well as the chip. That way, if a store hasn’t yet converted to the new chip readers, consumers will still be able to swipe their cards the old-fashioned way. Eventually, when all merchants have updated their point-of-sale systems to read EMV chips, new credit cards will be issued sans stripe.

Change can be hard to adjust to, but in this case, it’s all for the better! The new cards are safer, and will show a substantial decrease in credit card theft as more merchants move to chip readers. For those who still have Christmas shopping to do with their new EMV cards in hand - thankfully credit card fraud is one less thing to be worried about this season!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Keeping Your Identity Safe this Holiday Season

We are now entering the prime time for identity theft due to an influx of online shopping and consumers who let their guard down during the holiday hustle and bustle. So how can you take precautions in order to protect your bank account and credit cards? We at McHenry Savings Bank are happy to share some best practices to keep your identity safe during this busy holiday season (and beyond)!
  • Only shop on secure sites: Online shopping is huge, which means there are plenty of thieves out there seeking data like yours. Only use trusted computers and networks. When purchasing items from an online retailer, make sure the site is safe by checking the URL. If it starts with "https://" or has a locked padlock symbol, you know you're surfing on a secure server.
  • Be vigilant about checking your account activity: Though most people wait until their statement arrives to review their purchases, during the holiday season it's a good idea to be on top of your account activity as frequently as possible. Credit card and bank smartphone apps make it easy to check your account activity and purchases in real time, so that you can take action quickly if something erroneous pops up.
  • Use your credit card for the majority of your purchases: Most people don't pay for their purchases in cash these days, which means they're either using a credit card, debit card, or writing a check. Checks and debit cards withdraw money directly from your bank account, making it harder to recoup what you lost. Credit cards have zero or low liability fraud protection, and there no risk of your bank account being drained from charges racked up on credit.
  • Be wary of social media sharing: Often social media sites, like Facebook, provide potential identity thieves with all the information they need to know that overlaps with financial security questions, like date of birth, pet's names, or your mother's maiden name. Keep your social media profiles private, or at least limit what people can see when they view your information.
Being proactive and extra attentive is key to keeping your identity and financial accounts safe this holiday season. If you see any fraudulent charges on your McHenry Savings Bank statement, or find your debit card has been lost or stolen, contact one of our branch locations immediately. If it's after banking hours, don't hesitate to contact MSB's Fraud Prevention Center by calling 1-800-500-1044.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

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.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

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 Consumer 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 https://mchenrysavings.com/Security/securitycenter.html or call 815-385-3000.  
Committed to Customer & Community.

Friday, July 24, 2015

RV and Boat Loans

Do you dream of buying a car, boat, motorcycle, or even airplane?  Don’t let fear, intimidation, doubt and lack of finance dictate what you want in life!

McHenry Savings Bank also offers loans to fund your major purchases and make your dreams reality.  Are you ready to purchase a boat or RV?  We can customize a financing plan to your specific needs using a variety of loan options.  If you have dreamed of owning a recreational vehicle for years, now is your chance to take advantage of our exceptional loan plans.

A new boat loan includes terms up to 180 months, determined by the amount to be financed.  Used boat loans are determined by model year and the maturity of the loan will not exceed the 15-year anniversary of boat plus amount financed.  A new recreational vehicle loan includes terms up to 180 months, determined by the amount to be financed.  Used recreational vehicle loans include terms up to 180 months, determined by the model year plus amount financed.

Apply for a consumer loan today!  Stop by any three of our branches or call 815-385-3000 and let a loan officer help you find a plan that works best for you.  Applications are also available online.  

For 60 years, McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the residents of McHenry County with a full range of banking needs.  With banking locations in McHenry, Richmond, and Johnsburg, let us help you make banking decisions that best fit your unique lifestyle.  We are local people making local decisions. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Graduate Checking

Since 1955, McHenry Savings Bank has been serving the residents of McHenry County by providing a full range of products and services.  With banking locations in McHenry, Richmond, and Johnsburg, let us help you make banking decisions that best fit your unique lifestyle.  We offer a number of services tailored to fit your needs.

Graduating from high school or college?  Becoming a young adult means a whole new world of responsibilities and opportunities to build your financial future.  When deciding what banking option is best for you, be sure to look at the fees and conditions that accompany banking services.  

At McHenry Savings Bank, we offer checking plans for both high school and college graduates.  We  encourage young adults to enjoy the benefits of banking affordably with practically no fees.  Our graduate checking plan includes $25 minimum balance to open, first 48 months free service charge, unlimited check writing privileges,  five free foreign ATM withdrawals per month, free direct deposit, free debit card and the flexibility of mobile banking and e-Statements.  After all, mobile banking is the fastest way for you to figure out what activity is taking place in your accounts.  Let us help your banking during school and after graduation continue as seamlessly as possible with little interruption.

Apply for a graduate checking account today!  Stop by any of our branches and let a customer representative help you find a plan that works best for you.   We are Your Bank and your kind of people! Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lower Your Borrowing Costs - Downpayment Plus® Program

If you want to buy a home and have a steady income and good credit, McHenry Savings Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago can help.

Through the Downpayment Plus® Program, up to $6,000 may be available to eligible home buyers in 2015 to use toward downpayment and closing costs. Ask one of our loan officers today about the Downpayment Plus Program to see if you are eligible.

Homebuyers must meet income eligibility requirements and:

  • Contribute at least $1,000 to the  purchase of the home
  • Participate in homebuyer and  financial literacy counseling
  • Live in the home as your primary  residence
  • Property may be in any state in which the member does business.
McHenry Savings Bank is commit ted to helping our neighbors. We can help you lower your borrowing costs if you qualify for the Downpayment Plus Program. In 2015, you could receive up to $6,000 for the purchase of a home! 
Please contact: Talana Diaz (NMLS #500571)
Direct at: 815-331-6430
Email at: tdiaz@mchenrysavings.com

**Downpayment Plus is a program from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. Restrictions apply. Please see the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s website at www.fhlbc.com for complete requirements. “Downpayment Plus” is a registered trademark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago.