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Security Policy

 

A Guide to Online Banking Security Practices and Procedures

For a safer online experience it is important to understand the threats that exist on the internet. While The Bank of Houston has implemented a number of security features to make your online banking experience as safe as possible, it is important that you as a consumer do your part to keep your information safe as well. This means you need to be vigilant in protecting yourself against account fraud and identity theft. Working together we will help keep your internet transactions secure. This guide has a number of ideas to assist you in this endeavor.

When you “visit’ our Bank on the internet, whether it’s to learn about rates, review your accounts or pay your bills, you are entering a secure area. Measures we have taken include:

Passwords and PINs – Your password and PIN (personal identification number) are your first line of defense and your unique identifier. Be sure not to share them with anyone. Most fraud involving hijacked accounts originates with someone the victim knows. Security begins with a strong password, which only you, the user, knows. Experts advise a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid dictionary words, especially the names of your spouse, children, pets, birthdays, home addresses, etc.

Multifactor Authentication – This form of identity verification provides added security by requiring multiple forms of identification, such as something you know (password) and something you have (Text or E-mailed PIN). When an online session is started from a computer that isn’t the one you usually use, a request for the PIN will occur.

Encryption – Once online with our online banking application, your transactions and personal information are secured by encryption software that converts this information into code. This code is readable only between you and The Bank of Houston.

Privacy Policies – The bank has privacy policies protecting your information. Your confidential information is treated with the utmost care, meeting or exceeding federal and state mandates.

Anti-virus Protection – Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received. This simple step is critical to your personal information safety and security when online.

E-mail communication – E-mail is generally not encrypted, so be wary of sending sensitive information such as account numbers or other personal information in this manner. If you receive an unscheduled or unsolicited e-mail purporting to be from The Bank of Houston, be cautious, take the time to call and make sure the e-mail was sent from the Bank. We do have a secure e-mail system which you can use from within the online banking application.

Be Aware – Criminals are trying to get your personal information, and they employ some ingenious methods. Don’t respond to any unusual request for personal information; when you opened your bank accounts you already gave it.  When in doubt, call the Bank.

Identifying the Most Common Online Threats

Understanding what criminals are trying to do over the internet is the first step in building a good defense. Most electronic fraud falls into one of the three categories listed below. Experts advise: understand these to understand how best to protect yourself.

Phishing – Fraudulent e-mails purporting to be from the Bank, or a similar trusted source, lure you to a copycat website (one that may look just like our website). Once there, you are instructed to “verify” certain personal information, which is then used to hijack your account and your identity. If you receive a suspicious e-mail, do not respond to the message and call the Bank to inform us of the phishing scam. You may be asked to submit a copy of the fraudulent e-mail to the bank so that forensic work may be done to determine the actual sender.

Farming – Also called “domain spoofing,” this cyber crime intercepts internet traffic and reroutes it to a fraudulent site. Once there, the victim is asked to enter personal information, just as with Phishing.

Malware – This is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s knowledge. Examples of malware (malicious software) include computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware and adware.

Learning More:

Drop by any of our branches to learn more about online banking and the security measures that are in place for your protection.

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