Country Bank is Keeping You Safe and Secure
Online Account Security
Every effort is made to ensure that your account information is protected from unauthorized access. For questions regarding security, please call (212) 818-9090 and ask for our Information Technology Department.
- All online banking data transmitted to us is encrypted, helping to make the data useless if intercepted. This secure connection is established before a User ID and Password can be transmitted.
- Country Bank utilizes multi-factor authentication, including the use of a “watermark”, to keep you safe. A watermark is a personalized image that is selected by you. If you ever attempt to sign on to the system and do not see your watermark, DO NOT CONTINUE to sign on.
- Our Internet banking tracks your individual usage patterns. If the system detects unusual activity, it will demand that a security question be answered to verify your identity.
- Password guessing (brute forcing) is prevented with an account lockout feature. Our systems will automatically lock a user out when an incorrect password is entered multiple consecutive times.
- Users are required to update their password every 180 days in order to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
- The date of last access to the system is displayed after logging in so that users can verify that no one else has used their account.
- All Online Banking sessions have a time limit for inactivity, which will log a user out of the system in order to prevent someone else from accessing their information.
The following information can help keep your confidential information safe while using our online banking services. Although Country Bank works hard to maintain a high level of security on our systems, we are not responsible for any breach of security that is beyond our control.
- Do not share your login information with anyone else. If you think your information has been compromised, change your password immediately online and call your local Country Bank branch.
- Choose a hard to guess password by using random letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use words that can be found in a dictionary, or information related to you such as your name, address, birth date, etc.
- Disable any “AutoComplete” or similar features on any computer you use for online banking.
- Do not write down your password or reveal it to anyone, including bank associates.
- Remember to log out when you are finished banking online, or are leaving the computer unattended.
- Avoid using unfamiliar computers to conduct any online banking, as they may be compromised.
- Avoid using regular e-mail to share information about your account with Country Bank; instead, contact us through the secure Message Center available within Online Banking or call your local branch directly.
Making your Personal Computer safe
- Learn to use built-in security features that are provided with your Internet browser instead of disabling them.
- Keep your system and applications current with updates from the vendor’s website. For example, use Microsoft’s Windows Update feature and install any Critical Updates and Service Packs that are available.
- Use virus and spyware protection software and keep it up-to-date in order to detect new threats.
- Use a software or hardware firewall to protect your computer from network intrusion.
- Make sure that any wireless network you connect your computer to is secured and requires encryption.
- Do not download files, install software, or open email attachments from unverified or unknown sources.
Cybersecurity Tips for Protecting Your Mobile Device
- Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
- Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
- Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
- Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary permissions.
- Download the security updates for your phone and mobile apps.
- Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
- Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
- Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation.
- Wipe your mobile device of all data before you donate, sell, or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
- Beware of mobile phishing. Avoid opening links and attachments in email and texts, especially from senders you do not know. And, be wary of ads claiming that your device is infected.
- Watch out for public wi-fi. Public connections are not secure, so do not perform banking transactions on a public network. If you need to access your account, disable the wi-fi and switch to your mobile network.
- Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.
Country Bank does not solicit personal information by means of email or telephone. If you receive an email or phone call requesting confidential information from someone claiming to represent Country Bank, do not respond to the message. If you receive an unsolicited request for confidential information by phone or email from someone claiming to be an associate of the bank, please inform Country Bank immediately by calling (212) 818-9090 and asking for the I.T. Department.
Protecting the Elderly From Financial Abuse
You, or someone you know, could become the victim of a growing crime in America — financial abuse of older Americans. Seniors are increasingly becoming targets for financial abuse. As people over 50 years old control over 70 percent of the nation's wealth, fraudsters are using new tactics to take advantage of retiring baby boomers and the growing number of older Americans. Senior financial abuse is estimated to have cost victims at least $2.9 billion last year alone.
What Is Elder Financial Abuse?
It’s a crime that deprives older adults of their resources and ultimately their independence. Anyone who sees signs of theft, fraud, misuse of a person’s assets or credit, or use of undue influence to gain control of an older person’s money or property should be on the alert. Those are signs of possible exploitation. Older Americans that may have disabilities or rely on others for help can be susceptible to scams and other fraud. Advances in technology can also make it difficult for seniors to know who to trust and what's safe.
Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.
Tips for Seniors:
What should you do to protect yourself?
- Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.
- Shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.
- Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.
- Lock up your checkbook, account statements and other sensitive information when others will be in your home.
- Order copies of your credit report once a year to ensure accuracy.
- Never give personal information, including Social Security Number, account number or other financial information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
- Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”
- Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
- Consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any document you don’t understand.
- Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
- Check references and credentials before hiring anyone. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
- Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash to keep a paper trail.
- Feel free to say "no." After all, it’s your money.
- You have the right not to be threatened or intimidated. If you think someone close to you is trying to take control of your finances, call your local Adult Protective Services or tell someone at your bank.
- Trust your instincts. Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming and forceful in their effort to convince you to give up control of your finances. Don’t be fooled—if something doesn't feel right, it may not be right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What should you do if you are a victim of financial abuse?
- Talk to a trusted family member who has your best interests at heart, or to your clergy.
- Talk to your attorney, doctor or an officer at your bank.
- Contact Adult Protective Services in your state or your local police for help.
Tips for Family and Friends:
What are the warning signs of financial abuse?
The key to spotting financial abuse is a change in a person’s established financial patterns. Watch out for these “red flags”:
- Unusual activity in an older person’s bank accounts, including large, frequent or unexplained withdrawals.
- ATM withdrawals by an older person who has never used a debit or ATM card.
- Changing from a basic account to one that offers more complicated services the customer does not fully understand or need.
- Withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts the customer cannot explain.
- New "best friends" accompanying an older person to the bank.
- Sudden non-sufficient fund activity or unpaid bills.
- Closing CDs or accounts without regard to penalties.
- Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
- Suspicious signatures on checks, or outright forgery.
- Confusion, fear or lack of awareness on the part of an older customer.
- Refusal to make eye contact, shame or reluctance to talk about the problem.
- Checks written as "loans" or "gifts."
- Bank statements that no longer go to the customer’s home.
- New powers of attorney the older person does not understand.
- A caretaker, relative or friend who suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of an older person without proper documentation.
- Altered wills and trusts.
- Loss of property.
What should you do if you suspect financial abuse?
- Talk to elderly friends or loved ones if you see any of the signs mentioned here. Try to determine what specifically is happening with their financial situation, such as a new person “helping” them with money management, or a relative using cards or credit without their permission.
- Report the elder financial abuse to their bank, and enlist their banker’s help to stop it and prevent its recurrence.
- Contact Adult Protective Services in your town or state for help.
- Report all instances of elder financial abuse to your local police—if fraud is involved, they should investigate.
Never give your Social Security number, account numbers or other personal financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call.
Questions? Please contact Consumers@aba.com for more information.