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Internet Banking Security
Partnering with your Bank
The Best Protection against Online Banking Fraud and Identity Theft

Tips for Protecting Yourself and Your Business

Pioneer Bank Wants You to be Protected

When you travel the Internet to access online banking, you want to be assured, first and foremost, that effective safeguards are in place to make your visit safe, secure and reliable. When you use online banking to visit our bank, whether it’s to learn about rates, to review your accounts or to pay your bills, you are entering a secure area. At Pioneer Bank, protecting you and your personal information is our first priority.

How we Protect You

To ensure the best protection possible, we use a layered approach to securing your account information. Layered security is the use of different security or access controls at different points throughout the transaction process. To further increase your safety, Pioneer Bank has recently added a number of security measures and industry-standard technologies to provide enhanced protection from fraud and identity theft. We are committed to consistently safeguarding your personal and financial information. You may rest easy knowing that your financial information is protected with state of the art security every step of the way. Our layered security approach includes a combination of the following measures, based on the nature of the transaction:

  • Enhanced Authentication – We use multifactor authentication in conjunction with other security controls, including firewalls, password and PIN protection, and device identification, to provide a layered approach.
  • Fraud Detection and Monitoring – Includes analysis and consideration of the customer’s history and behavior and enables us to respond timely to detected anomalies.
  • Enhanced Transaction Verification – Techniques we use to verify a transaction during submission include:
  • Dual Control – Provide tools for validation of high risk transactions by more than one user on more than one device (e.g. separate initiation and authorization to process a wire transfer.)
  • Subsequent Verification – Reporting or notification to a designated authorizer to confirm a transaction.
  • Out of Band Validation – Validation by means other than that by which the transaction was originated.
  • Payment limits – Use of payment controls such as transaction limits, transaction confirmation, payment velocity or payment threshold controls.
  • Encryption – We require full 128-bit encryption for online banking. Encryption is a process that transforms sensitive information into a string of unrecognizable characters before they are sent over the Internet and helps keep your information private between the Bank's computer system and your Internet browser.
  • Activity Blocking – We block activity from IP addresses with known or suspected fraudulent activities.
  • Automatic Timeout - To further protect you from fraud, your online banking sessions will automatically terminate if you are logged in for an extended period with no activity.
  • Privacy Policies and Training – We enforce strict privacy policies and procedures and train frequently to ensure our workforce is knowledgeable and proficient in protecting sensitive customer information.

Partnering with your bank provides the most protection from online banking fraud and Identity Theft. While we employ the utmost in diligence to ensure your ongoing safety, the best defense against online account fraud and identity theft is a teamwork approach, where customer awareness and responsible use of online banking is the first line of defense.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Use strong passwords – Experts advise a combination of letters and numbers and advise against easily guessed passwords, such as names, birthdays, home addresses, etc. To protect your password, do not share it. Change your password frequently.
  • Monitor your account - Monitor account activity regularly and notify us of any unauthorized transactions. (see below for a description of your rights under Regulation E.)
  • Avoid fraudulent websites - To help ensure the website you have visited is authentic and secure, when conducting financial transactions online look for a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a Web site URL that begins “https:” (the “s” stands for secure).
  • Log off - Always sign off from the secured area when you are finished with online banking transactions.
  • Use Anti-Spyware – Always maintain up to date antivirus software that detects and blocks spyware programs that can give criminals access to your computer.
  • Be wary of e-mail – Most e-mail is unsecure. Do not share sensitive information via email. Always BEWARE of any email asking you to input or verify any banking or personal information, as they are likely to be fraudulent attempts to obtain your online banking credentials. Such attempts are frequently conducted by criminals in phishing and social engineering attacks. Fraudulently obtained user names and passwords are then used by the criminal to transfer money out of your account.

How to Protect Your Business

Pioneer Bank uses the latest in online security tools to help protect your accounts. However, no one knows your business like you do. To best ensure your protection, we urge all of our business online banking customers to periodically assess your own level of risk, and evaluate the controls in operation at your place of business, to further protect you against online banking fraud. Corporate Account Takeover is the most common online fraud perpetrated against businesses. Continue reading for a description of how it works and some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Corporate Account Takeover

One of the biggest threats to a business account holder is called "corporate account takeover," whereby the fraudster gains access to the business’s online banking accounts and quickly transfers the money into their own account. Here’s how it works:

  • Target the Victim - The fraudster targets an employee of the company, often a senior executive, using any number of techniques designed to either directly gather the login information or infect the computer with malware that can obtain it. These techniques include but are not limited to phishing, attachments or links to Web site infected with malware, fake friend requests on social networking sites and more.
  • Install Malware - The next step is to install the malware onto the victim’s computer. This malware often contains the ability to transmit what key strokes are taken and even screenshots of what the victim is looking at. The Zeus Trojan is an example of one of the more prevalent pieces of malware on the Internet that targets online banking customers.
  • Gather Information - When the victim logs into online banking the malware transmits the login information to the fraudster.
  • Initiate the Takeover - Once the login information is transmitted to the fraudster, they can use it to log in and transfer money out of the accounts, while appearing to be a legitimate user.

Help protect your business with the following tips:

  • Educate yourself and your employees about this type of scheme.
  • Don't respond to or open attachments or click on links in unsolicited emails. If it appears to be from a trusted source (e.g. bank, IRS, Better Business Bureau, UPS, etc.) contact the source directly through other means to verify authenticity.
  • Be wary of pop-up messages claiming your machine is infected and offering to fix the problem. These are often vehicles to install malware
  • Use and install spam filters.
  • Install and maintain anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware and firewalls. Set them to update automatically.
  • Be sure to install all security updates for your operating systems and other applications.
  • Monitor your accounts every day and report any suspicious activity to your bank and law enforcement.
  • If possible, use a dedicated computer for online banking.
  • Always shred confidential information prior to disposal.

Consumer Protection under Regulation E
Banks follow specific rules issued by the Federal Reserve Board for electronic transactions.  Known as Reg. E, the rules cover various situations revolving around transactions made electronically, including internet banking transactions.  With the protections provided under Reg. E, consumers can recover internet banking losses according to how soon they are reported.  These protections are extended to consumers on consumer accounts and do not generally apply to business accounts.  Please contact us for a copy of our disclosures describing your rights under Regulation E.

If You Detect Fraudulent or Suspicious Activity
If you believe your online banking credentials have been compromised, or your identity has been stolen it’s critical that you report it without delay.  Any incidents of fraud or suspected fraud should be immediately reported to the Bank’s Security Officer.  Pioneer Bank will not contact you via e-mail or any other means to obtain or verify your online banking credentials (user name/password), or any other personal financial data. If you receive an unscheduled or unsolicited email or phone call requesting personal financial data, and claiming to be from Pioneer Bank, do not respond.  Please report any such activity to us immediately at the number below.

Pioneer Bank
Ellen Fogarty, BSA and Security Officer


Other Helpful Resources

FDIC Consumer Fraud Resources: www.fdic.gov/consumers/theft/index.html

Credit Reporting Agencies:
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc. – www.equifax.com
Experian Information Solutions, Inc. – www.experian.com
Trans Union – www.transunion.com

Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
The FTC maintains the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, the federal governments centralized identity theft complaint database, and provides information to victims.  www.consumer.gov/idtheft

Other Agencies:
Postal Inspection Service = www.usps.com
Department of Motor Vehicles – www.dmv.org

Social Security Fraud Hotline:  800-269-0271