Wednesday April 16 , 2014


If you do your banking online, we want to inform you that the financial industry regulators recently teamed up to make Online Banking more secure.  Under a new supervisory guidance, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, (FFIEC) the goal is to strengthen the security to make online transactions and procedures more secure.

Security for Increased Safety

Online security begins with the authentication process-confirmation that it is you.  Neighborhood National Bank uses both single and multifactor authentication as well as additional “layered security” measures when appropriate.  Layered security generally involve business accounts that have multiple users that are granted certain privileges such as viewing, transferring or creating ACH file origination.  Since these types of transactions have an increased level of risk, the security needs to also increase. Challenge questions are used in the event that a login cannot be authenticated.  The user is presented with a challenge question which they chose and answered when they originally enrolled in the Online Banking system.  Note when choosing a challenge question, it is advisable to choose a more private question, not one which is available on the Internet through social networking websites such as mother’s maiden name, name of the high school you graduated from, etc.  Challenge question are more effective if the information is private which makes it more difficult for an imposter to answer correctly.

Internal Assessments at Your Bank

The FFEIC’s guidance ensures that the level of authentication required for a particular transaction is appropriate to the transaction’s level of risk.  The risk assessment considers:

  • Changes in the internal and external threat environment
  • Changes in the customer base adopting electronic banking
  • Changes in the customer functionality offered through electronic banking
  • Actual incidents of security breaches, identity theft, or fraud experience by the institution or industry.

Banks Partner With You, The Customer

Neighborhood National Bank has security measures to protect your account information, but we cannot be effective without your help and cooperation.  Many account hijacking attempts come as a result of hacking into individual user accounts, and from there electronically breaking into the bank using your information and security codes.

Some common sense and easily implemented precautions can help safeguard your personal information.

  • Strong Passwords –   Experts advise a combination of letters and numbers (which is required by NNB) and advise against using easily guessed passwords such as birthdays, phone numbers or addresses.
  • Anti-Virus Protections- Make sure the anti-virus software on your computer is current and scans your email as it is received.
  • Email Safety – Email is generally not encrypted so be wary of sending any sensitive information such as account numbers or other personal information in this way.
  • Sign Off and Log Out – Always exit Online Banking by clicking on “Log Off” on the menu options.

Online Threats

Understanding how criminals try to trap you is your first line of defense:

  • Phishing – This is the criminal attempt to steal your personal information through fraudulent emails or smart-phone texts.  They are often believable, luring the victim to provide them with personal financial details such as account numbers, debit card numbers, PIN numbers or social security numbers.
  • Spear Phishing – This is a variation of electronic messages that appear to come to victims from their employer, usually a large corporation.
  • Smishing - This is the mobile phone version of phishing used in text messaging to obtain your personal information.

Remember: Neighborhood National Bank will not send emails or texts asking for your personal information.

Your Protections Under “Reg E”

Banks follow specific rules for electronic transactions issued by the Federal Reserve Board know as Regulation E.  The rules cover situations revolving around transfers made electronically.  In general these protections are extended to consumers and consumer accounts.  Under Reg E, you can recover Internet Banking losses according to how soon you detect and report them.  We can provide additional information so be sure to ask how these protections apply to your particular situation.

Neighborhood National Bank Alexandria, MN