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Financial Conversations with Fitz #85 - Electronic Transactions with Debit or Credit Cards - 11/19/2010

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Well, we said the good weather couldn’t last……Mother Nature took care of that this weekend.   Quite a variance thru out the Midwest.   Some rain, light snow and some heavy snow……..We actually can use the moisture.  I heard over 1 ? inches in our area.   Will be good for vegetation and trees before the ground freezes.   What a crazy day Friday on the grains…..Lots of down side for one day.   Should be an interesting week.   The Dow is still bouncing around that 11,000 figure.    Some corporate profits showing up in the business world.   Still slow to doing much expansion by many companies.   Hope you all did a salute to our servicemen and women last week.    Don’t forget our young people and their families currently serving in the middle east.    We are having our collection of many items for them at our three banks.   There have been some other entities participating in it also.   Just leave it off at TSB offices or another collection site near you.

We are still busy every week helping people that have had their cards compromised in one fashion or another.   We and the FDIC want to remind people of all the many ways that the criminals out there can steal your card numbers and bank accounts.   We have posted some of these new FDIC notices on our web site over the last several  months.  If you are the internet or phone be extra careful.   It is important that you heed what you get in the mail or do over the internet to protect.   A lot of Phishing going on lately and not with a pole but with software to steal pertinent information on your account.   A couple of tips today from the FDIC:  Don’t log into your bank account at the library or free wireless connections at coffee shops or kiosks.   That is where the criminals often try to intercept Internet traffic, including passwords, from these locations.   Be sure to wipe out the history if you do from these sites.   If you do that it doesn’t stay on the hard drive once the computer is turned off.   Watch for pop-up windows asking for personal information or warning of a virus.   Call you anti-virus software company if you need help.   I was a victim of this and took the computer up to WCTA to get rid of it.    I did have McAfee security on my machine.   Be sure you have security tools on your machine.   It does set up a firewall to stop hackers or at least slow them down.   Run your virus scan periodically to double check what might have gotten thru.   They recommend weekly, I don’t do it quite that often but probably should.  

Choose “strong” user ID's and passwords that are easy for you to remember but hard for hackers to guess.   The strongest have a combination of letters and numbers and are at least 10 characters long.   Don’t forget if you are a victim of any ID theft be sure to call us immediately at any of our offices.   We have the system provided to you to search out and protect you as soon as you call us.    This firm does a great job getting your account cleared up and protected.  Be sure to check you statement from us and your credit cards immediately to be sure you are only getting your bills.   Sometimes you can sign up for something over the internet and not sure you did.   Check account activity frequently if you use your debit card a lot on the internet.   Be careful of phone calls you didn’t initiate.   Maybe use credit card instead of debit card on some transactions in which you are buying merchandise.    Look over the information the bank gives you when you get a new card.   Let us know within a couple of days to best protect yourself.   We can help protect better if we know the problem sooner than later.

Questions call TSB at Forest City, Thompson, Titonka 

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will  be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.