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Internet Safety

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American National Bank provides many account services online as a convenience for our customers, but you should be aware of potential risks. Online schemes to obtain account numbers, PINs, and other personal information are called “phishing” or “pharming” scams, and they’re becoming more complex and sophisticated. Never, under any circumstances – no matter how legitimate it sounds – should you respond to any unsolicited emails, text messages, or automated phone calls asking for personal information. Always guard your personal information, and never respond to unsolicited communications, especially from third parties. American National Bank will never contact you via text message or automated call and will not ask for such information. You should never provide any personal information unless you feel certain you are talking with bank personnel.

Read on to learn how to identify threats, protect your identity, use email safely, and protect your computer against viruses.

   

 

Identifying Threats

Most Internet or electronic fraud falls into one of three categories:

Phishing

Phishing scams are fraudulent emails, appearing to be from a trusted source, that contain a link to a Web site. The Web site looks authentic and may even be an exact replica of the actual site. However, these cloned sites are not related to the actual business. Once there, users are asked for personal information (such as username, account numbers, and passwords). The information is then used to access the user’s accounts and steal their identity.

American National Bank will never send an email directing you to change or confirm your password online. If you receive a message like this, delete it and notify the bank immediately at (903) 572-1776.

Pharming

Pharming, also known as “domain spoofing,” is a scamming practice in which malicious code is installed on a personal computer or server, misdirecting users to fraudulent Web sites without their knowledge or consent. A computer that has been the target of pharming will go to a fake Web site even if the user types in the correct Internet address or clicks on an affected bookmark entry. Pharming is different from phishing because the attacker does not have to rely on the user clicking a link in an email. That’s why pharming is sometimes referred to as “phishing without a lure.”

Users are often fooled into entering personal information. Once personal information, such as a credit card number, bank account number, or password, has been entered at a fraudulent Web site, criminals have the information, and identity theft can be the end result.

When logging into your online banking account, always go to www.anbmp.com.

Malware

Malware is software designed to penetrate or damage a computer without the owner’s knowledge or consent. It includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other unwanted software.

To reduce your risk to pharming and malware scams, always keep your computer’s antivirus and Internet security software current.

 

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Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft happens when someone uses your name or personal information to commit financial fraud. By following these simple steps, you can help safeguard your personal information and protect yourself and your credit rating.

Shred Confidential Documents

Prevent thieves from stealing personal information by shredding sensitive documents before you trash them.

Send Sensitive Mail at a Public Mailbox

Use the big, blue mailbox at the corner or take a trip to the post office to send payments or other sensitive mail. Information theft happens frequently from home mailboxes.

Keep Your Personal Information in a Safe Place

Don’t carry your birth certificate, social security card, or passport with you unless you need to use it. Always make copies of the originals and keep them in a safe place. If you lose such documents, contact the appropriate government office immediately.

Review Your Financial Statements Regularly

Check your credit card and bank statements each month for any suspicious activity. Request and check your credit report at least once a year for mistakes or fraudulent use. If you come across any suspicious activity on your accounts, contact your financial institution immediately.

Protect Your Account from Common Online Scams

Online scams—such as “phishing” and “pharming”—use official-looking messages or Web pages to deceive you into disclosing your sensitive personal information. A phishing email tries to direct you to a “look-alike” Web site of a legitimate business and trick you into thinking that you are responding to a valid request. Pharming occurs when hackers disrupt the transfer of information on the Internet and point you to a fraudulent Web site. Refer to the <link>Identifying Threats page for more information.

Following are some other ways to avoid getting caught by online scams:

  • Do not provide your vital account information by email or phone unless you initiated the contact. American National Bank will never send an email asking you to reply with your account or personal information.

  • Do not click any links in a suspicious email. Even if you don’t provide your account information at the phony Web site, just clicking the link could initiate virus installations. Once installed, these viruses could capture your identification, password, and account information, then transmit them to identity thieves.

  • Check the URL often, and if it is not www.anbmp.com or telepc.net, close your browser window immediately.

  • Add the www.anbmp.com login page to your browser’s Favorites or Bookmarks menu, and use it when you navigate to the site.

  • When sending private information, make sure to look for a closed lock at the bottom of most browser windows. If you are unsure that a secure Web site is legitimate, check the certificate by clicking on the lock.

  • If you encounter what you think is a fraudulent American National Bank email or Web site, call (903) 572-1776 immediately. A Customer Service Representative can verify whether or not the email was actually sent by American National Bank or help you determine if the site you visited is legitimate.

Know Your News

All security thefts aren’t created equally. Stay informed, but remember that a story in the news may not affect you. In fact, businesses must contact any employees or customers whose personal information—such as a social security number—has been stolen. If someone steals your personal information, be sure to contact the credit bureaus to prevent identity theft or illegal use of your credit.

Additionally, the FDIC has produced a series of online videos about Internet thieves and electronic scams. They can be viewed in the Consumer Protection section of the FDIC’s Web site at  www.FDIC.gov.

 

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Email Safety

Follow these simple steps to use email safely and securely.

Don't Reply to Any Email Requesting Personal Information
Legitimate companies will not send you an email requesting that you reply with personal or private information, such as:

  • Account number

  • Debit or credit card expiration date

  • Online user ID or password

  • Birth date

  • Driver’s license number

  • Mother’s maiden name

Don't Send Emails Containing Confidential Information

Email is not a secure method of sending private information. To contact American National Bank regarding your account, call us at (903) 572-1776, rather than sending us email.

Avoid Unknown Emails

If you don’t know the sender, delete it. Some email may contain viruses whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc on your hard drive. Other emails are phishing for live addresses. Don’t ask to unsubscribe. This only confirms they’ve reached an active email account and will usually increase the amount of unsolicited emails you receive.

Be Alert for Email Scams

Offers of free money or requests for a user ID, account number, or password are usually fake. When an email sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t respond to it. Just delete it.

Be Cautious Before Clicking on a Link Contained in Email

Some scam emails will direct you to a phony, look-alike site that will ask you for confidential information. Don’t be fooled. Verify that the Web site is legitimate, and, if necessary, check with the company before entering any private information.

Even if you don’t provide your account information on a phony Web site, clicking the link or red "X" in the corner, can unleash viruses that capture your identification, password, and account information. Close any pop-ups or new Web pages by right clicking on the box at the bottom of your screen with the title of the pop-up or Web page.

Report Suspected Fraudulent Emails to American National Bank

If you receive an email that claims to be from American National Bank but you suspect it might be fraudulent, call (903) 572-1776 immediately. A Customer Service Representative can verify whether or not the email was actually sent by the bank.

 

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Protecting Your Computer

Follow these tips to help protect your computer from viruses and hackers.

Use the Most Current Antivirus Software

New viruses pop-up all the time. Make sure your antivirus software uses the latest antivirus signature files. Signature files make it possible for the software to detect viruses. You should be able to download and install updates through the software vendor’s Web site. Most antivirus companies offer subscription services to ensure you get the latest updates.

Keep Your Operating System Up-to-Date

Operating system updates and upgrades are released often to repair security flaws found after the operating system software was first released. Make sure your operating system software (Microsoft® Windows or Macintosh® for example) is currently supported by its supplier and has the latest security updates. Since new vulnerabilities may be discovered at any time, we recommend that you use an automatic update service.

Protect Your Computer from Hackers

Being connected to the Internet means information continually travels freely to and from your computer. An easy-to-install personal firewall helps you screen unauthorized communications to/from your computer and can prevent hackers from gaining access while you’re online. This is especially important if you connect to the Internet via a cable modem or a digital subscriber line (DSL) modem because of the continuous connection.

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