3228-3230 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224
Sep 07

Sacrificing convenience for online security?

Sacrificing convenience for online security?

With smartphones, you really can have it all: the convenience of online services with the security that protects your valuable data.  We tote our digital lives with us from the boardroom to baseball games; from coffeehouses to corporate retreats. We claim “I can’t live without it!” but we often fail to adequately secure these most precious devices and the data they store.

Let’s fix that problem and get you back online to safely chat, bank, schedule, and email.

The basics: a solid password

It seems obvious, but it’s actually really hard. It’s nearly impossible to memorize all the passwords we use on a daily basis; let alone the ones we only use occasionally. To get around this problem, many people use something easy to remember like: “12345” or “MyPassword”. Others will develop a sophisticated, hard-to-crack password, then use it for every single login. Neither of these is a safe option.

Use a password manager. There are many good password managers on the market today. Obviously, when you pay for a password manager, you get more features. However, even a basic, free password manager goes a long way in securing your personal data.

A password manager provides a secure location for all of your login, password, credit/debit card, and address information. One simple login to the password manager and you can auto-fill forms with all the information you have chosen to store in the password manager. The best ones require a biometric (facial or fingerprint scan) login. Another feature of password managers is that nearly all of them will generate secure, unique passwords and remember them for you.

If you’re not quite convinced you need a password manager, then work on making secure passwords:

  • Use a long password – at least 20 characters or the maximum allowed on the app or site
  • Use a complex combination of upper- and lower-case letters and symbols
  • Use a unique password for every application or site
  • Change your password every 2 – 3 months

Next level phone security

Use the screen locking feature on your phone. This is the option that turns off the screen on your phone when it’s not in use. While it saves the battery, it’s true benefit is the protection it offers by locking your phone. Set it for the shortest amount of time you can; with most phones, that is 30 seconds.

Make sure your phone’s operating system is always up-to-date. Sometimes these updates are frustrating because of the subtle changes in our screen’s appearance or in functions. However, those are minor annoyances when you consider all the value in keeping your phone’s security software updated.

Add a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to your phone. A VPN encrypts and hides your web activity. When you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, any other person using that network can, with just a little know-how, get into your phone and steal your files and data. Setting up a VPN (which is quick and easy to do on your phone) hides your IP address by routing your internet traffic through the VPN provider’s server.

Online banking from Homewood Federal Savings Bank

Now that you have the peace of mind that your phone is secure, use it to login to Homewood Federal Savings Bank’s online banking. It’s a safe and secure option for you when you can’t make it to your neighborhood bank. The convenience of accessing your accounts is right at your fingertips.

As your neighborhood bankers for over 100 years, we are invested in our community, and in you. We provide a high level of customized, personal service including lending, a variety of savings and investment options; and a suite of online banking products. When you enroll in our online banking, you get access to a variety of online products such as the advanced security of MasterCard SecureCode for your Homewood Federal Savings Bank debit card, Card Valet app to track your debit card usage, set restrictions for your card, and to freeze your card if needed and more.  With internet banking at Homewood Federal, you have access to many other features including Bill Pay and Remote Deposit Capture. Please contact Homewood Federal, your community bank today to start taking advantage of these products.