Customer Security Awareness
The Bank of Georgia is committed to keeping your personal online information secure and confidential.
At The Bank of Georgia we understand the importance of securing your financial records both in the branch and through Online Banking. However, as technology increases convenience, so does vulnerability. To help preserve your personal information you must take an active roll. It is important to realize that every time you access the internet there is a risk of inadvertently downloading viruses or malware which may compromise your personal information. Risky online activities include opening suspicious emails, visiting unusual websites, or downloading programs or files including media from an unknown or untrusted online source, and more. There is no way to completely protect yourself from every threat out there. However, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the chances that your account will be compromised as you engage in online banking. Below is information about online security, tips and guidelines to help get you do just that:
You are responsible for maintaining one of our most important security measures: your password.
- Keep your password a secret. Your password is designed to protect your personal information and will only do so if you keep it to yourself. It is not recommended you carry your password in your purse or wallet. Make sure no one watches you enter your password. If you write it down, keep it somewhere safe, and not near your computer. If you save your password and other login credentials saved on our computer, save them in an encrypted document file.
- Create a unique password and login access ID's. Stay away from anything easy to guess and anything connected to your life. Using birthdates, birth years, family member or pet's names, information related to your high school or college or favorite team, account numbers, and other easily obtained information. Some tips for creating a good password include:
- Use at least eight-sixteen characters.
- Include a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters.
- Mix upper and lower case letters in unusual places.
- Change your password on a regular basis, such as every 30, 60, 90 days, or even more often.
- Do not use Auto-fill. Certain websites will automatically fill in your ID and password. Always uncheck this box and manually type in your ID's and passwords.
- Try to use a different password for each account. That way, if someone does get access to one of your bank accounts, he or she can't access the rest of them.
- Always log out. When your online banking is complete log out of the site before closing the browser or going to the next website. Always log out and close the browser anytime you leave your computer.
Enhanced Security: Keep your computer and information safe
You ultimately hold the key to your information and password security. With proper care and attention to your computer at home, you can be confident about your security. Here are several tips to help you protect your computer – and personal and financial information - from attacks.
- Always access The Bank of Georgia's site by typing into your internet browser the correct URL: www.bankofgeorgia.com.
- Beware of fraudulent emails or websites imitating The Bank of Georgia. TBOG will never ask for your password, PIN, other access credentials or any other personal or financial information via email, or ask you to log onto online banking via a link. TBOG will never ask for your passwords under any circumstance, not by email, phone, or in person. Be wary of anyone asking for you to disclose personal details, your passwords, PIN's or card numbers.
- Use Security Programs. Virus protection software is critical to keep your personal computer and your internet banking safe. Install and regularly or automatically update anti-spyware, anti-virus, and firewall protection on your home computer. Scan your computer often for all type viruses including those that could be used to capture keystrokes. This will help safeguard your personal and account information when conducting online banking sessions on your home computer.
- Be cautious with downloads. Avoid downloading software, screen savers, and pictures from unknown or non-trusted websites or emails.
- Be cautious of certain email attachments and links. Do not open email attachments or click on any links provided in an email to get to any web page, especially if you suspect the message might not be authentic or are from unknown sources or appear generic in nature. You should also double check emails that claim to be from your bank, governmental agencies, and other legitimate sites. They may contain viruses or spyware. If you click on the link with a phishing scam, you will be sent to an official look web site, but it won't actually be secure. Rather than clicking on the a link within an email, log onto the website directly by typing in the web address in your internet browser, or call the company on the telephone.
- Regularly install system updates. Make sure your computer operating system and internet software are always updated with the latest security patches and updates to close gaps in the system that viruses or malware could exploit.
- Regularly clear your cache, cookies, browsing history. Consider erasing/deleting your browser's cache and your browsing history after each session, or on a periodic bases, so that any account information and browsing history is removed.
- Be careful about the websites you visit. Do not download software from any website unless you are sure it is safe.
TBOG's Secure Environment
The Bank of Georgia deploys the latest technology to ensure its systems and services are protected with world-class security solutions which provide customers with several layers of protection and needed confidence to enjoy the conveniences of online banking, bill pay and other electronic services.
- SSL encryption. When you log on to online banking, your user code and password are sent over the internet from your computer to our servers using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. SSL encrypts your personal information before it leaves your computer, ensuring that no one else can read it.
- Make sure online banking connection is secure. After you click the "Log in" button, you can determine that encryption is being used on the site by looking for two indicators:
- "https://" will appear at the beginning of the address line, with the "s" meaning "secure." Before logging in check to be sure the site's address starts with "https" rather than "http". Some browsers such as Mozilla Firefox change the color of the URL window when you are in a secure session.
- Presence of a small locked padlock or key will appear in the lower right corner in your browser window. If you double click on this icon is should provide you with information about the organization with which you have entered into a secure session.
- Secure browsers are required to access your information. Only browsers with 128-bit encryption technology are supported. Encryption is accomplished through Secure Socket Layers (SSL), which utilizes mathematical formulas to "encrypt" or hide information from prying eyes on the internet. Additionally, if SSL detects that data was added or deleted after you sent it to the bank, the connection will be severed in order to guard against any tampering.
- Firewalls are used to protect the information on our online banking site. A firewall is a combination of software and hardware products that designate parameter control and limit the access that outside computers have to internal networks and databases.
- Secure Login. User IDs and passwords are not stored on the internet. Additionally, user passwords can vary from eight to sixteen characters, which means the chance of randomly guessing a password is less than one in one billion! Our security system also checks for invalid logins and automatically locks out a user after three invalid attempts. This helps to prohibit a "hacker" from gaining access to our system, thereby protecting your account(s).
- Additional Security Measures - TBOG deploys multiple layers of security through Multi-Factor Authentication Device Security:
- Verifies account information against the forensics of the machine used.
- Dual verification of the machine and user helps to prevent phishing and other attacks.
- Challenge Response Questions are used in a layered approach with the device identification, user name and password, and the presentation of an image with passphrase.
Other Important Security and Planning Ahead Tips
- Back up your files. In case your computer crashes, is stolen, or you have multiple users, save your important files on a disk or other drive as well as on your hard drive.
- If it sounds too good to be true...It probably is. Don't be conned by convincing emails, letters, or calls offering you the chance to make some easy money. As with most things, if it looks too good to be true, most likely it is. Be cautious of unsolicited communications from overseas - it is much harder to prove legitimacy of the organizations/persons behind the email, letter, or call.
- You should be Vigilant if you use internet cafes or a computer that is not your own and over which you have no control.
- Keep your identity private offline. Your identity can be as easily stolen offline as it can online. It is important that you comply with instructions about destroying new PIN numbers and expired check and credit cards. You should consider using a crosscut shredder to destroy bank and other statements that may contain sensitive personal information. It is advisable to store retained documents in a suitable locked and fireproof container, or use more secure services such as e-statements, e-bills, online bill pay and others.
- Review your bank statements - whether they are e-statements or paper statements! It is important to open your e-statements or paper statements regularly; a quick check will help identify any erroneous or criminal transactions that might have been performed on your account without your knowledge. Even though you may check your transactions via online banking, it's is still important to review the balance and transactions on your actual statements for correctness.
- Monitoring ALL Your Bank Accounts. In the end your ultimate security is your own vigilance. Even with all the security measures you can take to protect your financial information, it can still be compromised. You should monitor your bank account regularly, looking for evidence of fraudulent charges that could indicate identity theft or compromised financial accounts. Do regular checks of your accounts – even those that you don't use very much. You should always know what is happening with your accounts. Checking regularly can help you identify possible ID fraud, undetectable online take-over schemes, and help to limit the damage it can cause. The sooner you catch it, the better.
- Use Account Alert Messages to help monitor activity. Schedule account alerts to be received via SMS (Text) message or email, such as balance alerts, ACH credit & debit transaction alerts, cleared check alerts, and others. Alerts can be scheduled from online banking using the "Messages" tab. These alerts can help in monitoring your account on a daily basis possibly catching an unauthorized transaction sooner.
- Use Your Own Devices. Avoid using a shared computer, and be wary of public or unsecured WiFi networks. Whether you are checking your bank account balance using a Smartphone or using a desktop, try to use only your own devices. When you are using a public computer, you should avoid logging in to sites that require you to input sensitive information. Don't use someone else's tablet to transfer funds. Be sure to never choose the option of this is a "Personal Computer" when using a public computer or devices belonging to others. Your information is more likely to stay safe if you avoid using others' devices. Even if you are using your own devices you need to be careful. A public network without a high level of encryption can be a security risk. Before you engage in sensitive banking activities, make sure that you are on a secure network. If you are unsure, wait until later to accomplish these tasks or call the bank for assistance.
Be SAFE online:
Software - should be legitimate and updated
Anti-Virus - use real anti-virus programs
Familiar - if something looks strange or unusual - don't proceed - call the organization
Emails and SMS - read them carefully
Reference: For additional information visit: www.microsoft.com/athome/security
If you receive any suspicious email or SMS message that claims to be from The Bank of Georgia, please contact us at 770-631-9488.