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Online Shopping Tips

from National Cybersecurity Alliance website

  • Think before you click: Beware of emails, texts or other promotions that seem “off” or encourage you to urgently click on links. If you receive an enticing offer, do not click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company’s website to verify the offer is legitimate. If you can’t find it on their website, report the scam to your email provider as a phishing attempt. Remember: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do your homework: Fraudsters are fond of setting up fake e-commerce sites. Prior to making a purchase, read reviews to hear what others say about the merchant. Check trusted sources, like the Better Business Bureau, as well. In addition, look for a physical location and any customer service information. It’s also a good idea to call the merchant to confirm that they are legitimate.
  • Consider your payment options: Using a credit card is much better than using a debit card; there are more consumer protections for credit cards if something goes awry. Or, you can use a third party payment service instead of your credit card. There are many services you can use to pay for purchases – like Google Pay — without giving the merchant your credit card information directly.
  • Watch what you give away: Be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete your transaction. If the merchant is requesting more data than you feel comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction. You only need to fill out required fields at checkout and you should not save your payment information in your profile. If the account autosaves it, after the purchase go in and delete the stored payment details. 
  • Keep tabs on your bank and credit card statements: Be sure to continuously check your accounts for any unauthorized activity. Good recordkeeping goes hand-in-hand with managing your cybersecurity. Another tip for monitoring activity is to set up alerts so that if your credit card is used, you will receive an email or text message with the transaction details.

Basic Safety and Security Tips

  • Keep a clean machine: Be sure that all internet-connected devices including PCs, smartphones and tablets are free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps. These updates protect your devices form any new threats or vulnerabilities.
  • Lock down your login: Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA will fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics or a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device.
  • Use a secure Wi-Fi: Using public Wi-Fi to shop online while at your favorite coffee shop is tremendously convenient, but it is not cyber safe. Don’t make purchases via public Wi-Fi; instead use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your phone as a hotspot. Or, save those purchases in your cart for later and wait until you’re home and on your own secure network.

 

Cybersecurity Tips

Here is some simple cybersecurity information to help you stay safe.

Did you know?

  • In 2020 3.81 billion people worldwide now use social media. That’s an increase of more than 9% from 2019. Put another way: 49% of the total world population are using social networks.
     
  • Digital consumers spend nearly 2.5 hours on social networks and social messaging every day.
     
  • 69% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site and the average American has 7 social media accounts.

Social media security tips

So, why would a hacker want your account when it’s filled with photos of your dog or that room you renovated during Covid? First and foremost, it’s a legitimate account.

Social media platforms delete billions of fake accounts every year. Bad guys steal real accounts, like yours, and sell them on the black market where buyers can use them to spread propaganda or to extort and scam money from unsuspecting victims. Victims who may be in your social media friends list.

Use these simple cybersecurity rules to protect yourself and others, and to navigate social media confidently and safely:

  • Use separate and complex passwords, or better yet a passphrase, for each social media platform, and all online accounts. Change these passwords often as hackers buy and sell stolen password lists on the dark web.
  • Make sure you understand the account password recovery and reset services. If a hacker gains access to your account, one of the first things they’ll attempt to do is reset the password. If the platform offers some form of multi-factored authentication, such as a text message approval, use it wherever possible.
  • Be leery of private messages, even if sent from a colleague or friend. Follow the adage of trust through verification. Call or text the person to verify it’s them contacting you. Use the phone number from your contacts list and not the one provided in the message. If you don’t have their number, do you really need to be in communication with them over social media platforms? Probably not.
  • Don’t overshare. Hackers can utilize information you post on social media platforms in complex social engineering attacks against you.

The pandemic has changed our personal and work life structure. New hybrid work environments, with employees continuing to send and receive emails from their personal devices, further increase risk at work. Hackers often use attacks against a single employee to gain access to an entire organization. Don’t be that pathway for the attackers. Make cybersecurity a priority today.

Victims are encouraged to contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to report the online crime.

Join us in spreading the word about Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Raising awareness is a critical first step. By doing so, our interconnected world will be safer and more resilient for everyone. 

 

ATM in Whittemore

No fees for FSB debit card customers!!

 

Employee Appreciation Day

https://animoto.com/play/XqQMAdMCG961Vn9gny7EPQ

 

 

FSB 125th Anniversary

Farmers State Bank is celebrating 125 years as a local, community bank.  

 

 

Logo design by:

Mary Schaaf, https://maryschaafdesign.com/

 

Community Banks Are Standing Up for Rural America

ICBA

ICBA Independent Community Bankers Association

Jul 19 · 4 min read

By Rebecca Romero Rainey

Wall Street financial institutions are once again showing that when the going gets tough, they head for the exits. After ramping up lending when times were good, as just reported by Reuters, the nation’s largest banks have shrunk their agricultural lending portfolios amid the current conditions in the farm economy. This exodus of capital not only harms farmers and agricultural enterprises, but also the local businesses, hospitals, schools and rural municipalities that support the agricultural economy.

Fortunately for rural America and the citizens who call it home, the nation’s community banks are bolstering their farm lending at this crucial time — demonstrating once again why policymakers should work to strengthen community banks, which stick with their customers and communities in good times and bad.

According to Reuters, the nation’s 30 largest banks have reduced their farm loans by 17.5 percent since December 2015 as the U.S. farm economy has experienced an economic downturn fueled by low commodity prices, trade wars and flooded fields. While Reuters reports that these large banks have culled their agricultural holdings by $3.9 billion, however, overall bank lending to the farm sector has grown by more than $10 billion over the same period as community banks have stepped in to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers across the country.

It’s not the first time community banks have risen to the challenge presented by their megabank competitors. Local communities hit hardest by the Wall Street financial crisis are now being left behind as the megabanks that fueled the calamity withdraw for wealthier areas. While JPMorgan Chase last year announced a major branching and lending boom, it has in recent months notified regulators of more branch closures than openings, according to Bloomberg. Of JPMorgan’s 185 new branch openings, 71 percent are in more affluent communities, including 70 in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Meanwhile, community banks are expanding in the areas most in need of the banking services they need to thrive. Low- and moderate-income census tracts make up a significant percentage of megabank branch closures. Community banks, on the other hand, focus a relatively large share of their resources in low- and moderate-income tracts, and their lending in these areas is more consistent with local demographics than megabank loans.

Overall, noncommunity banks shrunk their footprint by 384 offices between June 2017 and June 2018, while community banks added more than 700 bank offices over the same time period, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Further, community bank loan growth has exceeded growth at noncommunity banks for six consecutive years, with deposit growth more than tripling that of their larger competitors in rural areas, reflecting their continued commitment to farm communities.

These efforts build on the disparate responses to the Wall Street financial crisis, when community banks increased lending to consumers and small businesses while megabanks closed off access to credit. Accounting for more than 60 percent of small-business loans under $1 million and 80 percent of agricultural loans from the banking sector, community banks have used their more than 50,000 locations as an economic lifeline in the areas most in need of financial services.

Through it all, community banks operate within the strenuous regulatory requirements often provoked by the misbehavior of the megabanks and the economic fallout they have all too frequently caused. To help community banks spread the benefits of the longest economic recovery in U.S. history to regions that have not yet experienced strong growth, Washington should institute a regulatory environment that better distinguishes Main Street institutions from those on Wall Street.

This includes maximizing the benefits of last year’s S. 2155 regulatory relief law by simplifying capital standards for community banks as authorized by Congress and instituting a truly short-form call report for the first and third quarters of the year. It means finishing the job of modernizing anti-money-laundering laws to improve uniformity and efficiency, insuring community banks have continued access to the secondary mortgage market, and mitigating the negative impact of new regulatory mandates. It means forging a competitive landscape free from distortions caused by too-big-to-fail financial firms and the undue competitive advantages afforded by taxpayer-funded subsidies for credit unions and Farm Credit System lenders. It means advancing data breach legislation that requires all participants in the payments system to meet data security standards like those that have long applied to banks.

In short, it is time for Washington to enact policies that will support the financial institutions that help every American in every community — whether urban, suburban, or rural — join in the nation’s economic prosperity. As the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties, community banks are used to meeting the needs of areas left behind by other financial services providers. By supporting these locally based institutions, we can bring opportunity and prosperity to every corner of our country, one community at a time.

 

Rebeca Romero Rainey is president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America.

https://medium.com/@ICBA/community-banks-are-standing-up-for-rural-america-b56d36fdac07

 

Mobile Banking

Try our convenient mobile app, FSBIOWA, to fulfill your banking needs.  The app can be found at the Apple App Store or at Google Play.  You will be able to:

  • Check your balances

  • Make transfers

  • Deposit checks

  • Pay your bills

  • Pay a person

  • Make a loan payment

Try it today! It is just another way Farmers State Bank is there for you.

 

Mobile Deposit Update

When you use mobile deposit on the Farmers State Bank app, please write the following phrase on the back of you check, along with your signature:

For Mobile Deposit at Farmers State Bank

 

Stay Safe Online

Go to this website to learn more.

https://staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day/about/

Privacy is good for business.

https://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Privacy-Is-Good-For-Business.pdf

Tips for parents and grandparents.

https://staysafeonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/STOP.-THINK.-CONNECT.-Tips-for-Parents-on-Raising-Privacy-Savvy-Kids.pdf

 

Identity Theft

Is someone using your personal information to open accounts, file taxes, or make purchases? Visit IdentityTheft.gov, the federal government’s one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft.

Did you get a notice that says a company lost your personal information in a data breach? Did you lose your wallet? Or learn that an online account was hacked? Here are steps you can taketo help protect yourself from identity theft.

What can you do to keep your personal info secure? Are identity protection services worth the cost? What about credit freezes? Check out the FTC’s identity theft articles to find out.

 

Debit Card Fraud Protection

SHAZAM Fraud Text Alerts

Dear valued cardholder,

Keeping your account safe and secure is our highest priority. We partner with SHAZAM, our debit card processor, to implement a fraud management solution powered by FICO® Falcon® to help protect your debit card against fraudulent activity.

We provide Text Fraud Alerts as part of our debit card protection program. You’ll receive text alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your Farmers State Bank debit card. If you receive a “fraud alert,” reply Yes or No to confirm or deny the activity. If you reply No (the activity is fraudulent), you’ll quickly receive a follow up text to let you know that a SHAZAM fraud specialist will call you soon to help protect your account. We’ll also automatically block your debit card to prevent any additional fraudulent activity.

If you reply Yes (the activity was legitimate), you can continue to use your debit card as normal. If you don’t reply to the text, or your phone number is not a mobile number, we’ll attempt to reach you via automated voice call.

Text message alerts from: 72718

Automated phone calls from: 855-219-5399

Make sure to save these numbers to your contacts so you don’t miss any alerts. This added protection to your debit card is automatic and text message alerts are free. To ensure we can reach you promptly if fraudulent activity is suspected, we’ll need to have your current contact information on file including phone number(s) and address. Please contact us if you have any changes in this information. We’ll keep your information completely confidential.

If you have any questions, or ever see a suspicious transaction on your debit card, please call (515) 887-2221. Always use caution when providing your debit card information and contact us immediately if you suspect your debit card has been stolen or compromised.

Thank you!

 

Check out America's Banks website

American Banking Association

ABA’s  America's Bank website demonstrates the tremendous impact banks have across the country on their customers, communities and the overall economy.