No Phishing Allowed!

Protection Against Cyber Attacks

With nearly any company imaginable connected to the Internet, the rise in cybercrime has increased exponentially. Companies from Yahoo to Target have experienced security breaches in recent years, leaving consumer information such as birthdays and social security numbers exposed to hackers.

Banking companies have also been under attack. According to Security Scorecard’s 2016 Financial Industry Cyber Security Report, while financial services were No. 4 in top performers for security rating by industry, it had the fifth- highest percentage of major data breaches by industry from April 2015 to June 2016.

Protection From Phishing
While financial institutions are taking more steps to prevent cybercrime by implementing new technology, there are steps consumers and business owners can take to better protect themselves against security breaches, such as monitoring the utilization of passwords. It is suggested to change all passwords once or twice a year and avoid using the same password across platforms. However, with so many passwords to change, it can be difficult to manage them. Password managers such as can keep your passwords in one location with one master password to unlock them all.

Another way to combat cybercrime is to be mindful of a website’s origin or URL address. Phishing websites (“phishing” is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers) can appear if a website address is mistyped and also from pop-up browsers. For example, a website that has the letter “y” in it but is misspelled using the letter “u” may take you to a website attempting to steal personal information through logging in. The website may ask you to enter a username or password or make it appear as if you have logged into a website despite entering a false password. Web browsers have assisted in the fight against these sites with antiphishing plug-ins, such as Mozilla Firefox’s Anti-Phishing and Google Chrome’s Netcraft Extension.

It is important to monitor emails as well. Despite most servers having a spam filter, some security-breaching emails can still pass through. For example, they can be sent from a legitimate email address utilizing IP addresses that spam filters do not detect, using recipients’ names in the email or altering the email so it is not flagged by the spam filter. The emails may ask to verify your banking information at a page linked within the email. Fidelity Bank of Florida and other legitimate companies will not request information through a non-secure medium. If something seems unusual about the email you are receiving, do not open it and directly contact the company the e-mail allegedly came from.

Secure Innovation

At Fidelity Bank of Florida, security is paramount. the bank’s SecurLOCK Equip program offers free protection with debit card purchases by sending the customer a text whenever its card is used. is exclusive program protects users if their debit cards are stolen by immediately notifying them whenever a purchase has been made or attempted. The customer then has the ability to “turn o ” their debit card to stop fraudulent activity immediately.

For Fidelity Bank’s President and CEO J. Lamar Roberts, the added protection, in addition to the personal steps members take, is key in a changing cyber climate.

“While Fidelity Bank of Florida takes extra measures in protecting each customer, such as with our SecurLOCK Equip debit card product, it’s important customers take the extra steps to ensure their personal information is secure,” Roberts said. “With the rise of cyberfraud, the potential theft of personal information to hackers is something we all must protect ourselves against.”

Security For Small Businesses
For business owners, maintaining the company’s information technology is vital. Installing virus so ware to combat against malware, adware and spyware will help keep consumer information secure. Backing up files will also help in the fight against hackers, as data can be retrieved in the event systems are disabled. Server virtualization is another suggested practice in keeping data secure, especially among small businesses. Server virtualization divides one server into multiple ones, allowing for easier recovery of files.

Businesses also can keep watch of cyberfraud in the manner in which they exchange money with clients. e Small Business Administration suggests separate accounts for personal and business use. e SBA also recommends educating your staff on basic security threats and the procedures to handle them on a consistent basis.

While cybercrime is on the rise, affecting consumers and businesses, there are plenty of steps that can be taken to combat hackers on the information superhighway. Fraud is not 100 percent preventable, but using these methods can give consumers and owners peace of mind in a world that runs on the Internet.

Dominick Damico serves as the Marketing and Relationship Manager for Fidelity Bank of Florida, which offers each of its customers “World Class Service,” while finding the right accounts that work for them.

He can be contacted at or 321-328-1365