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Security Awareness
Cyber Security

October is a month of safety reminders. Holloween safety, Fire Prevention and now Cyber Security. Saint Paul security experts have put together some great information to keep you safe online.

Be Informed
Due to recent bank acquisitions there has been increased public reports of phishing scams. Due to an increase in this activity, you are reminded to remain cautious when receiving unsolicited email that could be a potential phishing scam.

Phishing scams may appear as requests for users to verify personal and bank account information, enroll in additional bank services, or activate new security features. The email messages may contain a link that, when clicked, will take the user to a fraudulent web site that appears to be a legitimate bank web site. The users may be asked to provide personal information that can further expose them to future compromises. Additionally, these fraudulent web sites may contain viruses or malicious code.

Users are encouraged to take the following measures to protect themselves from phishing scams:

  * Do not follow unsolicited web links received in email messages..
  * Install anti-virus software, and keep its virus signature files up-to-date.

How To Choose Good Passwords
In creating strong, effective passwords it is often helpful to keep in mind some of the methods by which they may be cracked, so lets begin with what NOT to do when choosing passwords.

Don't use Dictionary Words, Proper Nouns, or Foreign Words

Don't use Personal Information

Create passwords with length, width and depth in mind:

     Uppercase letters such as A, B, C
     Lowercase letters such as a, b,c
     Numerals such as 1, 2, 3
     Special characters such as $, ?, &

Use "phrases" when creating passwords (pass-phrases):

     “If we weren't all crazy we would go insane“ (Jimmy Buffett rules)*
     “Send the pain below!“
     “Gone Fishing!"

Changing & Storing Passwords and PINs
In order to ensure their ongoing effectiveness, passwords should be changed on a regular basis. Changing passwords securely is fairly simple. How often one should change passwords really depends on the account. Online financial accounts should be changed every month or two. Corporate network passwords should be changed every 3-4 months.
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