Skip to content

{beginAccordion h2}

Dos & Don'ts

Internet Security DOs

  • Do type in a website address directly into your Web browser.
  • Do make sure the website you enter personal information into is securely encrypted.
  • Do create and memorize strong passwords that are at least eight characters long, and include at least a numerical value and a symbol, such as #, to foil password-cracking software. Avoid common words and never disclose a password online.
  • Do change your password every few months.
  • Do log out of a website and close the browser when your session is complete.
  • Do use personal firewalls, antivirus and antispyware software programs, and update them on a regular basis to recognize the latest threats.
  • Do regularly update your operating system, Web browser, and other major software, using the manufacturers' update features, preferably using the auto update functionality.
  • Do close windows containing pop-up ads or unexpected warnings by clicking on the "X" button in the upper most right hand corner of that window, not by clicking within the window.
  • Do perform regular backups of important data.

Internet Security DON'Ts

  • Don't blindly click and follow links in an e-mail or unfamiliar website.
  • Don't enter personal information into a website if it is not securely encrypted, or you are unsure if it is securely encrypted.
  • Don't create common passwords such as your name, Social Security Number (SSN), birthdates, children or pet names, addresses, etc.
  • Don't write down your password, especially on a Post-It note and stick it on or near your computer!
  • Don't give out your password to anyone, whether you know them or not.
  • Don't select the "Remember My Password" option. Many applications do not store them securely.
  • Don't reply to spam or click on its "unsubscribe" link. It only informs the sender that your e-mail address is valid.
  • Don't open an e-mail attachment, even from someone you know well, unless you were expecting it.
  • Don't reply to e-mail(s) requesting financial or personal information.
  • Don't click on the close button within pop-up ads or windows.
  • Don't set your e-mail program to "auto-open" attachments.
  • Don't download files, including software, from the Internet without using antivirus and antispyware software programs to help protect you from viruses, spyware, key loggers, etc.

Protecting Your Computer

Clearing Cache

Information and instruction on clearing Internet browser cache from your computer

Internet Browser Cache keeps copies of frequently visited Web page content and information on the hard drive of a computer. This is to help reduce the amount of time you are connected to the Internet. Although it may seem that your reconnection to a site is faster, you may not be viewing the most up-to-date content. Clearing your Internet browser's cache frequently not only keeps content fresh, it also helps ensure Internet security.

Below is information on how to clear cache and a link to upgrade to the latest version for some of the most popular web browsers.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click Tools and then click Internet Options
  3. Click Delete under the Browsing history section
  4. Click the box in front of Temporary Internet files, check mark appears
  5. Click Delete
  6. Click Ok to close Internet Options


  1. Open Firefox
  2. Click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP)
  3. Click on Options
  4. Select the Advanced panel
  5. Click on the Network tab
  6. In the Offline Storage section, click Clear Now
  7. Click Ok to exit


  1. Open Safari
  2. Click on the Safari Setting Menu Button (Gear)
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Click Privacy
  5. Click Remove All Website Data or click Details to locate and selectively remove data for individual sites
  6. Click X to exit


Information and instruction on Internet browser cookies

Cookies are messages given to a web browser by a web server. The browser stores the message in a text file. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Many websites use cookies for authentication, preferences, shopping cart content and to personalize web pages.

Online Banking requires cookies.

The instructions below describe how to enable cookies (in different browsers):

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Cookies are enabled by default for the current site and blocked for third parties and advertisers (Medium Privacy). To change your settings to allow cookies for Online Banking:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click Tools and then click Internet Options
  3. Click the Privacy tab.
  4. Click Sites
  5. In the Address of website box, type, and click Allow
  6. In the Address of website box, type, and click Allow
  7. Click Ok to exit Per Sites Privacy Actions
  8. Click OK to exit Internet Options


Cookies are enabled by default. To check or change your settings:

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Click on the Firefox button
  3. Click Options
  4. Click Privacy
  5. The cookie setting is called Accept cookies form sites


Cookies are enabled by default for the current site and blocked for third parties and advertisers. To check or change your settings:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Click on the Safari Setting Menu Button (gear)
  3. Click on Preferences
  4. Click Privacy
  5. The cookie setting is called Block cookies

Versions & Upgrades

Information and upgrade instruction on Internet browsers, and document viewers

256-bit encryption technology is the highest level of security and protection currently offered for Internet communications, including credit card and financial transactions. Most newer Internet browsers, come standard with 256-bit encryption.

If you have an older Internet browser that does not have the minimum 128-bit encryption, you will need to upgrade in order to use Online Banking or any of our online applications.

Download one of the supported browser no

You will need Adobe Reader to view certain links on our web page. Download the latest version of Adobe® Reader.


Computer virus information & hoaxes

How do I help protect my computer against viruses?

Nothing can guarantee the security of your computer 100 percent. However, you can continue to improve your computer's security and decrease the possibility of infection by keeping your system up-to-date, maintaining a current antivirus software subscription, and following a few best practices.

Steps to help avoid viruses:

  1. Use hardware or software and/or a combination of both.
  2. Visit Microsoft Update and turn on Automatic Updates.
  3. Subscribe to industry standard antivirus software and keep it current.
  4. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know.
  5. Avoid opening an email attachment from someone you know, unless you know exactly what the attachment is. The sender may be unaware that it contains a virus.

Popular Antivirus Vendors

Spyware / Adware

Information to protect your computer from spyware and adware

Spyware / Adware

As if spam, viruses, and worms aren't bad enough. Adware and spyware are here to sap the remaining life out of your productivity and privacy.

Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer. These are ads that inexplicably pop up on your display screen, even if you're not browsing the Internet. Some companies provide "free" software in exchange for advertising on your display. It's how they make their money.

Spyware is software that sends your personal information to a third party without your permission or knowledge. This can include information about Web sites you visit or something more sensitive like your user name and password. Unscrupulous companies often use this data to send you unsolicited targeted advertisements.

Prevent Unwanted Installation

Companies pushing adware and spyware are relying on two things: your desire for free software and your gullibility.

Make sure the programs you install don't contain adware. Many freeware programs include adware. It's how the publishers make their money. If you're not sure, read the license agreement carefully (these are usually shown directly or through links as part of the installation process). Also, check the publisher's Web site very carefully. If you're still not sure, search for the name of the program and the keywords adware or spyware. If you don't find any postings about it, then you're probably OK.

Install a pop-up blocker to prevent adware and spyware pop-up windows. Much spyware installs after you click a deceptive link in a pop-up browser window. Install a pop-up blocker, and you won't even be tempted to click those links. Pop-up windows are annoying time wasters anyway, so you'll thank yourself later. If you're a Windows XP user, upgrade to the latest service pack (Service Pack 2) which includes a pop-up blocker for Internet Explorer.

Don't unwittingly install adware or software. You should only install programs from reputable websites. Avoid installing programs from pop-up ads. This is akin to giving someone your credit card number who calls you at home. It's a different story if you called them.

Popular Free Antispyware

Personal Firewall

Consider installing a personal software firewall. If you are connected to the internet over a broadband (Cable, DSL etc..) consider purchasing a hardware firewall available at most office supply stores such as Staples.

A firewall is a protective system that lies, in essence, between your computer and the Internet. When used correctly, a firewall prevents unauthorized use and access to your computer. The job of a firewall is to carefully analyze data entering and exiting the your computer based on your configuration. It ignores information that comes from an unsecured, unknown or suspicious locations. A firewall plays an important role in protecting your computer as it provides a protective barrier against most forms of attack coming from the outside world.

Firewalls can be either hardware or software. The ideal firewall configuration will consist of both. While many people do not completely understand the importance and necessity of a firewall, or consider it to be a product for businesses only, if your home computer has access to the outside world via the Internet then you need to have a firewall to protect your network, individual computer and data from the bad guys.

Hardware Firewalls

Hardware firewalls can be purchased as a stand-alone product but more recently hardware firewalls are typically found in broadband routers, and should be considered an important part of your computer and network set-up, especially for anyone on a broadband connection. A broadband connection generally consists of either cable service or DSL. Hardware firewalls can be effective with little or no configuration, and they can protect every machine connected to your broadband router. Most hardware firewalls will have a minimum of four network ports to connect other computers.

Not all firewalls are created equal, and to this end it is important to read the manual and documentation that comes with your product. Additionally, the manufacturer's Web site will usually provide a knowledge base or FAQ to help you get started. If the terminology is a bit too tech-oriented, you can also use the Webopedia search to help you get a better understanding of some of the tech and computer terms you will encounter while setting up your hardware firewall.

To test your hardware firewall security, you can purchase third-party test software or search the Internet for a free online-based firewall testing service. Firewall testing is an important part of maintenance to ensure your system is always configured for optimal protection.

Software Firewalls

For individual home users, the most popular firewall choice is a software firewall. Software firewalls are installed on your computer (like any software) and you can customize it; allowing you some control over its function and protection features. A software firewall will protect your computer from outside attempts to control or gain access your computer, and, depending on your choice of software firewall, it could also provide protection against the most common virus programs. Many software firewalls have user defined controls for setting up safe file and printer sharing and to block unsafe applications from running on your computer. Additionally, software firewalls may also incorporate privacy controls, web filtering and more. The downside to software firewalls is that they will only protect the computer they are installed on, not a network, so each computer will need to have a software firewall installed on it.

Like hardware firewalls there is a vast number of software firewalls to choose from. To get started you may wish to read reviews of software firewalls and search out the product web site to glean some information first. Because your software firewall will always be running on your computer, you should make note of the system resources it will require to run and any incompatibilities with your operating system. A good software firewall will run in the background on your computer and use only a small amount of system resources. It is important to monitor a software firewall once installed and to download any updates available from the vendor.

The differences between a software and hardware firewall are vast, and the best protection for your computer and network is to use both, as each offers different but much-needed security features and benefits. Updating your firewall and your operating system is essential to maintaining optimal protection, as is testing your firewall to ensure it is connected and working correctly.

Other Security Links

Stay Safe Online

Resource to protect your computer and your identity on the internet

OnGuard Online

Tips from the Federal Government to help against internet fraud

Apple: Networking Security

Various network and security downloads for Apple Macintosh OS X

BITS - Online Security Tips for Consumers of Financial Services

General tips on how to safely conduct your financial business online

CERT® Coordination Center

Information ranging from protecting your computer operating system against potential problems, reacting to current problems and predicting future problems

Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC)

NIST Computer Security Special Publications

Gibson Research Company

Articles explaining what a firewall does and how it works

Microsoft: Updates

Visit the Microsoft site and scan your computer operating system for the latest security patches

National Cyber Security Alliance

A variety of resources on how to staty safe online and have a better cyber security presence

NetCraft Toolbar

A watch scheme, empowering the most alert and most expert members to alert and help defend against phishing frauds

Sophos Disinfection Instructions

Removal, disinfection and prevention instructions for specific viruses

Symantec Security Response

Information on latest virus threats and security advisories

Virus Bulletin

Independent anti-virus journal and website with advice, reviews and tutorials

Trend Micro

Information on threat activity and software to protect your PC, Mac and Mobile devices

Identity Theft Resources