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Alma Exchange Bank & Trust recommends the following Computing Security Practices and Protection for customers accessing their account information via the Internet:

General Business Practices (Commercial Customers)

1. Review this information with your IT department or IT consultant and evaluate how your systems may be vulnerable to this risk. Perform a risk assessment periodically to determine if your organization is protected against identified threats.
2. Dual control procedures should be in place for high risk transactions such as electronic funds transfers. This includes automated clearing house (ACH), Online Banking transfers, and wire transfers.
3. Talk to your insurance provider about adding cyber insurance terms to your business insurance policy.
4. Reconcile your banking transactions daily and look for unusual small amounts such as penny transactions. This may be an indication that your account has been compromised and a fraudulent plan is in progress.
5. Never access bank, brokerage, or other financial services information at internet cafes, public libraries, etc. Unauthorized software may have been installed to trap account numbers and sign on information leaving you vulnerable to fraud.
6. Immediately escalate knowledge of any suspicious transaction to the Bank, particularly if these transactions are ACH or wire transfers. There is a limited recovery window for these transactions and immediate escalation may prevent or minimize further loss.

Password Practices (All Customers)

1. Change passwords at least every 90 days and every time an employee leaves the company.
2. Create a strong password with at least 10 characters that includes a combination of mixed case letters, numbers, and special characters.
3. Ensure that your account information and security responses are not written where they can be seen or accessed by others. If the information must be written down, it should be secured under lock and key when not being used.
4. Never share your user ID or password with anyone for any reason. If it is compromised, contact us to have the ID and/or password disabled or reset.
5. Secure your computers with a password protected screensaver that has a timeout feature activated after no more than 15 minutes.
6. Avoid using an automatic login feature that saves usernames and passwords for online banking.


Operating System Protection (All Customers)
1. Ensure that you use current anti-virus and anti-spyware products to protect yourself against malicious software that is created for the specific purpose of gathering information such as user ID, password, and other critical information that may be stored on your computer.
2. Ensure that you have a patch management solution that keeps your computer software current and can further mitigate new vulnerabilities to which your computer may have been exposed.
3. Install a dedicated, actively managed firewall, especially if you have a broadband or dedicated connection to the Internet, such as DSL or cable. A firewall limits the potential for unauthorized access to a network and to computers.
4. Practice safe internet use. Never click on pop-up messages or links to applications contained in emails. Try to get into the habit of manually going to links that are sent to you. It is estimated that over 80% of malware is obtained from clicking on pop-up ads.
5. Be suspicious of emails claiming to be from a financial institution, government department, or other agency requesting account information, account verification, or banking access credentials such as usernames, passwords, PIN codes and similar information.
6. Use caution when opening attachments and ensure they were sent from a trusted source.
7. Consider designating a "locked down" PC to accommodate only your online banking transactions. This computer should not be used for email or any other internet activities. This precaution should minimize the opportunity to download malware.


For more information on how you can be protected, visit

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