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 We sat down with Chief Information Officer Scott Lindley to talk about Cybersecurity and ways to protect your accounts when shopping online this holiday season.

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Q: How can I help ensure that my accounts are protected online?

A:  Monitor your accounts.  Use our mobile app and get text alerts when transactions are performed on your accounts.  Always use the latest app version and patch or update your devices as updates become available.

Q: What are some things that MAX does to ensure my information is protected?

A:  MAX uses multi-factor authentication and Secure Access Codes to authenticate the user. Secure Access Codes are randomly-generated codes that are sent to you by a method that only you can obtain (such as via text or email delivery). It is important to always keep your contact information updated on your account for this reason.

Q: What is multi-factor authentication and does MAX use multi-factor authentication methods for accessing online banking services?

A:  Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a method of computer access control in which a user is granted access only after successfully presenting several separate pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism.  Typically at least two of the following categories: knowledge (something you know), possession (something you have), and inherence (something you are).  For example, you may be asked for your first pet’s name, your favorite teacher’s name, or where your mother was born. These questions may be set up at the time you create your online account and updated as needed. MAX uses MFA for accessing online banking.  

Q: What do I need to know about public Wifi and logging into my accounts?

A:  Do not trust public Wi-Fi. We do not recommend checking you accounts or other sensitive data when you are using unsecured, public Wi-Fi.

Q: Regardless of what I do to protect myself online, is it possible that I can still be a victim of a data breach or debit or credit card fraud?

A:  Yes, if your personal information is stored by any entity, this is always a possibility.  The best way to protect yourself is to regularly monitor your accounts and other online information. 

Q: Does MAX provide customer education on proper usage of the internet and cybersecurity in general?

A:  We do. MAX offers a wide range of financial workshops, including how to protect your identity and your accounts when using the internet. Check out myMAX.com/Ascend to see upcoming workshops and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for new workshop postings.

Q: What are some other things can I do to protect myself online?

A: Turn off file sharing and AirDrop Options.  Turn Wi-Fi off when not in use. Keep your Antivirus and Antimalware up to date. Use HTTPS everywhere you can.  When possible, bring your own Wi-Fi rather than use public WiFi or WiFi you do not know.

Also consider these tips when browsing online or checking email:

  • Use a password to protect your devices.
  • Do not click on links or attachments in texts, emails, or websites from people you do not know.
  • Do not share your passwords with anyone.
  • Do not use the same password for all accounts or devices.
  • Do not give our personal information through email, online, or over the phone.
  • Regularly monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and immediately report anything out of the ordinary.