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Lakeland Bank Offers Tips for Individuals and Small Businesses to Combat Online Account Fraud

October Marks the 10th Anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month
OAK RIDGE, N.J., October 1, 2013During National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), Lakeland Bank is taking the opportunity to educate and engage individuals and small businesses in creating a safe, secure, and protected cyber environment. This includes banking and all online transactions and data storage activity. We all enjoy the benefits and convenience that the Internet provides, yet, for all of the Internet’s advantages; it can be a place where users are vulnerable to fraud, identity theft and other scams. According to the Norton Cybercrime Report, 556 million adults worldwide were victims of cyber crime in 2012.
Cyber security begins with a simple message: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
As part of NCSAM, Lakeland Bank offers individuals and small business owners these tips to prevent cyber attacks of their financial accounts and identity theft:
Small Business Accounts
·         Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense to protect your corporate accounts. Train employees to recognize and avoid suspicious emails and to never share account information.
·         Protect your online environment. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated anti-virus/spyware software on all computers. Never use unprotected Internet connections.
·         Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs such as Positive Pay, which provides daily monitoring reports of suspicious check payments drawn on your account, so you can stop any potential losses before they happen.
Personal Accounts
·         Shop smart and safe. When shopping online, be sure the website uses secure technology. When at the checkout screen, verify the web address begins with https and check to see that a small locked padlock appears on the page.
·         Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
·         Watch out for phishing scams.They utilize fraudulent emails to trick users into disclosing private account and log in information. Don’t click on links or open any attachments from sources you are not familiar with. 
·         Update computer software, web browsers, & operating systems, regularly. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.
Mobile Security
·         Protect your device.Alwaysuse a passcode lock on your smartphone. This will make it more difficult to access personal data if your device is lost or stolen.
·         Install updates to smartphone applications and firmware regularly. If you neglect to do so, it increases the risk of having your device compromised.
·         Log out. Always log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
Social Networks
·         Review and customize privacy settings. Research your social network’s default account settings and make sure to customize your personal privacy settings in order to share information only with the people you choose.
·         Keep personal information personal. Hackers use social media profiles to figure out or reset passwords with answers to security questions which can often be found there. Be wary of requests to connect from people you do not know to protect information like your birthday, mother’s maiden name, pets name, etc. 
Lakeland Bank has created a library of quality resources designed to help customers avoid the pitfalls of cyber theft. Visit the Lakeland Bank Blog for more tips on how to minimize your risk of identity theft and how to protect your financial security on social networks and your smartphone. We’ve also create a YouTube playlist of videos produced by Lakeland Bank of these same topics that you can share with family and friends.
Checking Account with ID Theft Protection
At Lakeland Bank, we offer Elite Checking, a product that provides our customers with benefits that give them the ability to protect and save their money, and get Identity Theft Protection including Identity Monitoring and $5,000 Personal Identity Theft Protection. 
About Lakeland Bank
Lakeland Bancorp, the holding company for Lakeland Bank, has $3.3 billion in total assets with 52 offices spanning eight northern New Jersey counties: Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Lakeland Bank, headquartered in Oak Ridge, offers an extensive array of consumer and commercial products and services, including online and mobile banking, localized commercial lending teams, an expanded residential mortgage lending platform and 24-hour-or-less turnaround on consumer loan applications. For more information about the full line of products and services, visit LakelandBank.com.