Security Center

At Western Bank we are committed to educating our customers on how to better protect themselves from online fraud.  As the technology evolves to better businesses and consumer’s lives, it also has improved the ability for thieves to steal personal and confidential information over the Internet.  Please take some time to look over the information that we have put together for you, so that you can protect yourself from online fraud.

Internet Security

Latest Tips from Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC):

  • Never give your Access Id or Passcode out or leave it where someone can find it and use it.
  • Create a secure Passcode.
    • Never use common dictionary words, family or pet names, dates of birth, social security numbers, or phone numbers.
    • Vary where you capitalize letters.
    • Substitute symbols for characters or numbers. Example: use a $ for s.
    • Use a phrase instead of words.  Example: Mutual respect inspires a peak performance from all. = mRiapPfa.
  • Change your Passcode often.
  • Use the Exit/Log Out button to end your Internet session.  Never use the “Back” button to navigate through the Internet Banking site.
  • Balance your account on a regular basis.
  • Ensure that Virus and Spyware protection is installed and frequently updated on all your computers.
  • Consider installing a firewall for your home or business network.

Phishing (pronounced fishing)

This is the latest type of email fraud.  Using sophisticated technology, thieves are creating emails and websites that look authentic.  They will even put logos of legitimate businesses on their webpage’s to make their site look authentic.  The thieves sending this type of email are trying to obtain or “fish” personal and confidential information out of you.

Western Bank will never ask for sensitive information such as Social Security Number, Access ID, Passcode, or Account Number, via email.  If you suspect you have received a fraudulent email from Western Bank, please call Customer Service at 575-443-5000 or email us at

Key Signs that an email may be fraudulent:

  1. There will be a sense of urgency, i.e. your account will be blocked if you don’t provide information.
  2. The email will request personal information such as account number, credit and debit card number, social security, access id, passcode, mother’s maiden name, and other sensitive information.
  3. The email may ask you to reregister for online banking.
  4. The email may have spelling and grammatical errors.
  5. These emails may include false links leading to a fraudulent website, the link may have part of the company’s name in it.
  6. Always type in a website’s address in the address line; don’t click on links in an email from someone you don’t know.
  7. Don’t open unsolicited email or click on links or documents with double extensions, i.e. “areyouthere.doc.pif”.
  8. Never open attachments with files ending in .exe, .pif, or .vbs, these extensions are for executables and are commonly dangerous files.
  9. Do not open email from someone you don’t know.

File complaints with the US Federal Trade at click on “File a Complaint”.

Cyber Security Tips

  1. Think Before You Click.
    Always think before you click on links or images in an e-mail, instant message or on a web sites. Be cautious when you receive an attachment from unknown sources. Even if you know and trust the sender of the e-mail, instant message, web site or a friend's social networking page, it is still prudent to use caution when navigating pages and clicking on links or images.
  2. Use Hard to Guess Passwords.
    Developing good password practices will help keep your personal information and identity more secure. Passwords should have at least eight characters and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals and symbols.
  3. Avoid Phishing Scams.
    Phishing is a from of identity theft in which the intent is to steal your personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information. Do not reply to e-mails that ask you to "verify your information" or to "confirm your user-id and password."
  4. Shop Safely Online.
    When shopping online always know with whom you're dealing. When submitting your purchase information, look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar to be sure your information is secure during transmission. Always remember to pay by credit card and keep a paper trail.
  5. Protect Your Identity.
    When visiting websites, it's important to know what information is being collected, by whom and how it will be used. Web sites track visitors as they navigate through cyberspace, therefore, data may be collected about you as a result of many of your online activities. Please keep in mind most legitimate web sites include a privacy statement. The privacy statement is usually located at the bottom of the homepage and details the type of personally identifiable information the site collects about its visitors, how the information is used - including with whom it may be shared - and how users can control the information that is gathered.
  6. Dispose of Information Properly.
    Before discarding your computer or portable storage devices, you need to be sure that the data contained on the device has been erased or "wiped." Read/writable media (including your hard drive) should be "wiped" using Department of Defense (DOD) compliant software.
  7. Protect Your Children Online.
    Discuss and set guidelines and rules for computer use with your child. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder. Familiarize yourself with your child's online activities and maintain a dialogue with your child about what applications they are using. Consider using parental control tools that are provide by some Interest Service Providers and available for purchase as separate software packages.
  8. Protect Your Portable Device.
    It is important to make sure you secure your portable devices to protect both the device and the information contained on the device. Always establish a password on all devices. If your device has Bluetooth functionality and it's not used, check to be sure this setting is disabled. Some devices have Bluetooth-enabled by default. If the Bluetooth functionality is used, be sure to change the default password for connecting to a Bluetooth enabled device. Encrypt data and data transmissions whenever possible.
  9. Secure Your Wireless Network.
    Wireless networks are not as secure as the traditional "wired" networks, but you can minimize the risk on your wireless network by enabling encryption, changing the default password, changing the Service Set Identifier (SSID) name (which is the name of your network) as well as turning off SSID broadcasting and using the MAC filtering feature, which allows you to designate and restrict which computers can connect to your wireless network.
  10. Back-Up Important Files.
    Back-up your important files minimally on a weekly basis. Don't risk losing your important documents, images or files!

Identity Theft

Latest Tips from Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC):

  • No-Bounce Protection transfer from Checking or Savings
  • Automatically transfer funds to cover any checks you forgot
  • Transfers based on the available balance in the no bounce protection account
  • Contact any customer service representative for assistance

Identity thefts occurs when thieves steal your social security number, account numbers, and credit card numbers then use your personal information to obtain new credit cards, car loans, or mortgages in your name.  Using your social security number a thief can obtain a drivers license or passport in your name and commit crimes that you can also be blamed for.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston “It is also common for them to set up telephone or utility service in your name and not pay for it.”  “Thieves have also been known to print counterfeit checks in a victim’s name."

At Western Bank we are dedicated to educating our customers on the signs of fraudulent activity and on how to protect yourself.  Here are some tips on preventing Identity Theft.

  1. Western Bank will never send an email requiring customers to send personal information or use pop-up windows.  Do not open unsolicited emails.
  2. Carry only necessary identification; DO NOT carry your social security card.  This should be kept in a safe place like a safety deposit box; along with other important papers and documents such as passports, marriage licenses, etc.
  3. Make a photocopy of the front and back of all the items you do keep in your wallet, so that if you will know what if anything is missing from your wallet and who to report stolen items to.  Keep this copy in your safety deposit box.
  4. When requesting new services or filling out paperwork ask if your social security number is required for identifying purposes.  You can request to use some other identifier in lieu of your social security number.
  5. Shred all personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage.  A majority of ID theft comes from thieves stealing garbage and mail.
  6. Utilize the Estatements from billers and your bank.  And ask your credit card companies to stop sending the convenience checks.  Reduce direct mail marketing by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT.  Also notify all three of the credit bureau agencies that you don’t want your personal information shared.
  7. Always use the U.S. Postal Service mailboxes for outgoing mail.
  8. Collect your mail promptly each day or for better protection open a P.O. Box or put a lock on you home mailbox.
  9. Request your credit report from all three credit bureau agencies at least once a year.  Get a copy from all three reporting agencies at or call 877-322-8228.

For more information about Identity Theft visit the following websites:

Skimming Devices

Skimming devices are devices attached or inserted on card readers which allow thevies to steal card information when you use an ATM or gas pump. Here are some helpful tips on Protecting your card information from Skimming devices.

  • Look out for anythin supspicious such as loose connections, the card reader feeling to tight, security seals broken or coloring and lettering that do not seem to match with the rest of the machine.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand as you enter your pin number to prevent your number from being seen by a theif or a small camera which could be installed on the machine.