Author Archive for Kim Grimes

FDIC’s Cybersecurity Awareness Basics

Click here for consumer protection tips and resources from the FDIC regarding cybersecurity.

Stay cyber-safe in 2019!

Scam Season

Christmas Season has officially begun and guess what…….. It’s Holiday Season for the bad guys too! But not the way you might think, they go into scam-overdrive mode. The holiday season is the busiest on-line shopping time and they are out to get rich with your money. So what do you need to look out for?

1.At the moment, there are literally thousands of fake sites, looking just like the real thing. Don’t fall for it. Make sure the site you go to is the real one. Type in the address or use your bookmark, do not click on links in emails with special offers.

2.Watch out for alerts via email or text that you just received a package from FedEx, UPS or the US Mail, and then asks you for some personal information. Don’t enter anything.

3.Don’t download fake mobile apps that promise big shopping savings, and be very wary of online discount coupons.


1. Today, phishing scams are skyrocketing, especially driven by deals and rebate offers. Don’t open any attachments or click on links appearing to be from trusted vendors you shop with. Go directly to the website of the vendor looking for the sales and deals.

2. Do not use ATM/debit cards online, only use credit cards and think about a voluntary limit, or at least a text when a purchase gets made.

3. Delivery- and non-delivery scams. Watch out for emails that confirm shipments or that try to scam you with shipment problems.

4. Don’t fall for deals that are too good to be true. Increase your security awareness levels, and maintain a healthy skepticism when you see special offers in email or social media.

5. Watch out for fake discount coupons, and fake “game codes”, that are nothing but a nonsense string of letters and numbers.

6. Keep an eye out for online credit card collection imposters. You might stress out because of your high credit card bills, and bad guys are sending emails that claim to be from the credit card company claiming your account is overdue and is subject to being shut down unless you make a payment immediately. You may be tricked in giving away your credit card information.

7. Holiday Ransomware: You should understand that information—e.g. order confirmation emails— on your computers increase in value over the holiday season, and that means that you are more likely to panic and pay ransom if ransomware strikes.

8. Be very wary when you get an inbound phone call, never give out any personal information if you did not initiate the call yourself.

9. Avoid downloading anything from questionable websites. Disable popups on your devices by using trusted, reliable popup blockers.

10. If you suspect that you may have entered your credit card data into a fake website after all, immediately call your credit card company and cancel your card. Then change your passwords and pin-codes for your online banking sites. Use strong passwords and never use the same password for several websites or services, because if one is stolen, all of your accounts will be put at risk.

Think Before You Click and Enjoy a Safe Holiday Shopping Season!

Flu Prevention Tips

The Center for Disesase Control (CDC) recommends the following preventive steps to help stop the spread of the flu virus.

  1. Vaccinate
  2. Stop Germs
  3. Antiviral Drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

Take time to get a flu vaccine.

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.
  • CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) during 2017-2018. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.
  • Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.
  • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.


Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.


 Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high-risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health condition or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
  • Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Equifax Breach Info

Concerned about the Equifax breach?  To assist you, we have complied some information regarding the breach thus far and how you can best protect yourself.

The Equifax Data Breach: What to do – Federal Trade Commission

Equifax breach: How to protect yourself – Fox Business

This is another reason why NorthSide Bank’s Star Secure Checking is such a great account. Your Star Secure Checking account features IDPROTECT® Identity Theft Protection Service.


Automatic benefits – no action needed by user. These benefits are active and are available to account holders should an identity fraud incident occur:

  • Up to $10,000 identity theft expense reimbursement coverage2 – to cover expenses associated with restoring your identity
  • Fully managed Identity Theft Resolution Services
  • Access to a fraud specialist assigned to manage your case who will work with you until your credit and identity are restored

Benefits that require REGISTRATION AND ACTIVATION (Online registration and activation is recommended for the earliest warning of credit file activity that may indicate possible identity theft):

Credit File Monitoring – daily credit file monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your Experian, Equifax and TransUnion credit reports

Total Identity Monitoring – monitoring of over 1,000 databases including credit, Social Security, public records, real property records, telephone and many others

3-in-1 Credit Report – request a new 3-in-1 report every 90 days or upon receipt of credit alert

Credit Score – receive a new single bureau credit score with every new credit report

Debit and credit card registration – Register your credit, debit and ATM cards with us and receive assistance from IDProtect should your cards become lost or stolen

Online identity theft news center and valuable phone and web resources

1IDProtect service is a personal identity theft protection service available to account owner(s) and their joint account holders. The service is available to non-publicly traded businesses and their business owner(s) listed on the account (service not available to employees or authorized signers who are not owners). Service is not available to a “signer” on the account who is not an account owner. Service is not available to clubs, organizations and/or churches and their members, schools and employees/students. For revocable grantor trusts, the service is available only when a grantor is serving as a trustee and covers the grantor trustee(s). For al other fiduciary accounts, the service covers the beneficiary, who must be the primary member (Fiduciary is not covered).

2 Special Insurance Program Notes: The descriptions herein are summaries only. They do not include al terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for complete details of coverage and exclusions. Insurance is offered through the company named on the certificate of insurance. Guide to Benefit is enclosed.

Be sure to take advantage of these security benefits offered to you, just for being a NorthSide Bank customer.



Tip 1.       Go to and register and activate your credit file monitoring benefits and request your credit report, or call 1-866-210-0361.

Tip 2.       Remove your name from pre-screened credit offers at or call 1-888-567-8688.

Tip 3.       Add your telephone number(s) to the National Do Not Call Registry at or call 1-888-382-1222.

Tip 4.       Remove your name from individual Direct Mail Association Member mailing lists at

Tip 5.       Place an alert on your credit file if you believe you have been affected by identity theft. Go to the Secure Checking website to find the link to the Equifax® Fraud Alert Website or you may call Equifax® at 1-888-766-0008 or mail to Equifax Consumer Fraud Division, PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374. If you place an alert with one of the credit reporting agencies they will in turn notify the other two agencies. Information for TransUnion® and Experian® can be found on the Secure Checking website.

Tip 6.       In addition to contacting the three credit reporting agencies, you may request a credit report and place a fraud alert at Click on the Personal Services tab to get a credit report and place an alert on your file. Innovis offers one free copy of your Innovis Credit Report every 12 months.

Tip 7.       To receive free email reminders to renew your fraud alerts and reorder your credit reports, register your email address with the Secure Checking website.

Tip 8.       For additional copies of your credit report, go to or call 1-877-322-8228.

Tip 9.       Avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports and extra credit cards. If you carry a health care card and your Social Security number is used as your ID number, ask if it can be changed.

Tip 10.     Avoid using unsecured mailboxes. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox. Deposit outgoing mail containing personal information at your local post office. If you can’t pick up your mail, contact the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 or to request a vacation hold.

Tip 11.     Pay attention to billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late or you fail to receive, contact the sender immediately.

Tip 12.     Select intricate passwords – don’t use information that is easily available like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, phone number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Don’t store passwords in your phone or carry them in your purse or wallet.

Tip 13.     Shred your mail and important documents when disposing of bank statements, credit card bills, convenience checks, pre-approved credit offers, insurance statements and other documents that may contain personal information.

Tip 14.     Handle your personal identifying information with care. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the internet unless you initiated the contact.

FDIC Consumer News Issues Warning About 10 Scams Targeting Bank Customers

The FDIC often hears from bank customers who believe they may be the victims of financial fraud or thefts. The Summer 2017 FDIC Consumer News alerts the public to common scams and provides basic tips for protecting personal information and money. Topics include:

  • An overview of 10 schemes bank customers need to be aware of, starting with the crime that occurs when thieves pose as government employees with false claims about needing a payment or valuable information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers;
  • Basic defenses to consider in your everyday life, especially when engaging in financial transactions with strangers through e-mail, over the phone or on the Internet; and
  • Resources to turn to for more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of financial scams.

Click here to read or print the article.

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