Charter Bank

1010 West Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone

(715) 832-4254

Toll Free

(800) 471-4510

Lobby

Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm
Sat: 9am - 12pm

Drive-Up

Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 6pm
Sat: 8:30am - 12pm

ATM

On-site

Identity Theft Scams

Know the Risks

Cyber security, phishing, worms, firewalls, Trojan horses, hackers, and viruses seem to be in the news every day. Plus warnings to update your virus protection, watch out for online scams, protect your privacy, and watch what you click on are everywhere. But what does it all mean? And what can you do to safeguard access to your computer and to protect yourself and your family? What is this all about?

The first step in protecting yourself is to recognize the risks and become familiar with some of the terminology associated with cyber security. The Department of Homeland Security created this list of terms: Hacker, attacker, or intruder - These terms are applied to the people who seek to exploit weaknesses in software and computer systems for their own gain. Although their intentions are sometimes fairly benign and motivated solely by curiosity, their actions are typically in violation of the intended use of the systems they are exploiting. The results can range from mere mischief (creating a virus with no intentionally negative impact) to malicious (stealing or altering information).

Malicious code includes code such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Although some people use these terms interchangeably, they have unique characteristics:

  • Viruses - This type of malicious code requires you to actually do something before it infects your computer. This action could be opening an email attachment or going to a particular web page.
  • Worms - Worms propagate without you r doing anything. They typically start by exploiting a software vulnerability (a flaw that allows the software's intended security policy to be violated). Then once the victim computer has been infected, the worm will attempt to find and infect other computers. Similar to viruses, worms can propagate via email, web sites, or network-based software. The automated self-propagation of worms distinguishes them from viruses.
  • Trojan horses - A Trojan horse program is software that claims to do one thing while, in fact, doing something different behind the scenes. For example, a program that claims it will speed up your computer may actually be sending your confidential information to an intruder.
  • Spyware - This sneaky software rides its way onto computers when you download screensavers, games, music, and other applications. Spyware sends information about what you're doing on the Internet to a third-party, usually to target you with pop-up ads. Browsers enable you to block pop-ups. You can also install anti-spyware to stop this threat to your privacy.

By having a good anti-virus software on your computer and just by being aware of what to click or visit can help avoid having these types of malicious code on your computer.