About scams and spoofs

Many financial institutions that do business on the Internet have become the target of fraudulent email and website scams. Every Internet user should know about these spoof (also called phishing or hoax) e-mails that appear to be from a well-known company but can put you at risk.

Even if you don't provide what they ask for, simply clicking the link could subject you to background installations of key logging software or viruses.

How to identify online fraud

It is difficult to distinguish if an email is legitimate. Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in creating fraudulent emails and websites that look authentic. These emails and Websites often appear to be from legitimate companies and include images and logos of these organizations.

Characteristics of fraudulent emails and websites

Our bank will never send out an email requesting you to provide, update or confirm sensitive data.

Spoofs often have a sense of urgency telling clients that if they fail to update, verify or confirm their personal or account information, access to their accounts will be suspended.

Spoof emails typically ask for personal or account information such as:

  • Account numbers
  • Credit and check card numbers
  • Social Security Numbers
  • User IDs and passwords
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Date of birth
  • Other sensitive information

They often include links that include a legitimate company's name or website address. The fraudulent emails will disguise or forge the sender's email address so they appear to be from a legitimate company.

How to protect yourself from online fraud

  • Never provide personal or financial information to unsolicited email, phone or pop-up website requests.
  • Type the Website addresses (URL) into browsers instead of clicking on links in emails.
  • Change User IDs and passwords every 30 days.
  • Keep anti-virus and anti-spam filtering software on your computer up to date.

If you suspect an email to be a spoof

If you suspect that you've received a fraudulent email, please forward it to us immediately and then delete it from your inbox.

Our e-mail address is: westside@wsbankonline.com

Internet Security Information

Our bank is dedicated to making information security one of our highest priorities. We utilize the latest software, hardware and other technologies to prevent unauthorized users from accessing our computer systems.

We have implemented many different levels of security including User ID, password, encryption of sensitive data, and others. We utilize a technology called SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL is software to secure and protect web site communication using encrypted transmission of data. The SSL creates a secure communications channel between our Internet Banking server and your browser.

The following are some of the technologies we have implemented to ensure all transactions are secure:

Username and Password Protection

To access account information, you must provide a username and a password to enter the secure area of the site. Your password is not displayed when entered. If you do not provide this information, we cannot establish an online banking service for you.

What can I do?

Don't let anyone else know your password. Never write it down where anyone can find it. We also recommend that you change your password every 30 days or sooner. Use letters (upper and lower case), numbers, symbols. Use a different password for different internet websites. Don't use the same password for all of your websites that require you to login. Never access the online banking site from a computer or terminal that an untrusted individual or the general public may have access to. You should also take the standard precautions to keep your computer free from viruses.

Always Log Out

You should always log out of the online banking site when you are finished or if you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time. The log out will end your session, and you will be required to enter your User ID and password before entering the online banking website again.

If you have not accessed the internet banking for a period of time, your login session will automatically timeout. To start a new session, you will be required to enter your User ID and password on the login page.

Remember that once you've downloaded the proper browser, you must install it on your computer. Follow the browser manufacturer's instructions that appear on your screen.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

After you are connected with a website that is secure, you will see a padlock or key icon on your browser that shows being locked or connected. This icon will only appear after you have gone to the Login web page. The padlock or key icon may not appear locked on pages where you are not logged on and where general information is displayed about the site. However, you can be assured that any screen which displays or requests information about your account, username, password or any other sensitive information is encrypted.

If you would like to read more information about SSL encryption, we recommend you read VeriSign's SSL Page.

Network Security and Monitoring

Firewalls are an essential part of network security. They are used to protect your internal network from external threats that can compromise data and data transmissions. We are using our firewalls to monitor all transmissions from the internet. Our firewalls create logs of network traffic that allow for centralized auditing and security monitoring. We have also setup security policies on the firewall to stop any suspected malicious activity.