WiFi Access

Feb 7, 2013 | Online Banking

You are on vacation and want to check on your account balance, what to do?

The hotel offers free WiFi so that should work fine, right?  The answer is Yes and No.  Free WiFi is great if you want to check out the latest news or just browse the internet.  However, you are logged in as a guest just like everyone else on the network and need to take a few basic measures to ensure the privacy of your own data.  Much of the data transmitted from your computer to their wireless receiver is unsecure.  However, if the site you are using begins with https://, the connection is encrypted and will not be viewable to others.  A strong password is always an important component to securing your online banking also.  Poor passwords include your phone number, your SSN, your address, date of birth, child's name, or even the name of your dog.  It should be something that nobody could guess.  Another option is to use the network service on your mobile smart phone.  Our website will display correctly and you can login as normal.  It is a little tricky to get your password right on those small keyboards, but it is definately secure.  Some of you may even be able to use your mobile phone to create your own secure WiFi network for your computer to use (be sure to make sure your phone contract allows this first).

But I don't see https:// in front of www.fnbclinton.com?

Most of our site is what many refer to as a brochure site, it is just a large brochure about us.  However, the box containing your login credentials is pulled from another server with a site address that does begin with https://.  I would compare it to picture in picture for your television.  You are really viewing 2 sites at once and one is secure.  After you login (or fail to login), you will notice your entire session now moves to a https:// site.

But my hotel gave me a password I have to use to access their WiFi, so that is okay, right?

Unfortunately, your hotel likely gave the same password to every other guest that has checked in for the last 12 months so it's like having a key to a locked room when everyone else has the same key.  The same rules apply, be sure the site you are using is using https://.

What about my home network?

WiFi is wonderful!  If setup properly, your home network should require WPA2 security, have a unique password, and not allow guests to sign on without a password.  Most home networks are setup in a manner that is completely safe to use WiFi for Online Banking.  I do suggest when you setup your WiFi, that you do not use the "default" name such as "lynksys" or "admin".  In fact, use something completely obscure so it is not identifiable as your network.  Once you have your network name setup and established, set your router so it doesn't broadcast the network name.  This makes it even harder to find.

Bottom Line

Make sure the site you are using begins with https:// and you will be safe.

If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to contact me!
Joshua Shofner
Assistant Vice President


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