Tools for Protecting Yourself Online

On an almost daily basis, internet users are warned about the most recent hacking or infectious spyware incidents perpetrated by criminals who are seeking to illegally profit by obtaining your financial information and/or identity. Fight back against this crime by arming yourself with the knowledge to protect your identity and ensure your internet security. We encourage you to read this essential information.

There are several manufacturers of firewall and antivirus software; research what works best for you. In addition, some valuable consumer sites where you can learn more about the benefits of protecting yourself online include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Remember, it is always best to be on the defense when it comes to protecting your financial security.

Antivirus Software

Viruses are simply programs or pieces of code that are downloaded to your computer without your knowledge. Viruses can and normally do replicate themselves and may quickly use up your computer’s available memory, bringing your operating system to a standstill. Most of these types of viruses are disguised as email attachments. When you open the attachment, the virus attaches itself to your system — many times without your knowledge.

As a result, antivirus software programs have been created to help protect your system from these attacks. Your protection against these virus attacks is dependent on maintaining your updates and exercising caution when opening email attachments. Should you receive a suspicious email, it is best to delete the email immediately and run a virus check.


Firewalls are the first line of defense for protecting your private information. They work to prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing your private computer while it is connected to the internet. If you have a broadband connection, such as cable modem or DSL, it is especially important to maintain a firewall.

The firewall can be set up to filter all traffic entering or leaving through the firewall. By examining each message, it can block transactions that do not meet your predetermined security criteria.

There are several manufacturers of firewall software; we encourage you to research what works best for you.

Combating Spyware

The term “spyware” is a generic term for advertising software (also referred to as “adware”). It enables advertising firms to install tracking programs on your computer. In most cases, these are legitimate firms that simply want to track user behavior and promote products.

While in some cases this may be just a nuisance, there are also malicious hackers who have created spyware programs for the purpose of collecting sensitive data from your system, as well as installing additional software. Your computer is vulnerable, and — more importantly — your privacy is at risk when spyware is used by criminals.

You can combat spyware programs with software designed to find and delete the programs from your computer. In addition, the software can protect you from downloading spyware in the future. We recommend you research what is best for you.

System Updates

Keep your computer “healthy” by properly maintaining your system. Computer manufacturers offer automatic updates or reminders that notify you when a new update or upgrade is available for download. These updates often are created to help protect your system from possible security flaws.

When you regularly maintain your operating system, web browser and software programs, you decrease the risk of an attack on your computer.

The information presented is general in nature. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security, and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur.