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Quarterly Newsletter                       Volume 8                    May 2015
In This Issue
Are you sure your information is secure?

Almost every day we hear about nasty computer viruses wiping out important information, information security being breached with major retailers, identity theft and scams executed through our computers and smartphones. These breakdowns in information security can cost an enormous amount of time and effort to research and fix, never mind the emotional toll and stress.

The good news is that, while cybercriminals can be ruthless and invade despite our best efforts, there are steps you can take to better protect your information and your money. This newsletter details ways you can protect your smartphone and your computers/tablets with some easy steps.

Should you have any questions about the newsletter or any of the information featured, please connect with us at contact@gcsbank.com and thank you for reading.

Protect Your Identity By Protecting Your Smartphone With These 8 Key Steps

The convenience of smartphones helps us keep in touch, manage our schedules and even manage our finances with mobile banking and other apps. By 2017, the number of smartphone users in the U.S. is expected to surpass 200 million, nearly 65 percent of the population. Below are some key actions you can take to help minimize the likelihood of a successful cyberattack on your identity or your business. 
  1. Regularly Update Your Device - Mobile malware (a type of virus) increased 75 percent in 2014 and further increases in malware are expected in 2015, particularly in mobile ransomware. Updated operating systems and security software are critical in protecting against emerging threats.
  2. Enable Encryption - Enabling encryption on your smartphone is one of the best ways to safeguard information stored on the device, thwarting unauthorized access.
  3. Use a Passcode - In case your phone ever does fall into the wrong hands, don't make it easy for someone to access all of your important information! Enable strong password protection on your device and set your smartphone to include a timeout requiring authentication after a period of inactivity. Secure the smartphone with a unique password. Don't share your password with others.
  4. Don't Use Public Wi-Fi  - Don't log into accounts and don't conduct any sensitive transactions, such as shopping or banking, while using public Wi-Fi. Disable the "automatically connect to Wi-Fi" setting on your device.
  5. Install Applications From Trusted Sources - Last fall, Gartner, a research company, issued a prediction that more than 75 percent of mobile applications will fail basic security tests through 2015. When downloading apps, be proactive and make sure you read the privacy statement, review permissions, check the app reviews and look online to see if any security company has identified the app as malicious.
  6. Install a Phone Locator/Remote Erase App - Misplacing your device doesn't have to be a catastrophe if it has a locator app. Many such apps allow you to log on to another computer and see your device's exact location on a map. Remote erase apps allow you to remotely wipe data from your device, helping minimize unauthorized access to your information in the event you can't locate the device.
  7. Disable Unwanted Services When Not in Use - Bluetooth® and near-field communication (NFC) can provide an easy way for an unauthorized user nearby to gain access to your data. Turn these features off when they're not required.
  8. Carefully Dispose of Mobile Devices - With the constant changes in the smartphone market, many users frequently upgrade to new devices. Make sure you wipe the information from your smartphone before disposal. For information on how to do this, check the website of your mobile provider or the manufacturer.


Content for this article was provided by SHAZAM.  


Judy Hilgenberg Receives Appointment from Governor and Statewide Industry Award 


Judy Hilgenberg, Guthrie County Abstract, was recently recognized twice as being one of the best in the land title industry in the state of Iowa.  


First, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Judy to the Title Guaranty Division Board for the State of Iowa and she was recently confirmed by the Iowa Senate for this position.   


Then, Judy was recognized by her peers in the Iowa Land Title Association (ILTA) as 2015 Person of the Year. We are proud to have such a respected professional in our family of companies - congratulations Judy! This excerpt from the speech by ILTA president, Gary Reeder, says it all:


"The nominating committee received multiple letters of nomination on behalf of our recipient. In those letters, her employees referred to her as a boss, mentor, friend, patient, devoted, fair, open, and teacher. They praised her work as an abstracter that takes the time to show others how to do a job efficiently, consistently and professionally, and praised her countless hours and dedication to her profession and to the ILTA. In her many years and dedication to the ILTA, our recipient has served as a Regional Vice President and President of the association. She has served on the Legislative Committee, ILTA Title Plant Inspection RFP Task Force, and worked with Iowa Title Guaranty on the Abstract Minimum Standards." 


Judy Hilgenberg receives the ILTA Person of the Year award from ILTA president, Gary Reeder.  
Guthrie County Bancshares is the holding company for Guthrie County State Bank, Guthrie County Abstract, GCSB Investment Center and Lake Panorama Realty.

Roberta Gilson enjoys the affordable travel opportunities with GCSB Heritage Club, especially since all the planning is done for her!
Bank With Benefits

If you are 55 or better with one of a variety of qualifying accounts at Guthrie County State Bank, you might be missing out on the benefits available by joining the GCSB Heritage Club. Our members enjoy travel, entertainment, a free checking account and checks, and other free services.

Think you're too young for the Heritage Club? Think again! Roberta Gilson is "50-something" and has taken advantage of many opportunities to travel with the group.

"I like that all of the planning is done for me. I still work, so it's convenient, affordable and gives me the opportunity to meet new friends and travel with family," said Roberta. "I have liked every trip I've been on so far!"

In addition to quarterly social events, educational opportunities and convenient day trips, the GCSB Heritage Club plans several domestic and international trips for members each year. A quarterly e-newsletter keeps members updated on upcoming events and tips for better financial management.  
Kathy De Lucca appreciates that  Heritage Club offers something for everyone.  
"I have traveled to many places with the Heritage Club," said Kathy De Lucca. "The itinerary is well planned. The step-on guides are always very knowledgeable and you do not wait in lines to see the attractions. There are tours and activities for everyone and opportunities for those who are more adventurous. You always see things you would not have seen if you were planning the trip on your own. I will continue to travel with the Heritage Club. Come join us on the next adventure!"

The next Heritage Club social event is Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County. 

Would you like to know more about the benefits of banking as a Guthrie County State Bank Heritage Club member? Email heritageclub@gcsbank.com for more information or call Kim or Linda at Guthrie County State Bank.   


Local Students Discuss the Power of Saving 

Employees from Guthrie County State Bank have been actively working with area schools to promote savings with students in the community. This program, through the American Bankers Association, helps students better understand budgets and the power of deciding if a purchase they might like to make is a "need" or a "want." Classrooms visited included second graders at Guthrie Center Community Schools and fourth graders at Panorama Community Schools. We also hosted junior high students in the bank and at Lake Panorama Realty to help the students better understand bank and real estate careers.  

cellphone_laptop.jpg A New Kind of Criminal is Lurking


We lock our houses and our cars, we shred our financial statements and keep personal documents in secure locations. Another point of entry to our personal information and our lives is our computer. Have you thought about the precautions to take on your home and work computers to prevent cybercrime?   


How Can I Protect Myself?


Cybercrime - whether from malware on a single computer or the recent high-profile hacks against Sony®, Target®, The Home Depot® and others - affects everyone. Below are some key practices to help minimize your risk of being a victim:

  • Configure your computer securely - Make sure your computer, smartphones and tablets are safe. Use privacy and security settings in your software, email system and Web browsers. New strains of malicious software are appearing all the time, so regularly update your anti-virus software to identify and thwart the newest threats.
  • Keep software and operating systems updated - Be sure to install necessary software updates. Similarly, make sure you keep your operating system and any third-party plug-ins that you use updated as needed.
  • Use strong passwords - Never use simple or easy-to-guess passwords like "123456," "password" or "football." Cybercriminals use automated programs that will try every word in the dictionary within a few minutes. When creating a password, use at least 8-10 characters with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Be cautious about links and attachments - Be cautious about all communications you receive, including those purported to be from friends and family, and be careful when clicking on links in those messages. When in doubt, delete them 
  • Protect your personal information - Cybercriminals will look at your socialnetworking pages like Facebook and Twitter to find information about you. Remember, many of the answers to website and bank security questions can be found online, like the color of your car (remember posting that picture of you standing in front of your car?) and your mother's maiden name. Use privacy settings to limit who can see the details of your social network pages and be smart about what you decide to share online.
  • Review your financial statements regularly - Cybercriminals find loopholes and your accounts may get hacked through no fault of your own. Review your financial statements regularly and contact Guthrie County State Bank or other entities with which you have accounts immediately if you see any suspicious-looking activity. 

What should I do if I become a victim?


If you become a victim of identity theft, contact us immediately and any other entities with which you have accounts to inform them that someone may be using your accounts fraudulently. Contact all three major credit bureaus to request a credit report, and have a fraud alert and a credit freeze placed on your account.


Internet-related crime, like any other crime, should be reported to appropriate authorities at the local, state or federal levels, depending on the scope of the crime.


*Content for this article was provided by SHAZAM. 




Please note that the Bank will be closed on the following days for federal holidays:
  • Monday, May 25 - Memorial Day
  • Saturday, July 4 - Independence Day

The following are "double punch" weeks for PAWS savings accounts

  • May 18 - 23
  • June 15 - 20
  • July 20 - 25

Guthrie County State Bank - gcsb@gcsbank.com  - www.gcsbank.com

P.O. Box 8 / 400 State Street
Guthrie Center, IA 50115
PH 641.332.2218  TF 866.747.2218  FX 641.332.2693

P.O. Box 757 / 505 East Main Street
Panora, IA 50216
PH 641.755.2400  TF 877.755.2400  FX 641.755.2344