Protecting your financial information is vitally important to us. We use several layers of technology to ensure your confidentiality.
We require the use of a secure browser with 128-bit encryption to access account information and perform transactions online. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Netscape Communicator are all secure browsers. If you are not using one of these browsers, or think that your browser does not meet the security requirements of West Michigan Community Bank, use one of the following links to download an upgraded browser.
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 browsers employ secure socket layer (SSL) technology to communicate with servers. This technology encrypts or scrambles your account information so it's virtually impossible for anyone other than West Michigan Community Bank to read it. The 128-bit encryption is the latest encryption technology available.
What is SSL?
SSL is a protocol designed by Netscape Communication Corporation to provide secure communications on the Internet. SSL does three things:
- SSL ensures that the server you've connected to is the one it purports to be, to assure you are actually communicating with West Michigan Community Bank, not a third party trying to intercept the transaction.
- SSL creates a secure communication channel by encrypting all communication between the user and the server.
- SSL conducts a cryptographic word count to ensure data integrity between the server and the user. The word count or checksum provides a count of the number of bytes in a document and ensures the exact number of bytes is transmitted and received. If a message is not received in its entirety, it is rejected and another copy of the message is sent automatically.
How can I tell my connection is secure?
The padlock icon on your browser, indicating a secure connection, should appear locked AFTER you have successfully logged into the Web site. The padlock icon may not appear locked on screens where you are not logged on and where we display general information about our Bank or products. However, you can be certain that any screen which displays or requests information about your account, username, password, application or any sensitive information is encrypted.
Access ID and Password
To access your account information, you must provide an Access ID and a password to enter the secure area of the site. Your password is not displayed when entered.
Enhanced On-Line Security
West Michigan Community Bank is proud to deliver the highest level of security for our On-Line Banking customers. And additional layer of security has been added to our log-in process. This will help ensure that your information is secure, protecting you from fraud and identity theft.
Enhanced On-Line Security verifies your identity in two ways. Every time you log in to On-Line Banking, the bank identifies you, and it lets you identify the bank using a private image and pass phrase.
How can I protect myself?
Never share your password. Never give your password to anyone. Never write it down where anyone can find it or figure out what it is. Change your password often, and be sure that you do not use common words that are found in a dictionary, or numbers in a series. Try using unrelated words and numbers combined together. We require that your password be at least 8 characters in length and contain at least one alpha character. Never access the banking site from a computer that an untrusted individual may have access to. Treat your Access ID and password with more care than you use for your automated teller machine (ATM) or credit card personal identification number (PIN). With the PIN, you need to present the card. Here you only have the password. In addition, you should make sure that no one is physically watching as you enter your password. Also take standard precautions to keep your computer free from viruses as there are some that are used to capture your keystrokes.
Use the Log Out
Please use our "Log Out" feature if you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time. The logout will end your session and you will be forced to submit your username and password before entering the Web site again. Shutting down your browser is also a good way of preventing others from using your access.
After a period of inactivity your current session on the Web site will automatically timeout. To restart your session, all you have to do is re-enter your username and password at the log in screen.
Network Security and Monitoring
Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems are used to shield our bank systems and proprietary network from any unauthorized Internet traffic. The purpose of a firewall is to ensure only authorized traffic is allowed to pass to our Bank systems and networks all other traffic from the Internet is rejected. Firewalls also create logs of network traffic that allow for centralized auditing and security monitoring. Intrusion Detection Systems allow us to watch for unusual activity or attempts to "hack in" to our system. Once your information is entered, we use an encrypted network to transport data between all our systems and our partners' systems to make online banking secure, and to protect your personal information. Ensuring the security of your financial transactions is an ongoing process at West Michigan Community Bank. As such, we employ around the clock security monitoring of the Online Banking systems and network.
Inquiries sent through our Web site pages use secure socket layer (SSL). Since our e-mail response back to you is not secure, we will not include confidential account information in the response. You may also contact us by phone or U.S. mail.
Is it safe for me to enter my financial transactions over the Internet?
As reported in a recent Knight-Ridder News Service article (which appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer), "In 1997, there were no reports of credit-card information stolen on the World Wide Web during a transfer of information over a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) line, the kind of line used by Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer. There were no slip-ups. None." In the same article, Russell Bodoff, general manager of the Better Business Bureau Online http://www.bbbonline.com /, stated that consumers need to understand "that the Internet is a safe reliable place to conduct business." In a Washington Post article, David Medine of the Federal Trade Commission suggested that it is much safer to transmit your credit card number over the Internet than to give to a waiter at a restaurant or read it aloud over a cordless phone; two activities that are generally taken for granted as safe.
Encryption: A method of scrambling information while it moves from one source to another to prevent others from reading it.
Online Security: West Michigan Community Bank makes certain security recommendations to help protect your account.
Online Purchasing: Buying goods or services by credit card over the Internet.
Secure Browser: An Internet browser that has SSL encryption version 4.7 or higher to conduct secure financial transactions over the Internet.
Secure Socket Layer (SSL): A form of encryption that protects information being transmitted over the Internet to prevent tampering while it's in transit.
Secure Transaction: A transaction that is protected from outside tampering.
Firewall: Firewalls are used to shield West Michigan Community Bank's network from the Internet.