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Don’t Lose the Data!

July 31, 2017

Keeping data safe and secure is one of the most important tasks that a financial institution must undertake. Customers and consumers trust the bank or credit union that holds their hard-earned money will keep their assets and information safe from hackers. It is no easy task. Here are threats that a financial institution might face regarding data security to be alert for; as well as solutions that can be employed to protect your company’s data.

 

Key threats to data security are as followed:

Data may get:

  • Lost or corrupted by computer viruses.
  • Hacked, deleted, or altered by unauthorized users.
  • Destroyed by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or war.
  • Deleted or altered by employees wishing to make money or take revenge on their employer.
  • Lost or damaged during a system crash - especially one affecting the hard disk.
  • Corrupted because of faulty disks, disk drives, or power failures.
  • Lost by accidentally deleting or overwriting files.

Measures that can be taken to keep data secure include:

  • Using a system of passwords so that access to data is restricted.
    • Do not use obvious passwords, e.g. password123.
    • Do not use a password that reference personal information e.g. using your birthdate or family member’s name as a password.
  • Change passwords frequently so that passwords cannot be predictable.
    • The recommended frequency to change a password is every 6 months.
  • Safe storage of important files stored on removable disks, e.g. locked away in a fireproof and waterproof safe.
  • Allowing only authorized staff into certain computer areas, e.g. by controlling entry to these areas by means of ID cards or magnetic swipe cards.
    • If possible, keep the authorized staff to a minimum.
  • Always logging off or turning terminals off and if possible locking them. Hint: an easy way to quickly lock your computer is to use your “Win + L” keys all at once.
  • Avoiding accidental deletion of files by write-protecting disks.
  • Using data encryption techniques to code data so that it makes no apparent sense
  • making regular backups of files (backup copies should be stored in fireproof safes or in another building).
    • The recommended frequency for backing up files is every once a month
  • protecting yourself against viruses by running anti-virus software.
    • Run anti-virus software very frequently e.g. once a week.

Following these steps can insure that your company’s data remains safe and secure. To learn more about data security and how to keep data secure, ask about our Edcomm Video Library Series. This series includes countless videos that explain the dangers one might find regarding data security as well videos explaining how to keep data safe. 

By: Matt Cohen

 

For Better or Worse: A Rise in Canadian Interest Rates Possible Harbinger of Global Changes

This week The Central Bank of Canada raised its overnight interest rates for the first time in seven years from 0.50% to 0.75%. This announcement comes just a month after the US Federal Reserve raised rates from 0.75% to 1.25%. The overnight rate determines how frequently banks lend money to other banks.  More cooperation between larger financial institutions has the potential to entice investors and bring new capital into the country. For average consumers, the increase will likely mean paying more for certain types of borrowing such as variable-rate mortgages, lines of credit, and student loans. Although this will surely be burdensome for some on an individual level, such increases generally signal a confident, strong economy. The Central Bank released a statement regarding the increase calling the economy “robust” and the update “long expected.”

The Canadian economy is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth for the first time since the 2008 recession, so the financial sector is considering the decision a possible omen of things to come globally.

 

By: Christine Belusko

3 Steps to Motivate Learners to Take Compliance Training

June 26, 2017 - Do you have a hard time motivating your employees? The auditor could psychically be in the building, yet users still cannot find the time to finish their compliance training? When compliance training feels more like a chore than the adventure of learning and growth it should be, take a step back. Let go of feelings of frustration and resentment, and examine the root cause. The real problem is a communication breakdown between your coworkers, who you anxiously pull completion reports about on a daily basis, and you, the person in charge of compliance training. Do not worry, there are a few easy steps you can follow to bring everyone back on track.

1. Communicate why the compliance training is important.

Make sure everyone is on the same page. Do your employees actually know why taking compliance training is important? Because the auditor makes us. That is a valid reason why employees finish their training, but not the most meaningful reason. Ask yourself, why does training matter in the long run? Connect your reasoning back to your bank’s or credit union’s values. Then communicate this value to the team.

Companies that thrive are ones where all employees share the same vision. They are there to service the customer to the best of their capabilities. To serve your customer, that means staying on top of regulation changes that protect your client’s interests. It means being vigilant to ensure elders are not being financial abused and veterans are not turned away from housing opportunities. It means staying knowledgeable and compliant. To me that rational is more motivating and meaningful that another item off my check-list of tasks to complete.

2. Develop clear and realistic expectations.

When it comes to training an administrator needs to set clear and realistic expectations. Give your employees a hard deadline of when their training is due. This way you do not find yourself at December 31st with more learners in started mode than completed status. Curriculums can be due on a regular monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. At this point, it is an industry standard that Learning Management Systems give you to freedom to apply due dates. Make sure you take advantage of this feature.

It is also necessary to have realistic expectations. For example, if someone is a Platform Professional, they are in charge of both Teller customer service tasks and sales-oriented tasks. It may be a little too optimistic to assume that an employee who wears so many hats can successfully complete 10 curriculums in the same month. Make sure to space out your training schedule. This will help to make sure learners do not feel overburdened and give them the time they need to train at their own pace and plan ahead.

3. Send out Email Notifications.

Now that you have defined why training is important and set realistic goals and due dates, it is time to communicate your expectations through emails. At Edcomm Banker’s Academy, we offer a robust Automated Email Notification feature. This feature allows you to schedule email notifications in advance to correspond to the due dates you have chosen. When email notifications are pre-determined, it lessens the burden on your shoulders. You will not have to worry about tracking down users who are incomplete in their training. The LMS will only sent reminder emails out to learners who still have outstanding training.

Our Automated Email Notification feature provides unlimited, direct customization. You know how to best motivate your staff, so flex your creative muscles. Make the correspondence personal and purposeful by communicating why training is not just a responsibility, but an important part of the narrative that makes your company unique, dedicated, and successful.

 

By:Madelyn Fagan

 

Elder Financial Abuse: It is not just a family matter, it is a community concern.

May 25, 2017. A phone rings in the middle of the day. An 800 number. The elderly woman is pretty sure she does not know the caller, but it cannot hurt to pick it up to make sure. Can it? Sure enough, an unfamiliar voice tells her that there is a problem with a computer, and she must do exactly what he says in order to fix it. He is insistent, with a great sense of urgency. He does not let her get a word in. The woman listens intently for a few moments, before politely telling him she does not own a computer. He curses at her and hangs up.

It is a half-truth. She does not have a computer, she has a laptop. But she also knows that the man’s intentions are far from honorable. This brave woman is my grandmother, and she watches enough crime shows and late night news to know there are plenty of unsavory characters out there who are waiting at a chance to abuse people who are too trusting. There are predators who pretend computers are at risk for hacking. Who convince the unsuspecting that out of state grandchildren are locked up in jail, and need bail wired to make it home. Who convince your law-abiding and trusting elderly neighbor that he made an error on tax forms, and must call the IRS back immediately or the police will come to his home to arrest him.

The truth is, if there is something wrong with the tax forms, the IRS will never directly call to threaten you. That is not and never will be their policy. The same theory applies to cybersecurity for the elderly. If this happens to you, where an unknown caller pretends to have intimate knowledge of your computer’s safety, hang up the phone. Encourage the elderly around you to do the same. If a stranger calls, claiming they have a family member who needs money wired to them, check the facts. Ask, oh you mean my grandson Will? (Insert for Will the name of someone who is not your family member.) That way if the caller agrees, they know something is not right. Even if they get it right, call your local police to verify the legitimacy of the claim. Chances are it is a scam.

Only 1 in 25 cases of Elder Financial Abuse are estimated to be reported. Yet in America there are over 2 million elders victimized every day. Elder Abuse is not just the behavior of a nameless, faceless person on the other line of the telephone. Nor, contrary to popular belief, is it a private, family matter you should not get involved in. Financial abuse can be committed by family members who exploit the power of attorney granted to them to take money without asking, or who take an ATM card and withdraw money without permission.


It is a sad state of affairs if our elderly community cannot feel safe in the comfort of their own home. Not everyone would be as quick to recognize potential scammers like my grandmother can. We owe it to the people we love—aging mothers, fathers, and grandparents to stay informed and vigilant against Elder Financial Abuse.
Luckily, there is a growing acknowledgement of this form of financial abuse. The Older Americans Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. This act provides additional assistance, safe havens, and support to elders who are at risk. It funded special programs to support the communities where financial abuse flies under the radar, like rural, minority, and Native American seniors. The Older Americans Act also paved the way to improve the ease of access to information on abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as funded research on potential preventive measures.

Whether that comes in the form of a seemingly harmless phone call, or out in public, it is not something you should ignore. It is not somebody else’s business. Make it your business to ensure the people around you are not being taken advantage of. Stay informed, and report it when you notice suspicious activity.

by:Madelyn Fagan

How to Be a Great Leader

April 28, 2017 - Being a leader can be tough. Some people are natural born leaders. However, most of us are not born with the natural ability to lead. Yet even if that is the case, anyone can grow and learn to be a good leader. Being a good leader means projecting confidence from yourself onto your subordinates. At Edcomm Banker's Academy, we offer a vast selection of videos that describe the best practices to develop your leadership skills.

When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? A political leader, pursuing a passionate, personal cause. An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow. An executive, developing her company's strategy to beat the competition. These are examples of leaders. Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to win as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way.

One of the best ways to be a good leader is to listen to everyone who you are leading. Be respectful of everyone’s concerns and make a concerted effort to listen to everybody. Make sure to positively reinforce the behaviors that you want to see.  In a business setting this could mean going out of your way to praise your employee for showing up promptly for work As a result, the employee may make an effort to be at work on time more often because the employee likes to be praised. In this example, praise acts as the stimulus and is a positive reinforcer for this employee because the employee arrives at work on time more frequently after being praised for showing up to work on time. You will get the results you want more effectively through praise, rather than scolding or disciplining the employee for being late.

Tips for Being a Great Leader

  • Project confidence

  • Listen to your employees

  • Be respectful

  • Use praise often

  • Positively reinforce desired behaviors

Be a positive influence for your team. Doing so boosts not only your team’s motivation, but your own as well. Take your leadership skills to the next level by signing up for Edcomm LMS and ask for the Video Library Series.

By: Matt Cohen

  • We switched to Banker’s Academy over a year ago from a different online training program. The cost savings was tremendous - which has been very helpful in this time of budget cuts. We found that the training content is precise, to the point, and always current. It doesn't have a lot Read More
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