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4 Simple Steps to Stop A Cyber Thief

First Bank Raises Awareness for Data Privacy Day Jan. 28 In recognition of National Data Privacy Day on Monday, Jan. 28, First Bank is urging consumers to take an active role in protecting their data. As always, First Bank’s first priority is to protect our clients’ money and their financial data. We use a combination of safeguards to protect our clients’ information and we certainly encourage our clients to partner with us in that effort. To help ensure the safety of your personal information, we’d like to offer the following four tips: Create complex passwords. Avoid birthdays, pet names and simple passwords like 12345. Because friendly theft – theft by someone the victim knows – is the most common type of identity theft or fraud, don’t share your passwords with family members and be mindful of who has access to your personal information. Keep tabs on your accounts. Check account activity and online statements often, instead of waiting for the mont ...

A New Year Means New Financial Resolutions

Set up a budget to help you get started! January typically means fresh resolutions and goals for the New Year. Whether it’s weight loss, a new hobby, changing careers, or simply saving more money, writing it down can mean the difference between achieving your goals and not achieving your goals. In fact, experts agree that by establishing a plan and writing down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them. If you’re like many of us, saving money and establishing a long-term savings plan may be at the top of your to-do list. According to a NerdWallet survey (2018), over 84% of Americans make financial resolutions for the New Year but, sadly, over 50% who made them in 2018 failed to achieve their monetary goals. We want to help you stick to them, so let’s get started. The first part of any financial plan must start by telling your money where to go. If you simply deposit it, forget it, and spend it, then you’ll likely be left wondering at the end of the month where it a ...

How Does a Luxury Vehicle to Chauffer you from the Airport Sound?

First Bank Debit Mastercard® Offers Convenience, Luxury, and so Much More! During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to use your First Bank Debit Mastercard® for your purchases and appreciate all of the convenience it offers. Not to mention, enjoy the ease and security of not carrying cash. But, did you know there are also additional benefits of using your First Bank debit card that can help you ease through the holidays as well? Just take a look at a few of the hidden benefits of using your First Bank debit card: Mastercard Airport Concierge™ Service—Traveling for the holidays? With a First Bank debit card, you can enjoy 15% savings on Airport Meet and Greet Services. With these services, you can arrange for a personal, dedicated agent to escort you through the airport. Talk about added security and comfort! Plus, with Mastercard Airport Concierge Service™, certain airports will expedite you www.mastercard.com/airportconcierge or consult your Travel Advisor ...

Shop Securely This Holiday Season

While it gets easier and more convenient to complete all your holiday shopping from your computer or phone, it also makes shoppers more susceptible to fraud, identity theft, and various scams. Though fraudsters and scam artists are active year-round, online shoppers are especially vulnerable to their crimes during the busy holiday season. According to a recent survey, cybercrime will generate at least $1.5 trillion this year.* First Bank recommends following these tips to keep your holidays merry and bright – and your financial information safe – as you do your shopping: Shop safely. Before shopping online, verify that the site uses secure technology. Once you’ve reached the checkout screen, or while shopping an e-commerce site, make sure the web address begins with https. The ‘s’ on the end of the https actually stands for secure. Another way to confirm a trustworthy shopping website is the inclusion of a tiny, locked padlock icon in the address bar.   Secu ...

Deck the Halls without Racking Up Credit Card Debt

Understand the benefits of using a debit card rather than a credit card during the holidays and beyond. Whether you’re holiday shopping or doing your regular run-of-the-mill grocery run, it’s all too easy to grab for the plastic in your wallet. We do it mindlessly; even if there are multiple cards in your wallet. But this holiday season can be a great reminder to pay with plastic more mindfully, especially as you shop beyond the holidays or make financial New Year’s resolutions. Did you know that 77% of payments are made with plastic over cash or checks?* Of that 77%, 44% of shoppers pay with a debit card — and with good reason. Unwrap these advantages to see why choosing a debit card payment will benefit you, especially during the holidays. Theft and fraud protection benefits. Many debit card issuers include protection benefits to keep you and your financial information safeguarded from criminals. In fact, cardholders who proactively use issuer-provided safety and security tools ...

First Bank Offers Tips to Help Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

According to the National Council on Aging, almost 90 percent of the financial abuse committed against older Americans is sadly done by someone they know. More than ever, it’s imperative for seniors to select a trustworthy person to properly manage their finances and personal affairs. First Bank offers tips to help choose the right financial caregiver and prevent financial abuse: When delegating financial decisions, make sure it’s someone you trust. If you’re unable to facilitate financial transactions, carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all financial matters. Know who is in your home. Conduct a thorough background check on all individuals you hire for personal care or home care services. Check references and credentials before you let them into your personal space. Understand the terms of assigning a Power of Attorney (POA). Granting someone POA gives them the authority to act and make decisions on your behalf, including managing and having access ...

First Bank Provides Tips for Stopping Elder Financial Abuse in its Tracks

Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. First Bank is urging older clients and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse. Fraudsters often prey on seniors experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility, and other disabilities that require them to rely more heavily on others for help. Appointing someone you know and trust to handle your financial matters aids tremendously in the fight against these crimes. First Bank is offering the following tips: Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you. Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters. Lock up your checkbook, account statements, and other sensitive information when other ...

First Bank Offers Tips to Manage Holiday Spending

Black Friday doesn’t have to lead to black marks on your credit report. The holiday shopping season is well underway.  We’d like to offer tips to manage holiday spending and avoid a post-holiday credit hangover. Consumers spreading holiday cheer should keep in mind that January bills are only a couple of months away. If consumers are not budgeting for their holiday purchases, people will find themselves bringing in the New Year with last year’s debt. This isn’t a good step to take if your goal is to save. First Bank recommends that clients manage their finances this holiday season with the following spending tips: • Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season considering your current savings, income and other expenses. Be sure to include a $20 to $100 cushion for unexpected expenses. • Make a list. Santa isn’t the only one who needs a list! Write down the names of the people you plan to buy gi ...

Let’s Take a Look at Passwords

The issue of cyber security is up to all of us. Current news and events continually highlight the need to stay up-to-date and informed on this widespread global issue. One of the most basic items we can all do to protect our information and data is to create strong passwords. Creating strong passwords is as easy as 1-2-3. You should always 1) create unique passwords for each of your online accounts; 2) create passwords with intricate combinations of numeric and alphabetic characters; and 3) always change passwords frequently. While you’re creating these strong passwords, you may ask what are the worst passwords to use? According to SplashData, the top five WORST passwords to use are: 1) 123456 2) password 3) 12345 4) 12345678 5) qwerty A few others also made the list, like ‘baseball,’ ‘letmein,’ and ‘abc123’. If you are currently using any of these passwords, change them as soon as possible. Also, if you’re using the same passwords for multi ...

There’s a Season for Everything—Including a Time to Prepare, a Time to Sell

Seasonality, in any business, can wreak havoc on cash flow.  Whether you’re in the construction trades, a wedding planner, or a lawn care professional, all business owners feel the burden of having to manage expenses during the ebbs and flow of the seasons.  From startups to maturing companies, analyzing your overall cash management strategy annually, while also including growth preparation, is key to long-term sustainability. Strategize Periods of Downtime If you own or operate a seasonal business, you’ll need to consider how to best maximize periods of downtime.  Generally, seasonal companies utilize that timeframe as an opportunity to train, prepare for busier periods, or recover.  Savvy companies may use the entire off-season preparing for growth by conducting effective sales calls while the rest of the competition is preoccupied.  Increasing sales staff should be a consideration to help boost your seasonal profitability. However, the costs associated with this n ...

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All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.