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    APRIL 1, 2013 NEWSLETTER
Gulf Coast Bank & Trust is offering a brand new account, . Besides those who prefer the Interest Checking account, Relationship Checking is ideal for people who have more than one banking relationship with Gulf Coast Bank and make less use of their account, debit card, etc.
Similar to Gulf Coast Bank’s Easy Checking and Interest Checking, Relationship Checking can be opened with a $20.00 deposit, which includes free online banking, mobile banking with alerts, bill pay, and Community Cash access, and does not charge any fees for ATMs if using the Community Cash network or a Gulf Coast Bank ATM.
is also an interest-bearing account.
The account does not come with the type of qualifications that define Interest Checking. Instead, if you simply keep a $5,000 minimum daily balance in your Relationship Checking account, or at least $10,000.00 in combined balances at the end of the statement cycle or a monthly direct deposit, the account will not have a monthly service fee. Otherwise, there is a monthly cycle fee of $9.95. With this account, we also ask that you help us protect the environment by accepting your statement online, and will charge $3.00 if you prefer to receive a paper statement.
One other great perk about Relationship Checking: it comes with Reward Points. That’s right, every time you use your Gulf Coast credit or debit card, you will earn reward points that you can use for everything from travel to shopping to nights on the town.
If you prefer not to think about meeting monthly requirements – particularly if you don’t make much use of your debit card – but still want to earn interest on your checking account balance, is the perfect choice.
Your friend e-mails you from London in need of emergency money – even though you watched the Saints game together yesterday. A long-lost cousin has a great business opportunity for you in Nairobi – even though your entire family is from Carencro. Another friend sends you a link that is guaranteed to make your life “wonderfol byond believe” – even though your friend is an English teacher!
It’s a sad fact that several business and personal email addresses are hacked every day, resulting in the minor inconvenience of Spam to a major disaster with a completely infected computer. At this point, it is doubtful that you can stop it completely; however, there are many ways you can reduce this threat by keeping your computer and e-mail as highly protected as possible.
First, you can begin to reduce this threat by protecting your own computer and accounts. Make sure your computer has the best possible anti-virus, anti-spybot, and anti-malware you can possibly get. Some people put more than one of each on their computer; this is one case where redundancy may not be a bad thing, but do check with a computer expert to make sure they don’t interfere with each other.
Next, make sure all your passwords are really, really hard for someone else to obtain or figure out. A combination of numbers and letters is best for passwords. Obviously the password needs to be something you can remember; but avoid the obvious, like your street address, family birthdays, etc. Try to combine things with no relation to each other, like your uniform number from your high school volleyball team and your favorite movie star’s last name. Putting the numbers in the middle makes the password even tougher to crack.
If your e-mail account (or for that matter, any other account) is hacked, change the password immediately. Sad to say, you probably then need to change every other account for which you have used the same password. It’s a royal pain, but at least you can stop things from getting any worse. And make sure you use a substantially different password. Also, you might want to send an e-mail blast to your friends letting them know you were hacked so that they don’t do anything like click on a false link or send money to you at some address in London.
For businesses, one way you can keep spammers from glomming on to your e-mail address to Spam you and everyone you know – while still making it easy for customers and prospects to contact you – is to spell everything out. For example, in your signature line, list your e-mail address as “Mike at Mikesbikes dot com”. Your customers will have to make a little extra effort, but you have made it almost impossible for all those automated minions to pick up your address and start Spamming away.
Another key defensive point: never, ever click on a link sent to you via e-mail unless you are 1000% sure that it is real. If you have even the slightest doubt, call (not e-mail) the person who sent it to you to inquire. When you send someone a link, accompany it with text that assures your recipient that your e-mail is legitimate. There is no quicker way to blow up your computer than to click on an unknown link that opens the way for some horrible virus to run rampant through your operating system.
Finally, be extremely cautious about accessing your e-mail and other accounts from public computers and places. Unsecured Wi-Fi (meaning one where you don’t need a password to connect) is pretty much a highway to hacking. Similarly, public computers can be set up to record passwords of the people who use them. Your public library computer is probably (though not guaranteed to be) safe, but hotel, store and other commercial establishment computers are really a roll of the dice.
For an archive of past GCB Common Cents Newsletters,
 
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