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Online Security

Keep yourself safe when your online

Online Security

Elements Financial works to ensure your financial information remains safe and secure, but internet security requires more than technology alone. Ultimately, when dealing with viruses, spyware, and computer hackers, each of us is responsible for protecting our own computer system.

To help protect your identity, use the simple tips outlined below when you are online.

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Username Tips

 

The Importance of Creating a Strong Online Username

Elements is committed to keeping your financial information safe and secure, therefore, it is recommended that you add complexity to your online banking User ID. Your User ID is the key to your Elements online identity, so it's just as important to create usernames that are as strong as a password. To ensure you are following good security practices, please take a moment to review the tips below.

Tips on Creating a Strong Username

  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and special characters in non-obvious arrangements — ultimately they should not be complex, but also should not be a simple name, phone number, account number or social security number 
  • Create a username that is easy for you to remember, but difficult for someone else to guess
  • Using different usernames for individual online accounts makes it harder accessing information for hackers
  • Never use a Social Security Number as a username. Social Security Numbers may be hard to guess and easy to remember, but they could give malicious hackers a coveted piece of personal information that can be exploited
  • Never disclose any of your usernames to others or store your usernames on paper or in an unencrypted computer file
  • Never provide your online banking User ID if requested through email. Elements will never ask you to supply your personal information.

Password Tips

 

Choosing a secure password is the key to keeping your online Elements accounts safe. If you have a relatively simple password, other individuals may be able to access your account through a series of guesses. In order to prevent this from happening, you should select a password that includes a combination of numbers, letters, and words. Avoid using single words or any information about yourself that other individuals could easily obtain, including your name, your spouse's name, your pet's name, birthdays, hobbies, or any part of your User ID or email address.

  • Use passwords that are unique for different sites. Hackers who steal passwords will try to use them on other sites.
  • A strong password will be at least 10 characters long
  • If the site you're creating the password for allows it, use a space in the password. Spaces make passwords harder to crack.
  • Instead of a password, use a passphrase with a space, and keep it visual. For example, pigs 2 Bark! would be a great passphrase that meets all of those suggestions.

Elements Secure Communication

 

In our fast-paced world, effective communication is a must; that’s why email has become so important. However, traditional email may not always be the most secure way to send or receive sensitive information. With this in mind Elements Financial offers several ways for you to securely communicate with us.

Secure Messages within Online Banking

Just log into online banking or your mobile app to send us a secure question or message. An Elements representative will send you a reply within 1 business day.

Send a Secure Email with Zix

You can send Elements a Secure Email with Zix from our Contact Us page. You will need to register with an email address and password. You can then log in to our safe environment to send new messages, and to review and reply to messages you have received from Elements.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is a fraudulent email?
A: A fraudulent (a.k.a. spoofing, imposter, or phishing) email is one that has been forged so it looks like a legitimate email from a particular organization. Its goal? Usually to trick you into providing sensitive personal information that can be used for identity theft.

Q: How do I recognize a fraud email?
A: It's often hard to detect a fraudulent email. That's because the email address of the sender often seems genuine as do the design and graphics. But there are signs to be aware of. For example, fraudulent emails often try to extract personal information from you in one of two ways:

  • By luring you into providing personal information on the spot (e.g., by replying to the email).
  • By including links to a site that tries to get you to disclose personal data.

If you are ever unsure about an email you have received from Elements, don't hesitate to call us at 800-621-2105 or reach out through one of our secure methods to verify the email is legitimate.

Q: How can I be sure I'm interacting with Elements Financial and not an imposter?
A: You can tell that you're dealing with Elements because:

  • Elements representatives will never send you an email asking for your passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information.
  • If we request information from you, we'll always direct you back to an Elements site using links.
  • If you use a link in an email you receive from Elements, you can make sure that you are on an Elements page by comparing the address of the site in the Address/Location area of your web browser — it would have elements.org in the address of the site.
  • If you are talking to us on the phone, we'll verify your identity with your security word that you provided when you set up your accounts.

Q: How do I know if the email is from Elements Financial?
A: To tell if an email is really from Elements, you need to view the site that the URL is taking you to. Here's how to do so with HTML and text-based emails:

  • HTML-based email. In HTML emails (with graphics), to view the destination URL, position your cursor over the link or button; the URL should appear in your email program's status bar at the bottom of the window. However, spoof URLs are intentionally long, so only the first part is usually visible in the status bar. It might look genuine, but it's not a guarantee of where you'll end up. Therefore, you need to view the entire URL and go there to make sure it's really an Elements site.
  • Text-based emails. Text-based emails also tend to contain very long URLs that you click on to get to a site. However, the URL may not represent the true destination.

Q: How do I view an entire URL to make sure it is a legitimate site from an HTML email?
A: Position your mouse over the link and right click. Select Copy. Paste the URL into Notepad (or any text editor). When you arrive at the site, double click on the padlock icon and make sure that it's "Issued to" a URL that ends in elements.org.

Q: How do I view an entire URL to make sure it is a legitimate site from a text-based email?
A: Paste the URL into your browser. When you arrive at the site, double click on the padlock icon and make sure that it's "Issued to" a URL that ends in elements.org.

Q: What can I do to protect my accounts and personal information while I'm banking online?
A: Elements takes numerous steps to keep your accounts and personal information secure, but you also play a role in maintaining the security of your banking information. Here's what you can do:

  • Change your password regularly — It's important to change your password regularly, which you can easily do by clicking on "Settings" and then "Login Preferences" after logging into online banking or the mobile app.
  • Memorize your password — Your online password authenticates you when you begin an online banking session. You should memorize this password and never write it down anywhere or reveal it to anyone.
  • Remember to log off — You may not always be at your own computer when you bank online. Therefore, it's important to log off when you're finished banking. If you forget to do so, Elements automatically logs you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Use your browser's built-in security features — We recommend that you use the built-in security features that browsers provide. Choosing certain security settings and options will help protect the privacy of your accounts and personal information.

Q: Is submitting forms online safe?
A: Information you provide via electronic forms on our website is secure and encrypted. In other words, it is scrambled en route and decoded once it reaches Elements. You may check that your web session is secure by looking for the green bar in your browser. Current versions of leading web browsers indicate when a web page is encrypted for transmission through this symbol. You may also look for the letters "https://" at the beginning of your website URL in your web browser. The "s" means that the web connection is secure.

Q: How do I send you questions securely when I'm online?
A: It is best to send us questions and comments with Messages from within online banking or the mobile app. The security on your online banking account is very robust. This would be the best way to send messages that are secure in nature.