Security is one of the most important issues we faced in making online banking available to our customers. We have taken strong measures to ensure that your information remains confidential. The first step is the use of a secure browser. Certain browsers and computers can communicate securely by scrambling information as it passes across the internet. The method of communication is called SSL, or Secure Socket Layer. We require the use of a 128-bit encryption secure browser before a connection can be made to the transaction system. After you reach us using the secure browser, we take steps to make sure your information remains secure and confidential. Your information passes through a “firewall,” which is a computer specifically designed to keep out unauthorized users.

Before gaining access to any account information, customers are authenticated by a personal user code and password. Following the enrollment process, you will personally select your own alphanumeric case-sensitive user code and password. This means your access codes should contain numbers and letters. Using a combination of numbers and letters (as opposed to numbers only) provides maximum security for the protection of your individual account information. For added security, do not use obvious combinations such as birth date, address, Social Security number or any other personally identifiable information (PII). Your password should be a strong combination that you have not used for any other online account. Do not share your password with anyone else.

We currently use some of the most sophisticated commercially available technologies to provide you with a powerful and multi-functional online experience that leads the way through attractive design, relevant information, ease of use and a high standard of online security. Merchants & Marine Bank continually strives to remain on the leading edge of internet technology. But internet security is a cooperative effort, and we need your assistance.

What is Encryption and what does it mean to me?

Encryption is the scrambling of information for transmission back and forth between two points. This technology allows for secure transmittal on the internet by encoding the data using a mathematical formula that scrambles the data. A key is then required to decode the transmitted data. The effectiveness, or level of security, of encryption is measured in bits or how long the “decoder” key is. The 128-bit encryption technology uses a key that is many times longer than 40-bit technology. Comparing 128-bit security with 40-bit security is like comparing a combination lock that requires a hundred numbers to open to a combination lock that requires only three numbers to open.


What can I do to make myself more secure?

Merchants & Marine Bank requires that you download the most recent version of a recommended Web browser, which supports 128-bit encryption technology.

OK, I’ve done all of that. Is there anything else?

Merchants & Marine Bank recommends a second method for practicing good internet safety. Get into the habit of visiting and performing all financial transactions before venturing out onto the web for general surfing. Log out and close the online banking session. Do not use public wi-fi for online banking; if you must use public wi-fi, change your password immediately to prevent unauthorized access to your account(s).

Merchants & Marine offers Online Banking and Bill Pay to our customers. These services allow you to access your deposit and loan accounts through an authentication process, which uses personal user codes and passwords. We employ several measures to provide these services in a secure manner. These measures allow us to properly authenticate your identity when you access our services and protect your information as it traverses the internet between your computer and Merchants & Marine Bank.

Our security measures must rely on these access codes remaining confidential. We strongly recommend that you do not share these user codes and passwords with others. Certain third-party providers such as bill pay and bill presentment sites, financial aggregator sites, brokerage sites or other e-commerce sites may offer to provide services to you by accessing your accounts using your user codes and passwords. While it is your decision whether to use these services, please be advised that we cannot be responsible for the security and accuracy of the information displayed to you anywhere but at the Merchants & Marine Bank Web site. In addition, you should be aware of certain risks and should act responsibly when dealing with programs or files from unknown sources — this applies both to software available on the internet and sent via email. Installing files from unknown sources raises the risk of unknowingly downloading infected or malicious software or computer viruses. Once installed on your computer, these programs could potentially tamper with your files without your knowledge. We urge you to never run any untrusted or unfamiliar software or programs received from email or the internet. As you chat, browse the web, or accept email from unknown persons, always be careful and a bit suspicious.

We also recommend the use of virus detection software that can ensure your computer is free from known viruses. We encourage you to check frequently for updates to these virus-detecting programs and install updates as necessary. Concerned consumers can keep abreast of security issues by visiting Microsoft’s Security Advisor Web site or the Privacy Partnership Web site.

With all of this talk about security, should I be worried?

Not worried, but perhaps a little more cautious. We at Merchants & Marine Bank feel that the suggestions contained in this Security Statement, when followed, will allow our customers to perform their Internet banking activities in a safe and secure manner.

What’s a firewall?

To build a barrier between an internal network and the Internet, a company can install a firewall. The firewall becomes the only way anyone can access the network from outside. Because everything entering the network has to pass through the firewall, it controls all traffic between the network and everything outside it. Unauthorized users outside the network can’t access information inside it, but authorized users can still travel outside the network to take advantage of Internet services.

How do firewalls work?

Firewalls use proxy software to build a wall between computers inside and outside the network. If you want to talk to a computer at another company’s network, you really talk to the firewall while the firewall talks to the other computer. The firewall also talks to your computer for anyone outside your company’s network. So, the firewall acts as a proxy for all traffic passing through it and can support a wide variety of communications software programs used for Internet navigation, like file transfer protocol (ftp) or telnet.