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The Provident Bank Launches .Bank Website to Improve Online Security for Customers

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May 05, 2016

The Provident Bank Launches .Bank Website to Improve Online Security for Customers

As part of its ongoing effort to increase digital security, The Provident Bank has updated its website to www.Provident.Bank.

Provident Bank, which serves both New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, is one of the first banks to launch a .Bank website address – the url extensions are available exclusively to banks and financial institutions and require a rigorous set of qualifications to obtain.

“We understand it’s a scary world out there and want our customers to know that we are always working to find new ways to protect their information,” says Nathan Horn-Mitchem, First Vice President and Information Security Officer, Provident Bank.

Horn-Mitchem says the new domain provides a more secure online location for the bank, its customers and its stakeholders as well as additional protection against spoofed or phishing emails and sites. “Anyone in the world can buy a .com website address these days,” adds Horn-Mitchem. “All .Bank domains must meet a new baseline of more advanced security requirements than a typical website. Also, only verified members of the financial services industry are eligible.”

In addition to .Bank, Horn-Mitchem suggests several other measures all banking customers should take to improve their mobile banking security:

  1. Use your official banking app instead of the website: Most financial institutions publish their official banking app on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Those organizations had to go through a level of rigor to do so, and they usually include lots of security features.
  2. Create a strong password on your phone: Go beyond a four-digit code. A strong password involves letters, numbers and more than six characters. “If you are storing important information on your phone such as your banking information, you need to secure that with more than the first four digits of your birthday,” says Horn-Mitchem.
  3. Stay away from WiFi networks: While WiFi is convenient, it’s pretty easy to spy on a user’s web traffic if they are using a maliciously configured wireless network. “If you stick to using your phone provider’s cellular network, and your home and office WiFi, you’re much less likely to lose control of your information,” says Horn-Mitchem.
  4. Turn on two-factor authentication for your mobile apps: Sure it’s another step, but it’s about keeping your money safe. Two-factor authentication requires a user to enter a code sent via text message (separate from the password) before they can login to any website, app or program. Most mobile apps don’t prompt the user for any type of user name and password after the first login with the assumption being if you’re in possession of the phone it must be you. “If you’ve lost your phone, that code coming to your new phone might be the only thing keeping a bad guy out of your old apps,” says Horn-Mitchem.

“As the trend and popularity of mobile banking rises, so does the popularity of opportunistic cyber criminals looking to take advantage of smartphone users by stealing identities and emptying bank accounts,” says Horn-Mitchem. “Following these quick and easy guidelines will help you protect yourself and in many cases may be enough to send a potential crook in the other direction.”

Provident Bank understands their customers’ concerns about fraud, identity theft, and other criminal activities aimed at harming themselves, companies, and financial institutions. With this shift to a .Bank domain, Provident Bank continues to show their commitment by providing a safe and more secure environment - on desktop or mobile device.

About The Provident Bank

The Provident Bank, (www.provident.bank) a community-oriented bank offering “Commitment you can count on” since 1839, is the wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS), which reported assets of $8.91 billion as of December 31, 2015. With $5.92 billion in deposits, The Provident Bank provides a comprehensive suite of financial products and services through its network of branches throughout northern and central New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. The Bank also provides fiduciary and wealth management services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Beacon Trust Company.

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