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Hills Bank and Trust Company

HBT Connect eNewsletter from Hills Bank and Trust Company

  HBT Connect  
Volume 2, Issue 5: September-October 2012  

  October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

You rely on the Internet every day to stay connected, informed, and involved. Cyber security is one of our country's more important national security priorities, and as a result, President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM is designed to engage and educate about cyber security.

Here are a few simple tips to protect yourself from cyber attacks:

  • Passwords: Set strong passwords and don't share them with anyone. Microsoft provides a password strength checker, or do an internet search to find out if your passwords are strong.
  • Update Your Operating System: Keep your operating system, browser, and other software optimized against cyber crimes by installing updates, or setting updates to install automatically.
  • Check Social Media Privacy Settings: Use social media privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely, and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  • Use Caution: Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

To learn more about online safety, visit the following websites:

Sources: Department of Homeland Security, and StaySafeOnline.org.

  Protect Your Computer and Personal Information From Viruses, Spyware, and Malware

If you are connected to the Internet, you should take steps to protect your computer from malicious software that may harm your computer or capture your personal information like user IDs and passwords.

Here are a few ways to protect against malicious software:

  • Firewall: A control on networks to keep them secure by building a bridge between the internal and external network (i.e. Internet) that is not assumed to be secure. Firewalls can be either software or hardware based.
  • Virus Protection: Software that can be used to prevent, detect, and remove malware that may harm your computer like viruses, worms, and Trojans.
  • Antispyware Protection: Spyware can collect information on the computer without the user’s knowledge. To protect your computer from being infected, use an antispyware program that can identify spyware on your computer and remove it.
  • Key Logger Detection: Key logging is surveillance software that records each keystroke you make on your computer to gain access to personal information. Be sure your antivirus protection detects this type of malware.
  • Keep Software and Security Patches Up-to-date: Use the latest version of a web browser or online security software and keep it up to date for the highest level of security.

For more information on how to protect your computer, refer to your local technology service professional to ensure your malicious software protection is up to date.

  Your Pre-retirement “To Do” List

Retirement getting closer? Then you’ve probably done a lot of planning for your future. Before you take that major step into the world of the retired, make sure that everything is in place to ensure your financial security through the years ahead.

The Red and the Black
Before you retire, you should have an accurate picture of your net worth. Figuring it out isn’t difficult. Simply list all your assets including personal investments; savings, checking, and money market accounts; life insurance policies; retirement plan assets; IRAs; and your home. Then list your liabilities, such as personal loans, credit card debt, your mortgage, and any other money you owe. By subtracting your liabilities from your assets, you’ll know your approximate net worth.

Your Retirement “Budget”
You want to be certain that your money lasts throughout your retirement, so estimating your cash flow is essential. Start by listing the expenses you expect to have after you retire. Then draw up a multi-year plan for tapping your retirement income — not only how much money to withdraw each year but also which assets to tap first. It’s usually a good idea to withdraw money from taxable accounts initially, leaving other assets to continue growing tax deferred.

A Look at Taxes
Your tax situation may change after you retire. You may find that you’re in a lower tax bracket because your income has decreased. You may have to make quarterly estimated tax payments. And remember that changes to your portfolio could have tax consequences, so plan carefully.

Health Care Review
Once you turn 65, you're eligible for benefits under Medicare, but you still may want to carry supplemental insurance to pick up costs that aren’t covered. If you won’t have coverage through your former employer, you may want to start looking at supplemental policies before your retirement day arrives.


Hills Bank Best of the CorridorBest of the Corridor

Thank you to our many loyal customers! We sincerely appreciate your confidence and trust. Thank you for voting us Best of the Corridor in the following categories:

  • Best Bank for a Start-up Business
  • Best Bank for an Existing Business
  • Best Commercial Real Estate Lender
  • Best Place for Customer Service, Runner-up

It has been a pleasure to serve the Corridor for over 108 years, and we look forward to serving you for many years to come!


Holiday Schedule

The bank will be closed on the following holiday:

Veterans Day
Monday, November 12th

Even though we will be closed, you can still do your banking at over 90 Hills Bank ATMs in the Cedar Rapids - Iowa City Corridor, Hills Bank Online, via mobile banking, or through Push Button Banker.

View the complete Hills Bank holiday schedule.

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