On October 25th, five banks in Oklahoma joined together to provide education and a strong focus on fraud and cybersecurity to both local small businesses and the senior members of their communities. “Fight Cyber-Crime with your Bank” was developed by staff from all four banks in Alva and the bank in Hopeton. This extraordinary collaboration among five competing banks, demonstrates the impact that local banks can have on their customers and their towns.
The events were held in two venues in Alva and Jeff Story (The Bankers Bank) and Andrew Johansen (Forward in Technology) led in two discussions. During the afternoon discussion, small business owners met to “Snack and Share” about cyber security and other concerns. Business attendees ranged from construction to grocery, accounting to quality ice sellers, and more. They covered topics like malware, multi-factor authentication, and back up.
The evening event, “Dine and Discuss” focused on technology related fraud directed to the over 65 crowd of about 100 community members. The event began with videos about true fraud incidents and was followed by an hour of presenting and discussion conducted by Story and Johansen. Beginning with statistical data from the FBI Internet Crimes Complaint Center, they explored the impact and complaints about fraud and what types of fraud have been reported. Good security practices and password safety instigated questions from the crowd about password managers and social media scams. An AARP representative and bank employees followed up with additional expertise pertinent to those in attendance.
These community banks exemplified what it means to be a leader. We exist in a time of rapid change in both finance and technology. Many changes are unknown or misunderstood by a large percentage of the population. Community institutions like schools, chambers of commerce, local banks (especially in the rural communities) and libraries are uniquely positioned to inform, educate, and promote financial and digital safety to small businesses and residents. We applaud these five banks for putting on this great event and for creating an awareness of the value of customer education, especially in fraud and cyber security which impacts banks, communities, and individuals.