Featured Safety Tip
Now that the student loan debt relief application is open, spot the scams
The Department of Education (ED)’s application for federal student loan debt relief is now open and, of course, scammers are on the move — trying to get your money and personal information. Luckily, there are ways to stop them, so keep reading to find out...
Planning for Homeownership
By: Charlestien Harris June is recognized as National Homeownership Month, celebrating the value that owning a home brings to families, communities, and neighborhoods across America. During this month, I will be sharing information about the process of homeownership...
Frequently Asked Questions
Reporting Online and Email Fraud
- To report a suspicious email that uses Southern Bancorp’s name, forward it to us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To learn more about online fraud and prevention, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft website .
- To report fraudulent activity not associated with Online Banking, please call your local police department immediately to report the incident.
To report fraudulent activity within Online Banking:
- Contact us immediately
- Visit your nearest Southern Bancorp location
Avoiding Identity Theft
- Arkansas Attorney General ID Theft – http://gotyourbackarkansas.org/identity
- Mississippi Attorney General ID Theft – http://www.ago.state.ms.us/victims/identity-theft/
Be very careful when giving out personal or account information. For instance, if the bank contacts you, we will never ask for your full name, account number, or social security number; however, if you contact the bank, we may ask a few verification questions to ensure that we are talking to the correct person.
Safe Internet Banking
- Never give out your username or password to anyone. This includes saving your login credentials to your browser or PC, as this often leads to hacking as well.
- Use a complex password. Currently, our online banking requires 8 characters with at least one number. We recommend using a password that has both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers or symbols ( ! @ # $ etc.).
- Update your PC software and Anti-Virus/Malware protection regularly. Many attacks come from exploits in your operating system, browser, or other programs on your computer—by updating these regularly, you will minimize the risk of someone gaining unauthorized access to your information. If you do not have an anti-virus program on your computer, Microsoft has compiled a list of reputable vendors here.
We recommend commercial (business) customers perform a periodic Risk Assessments to evaluate technology risks and mitigation controls. In the risk assessment, you should analyze virus and malware vulnerabilities, software update procedures, PC administrative access, employee education in regards to scams and phishing techniques, physical security of devices with sensitive information, and other technology risks. Mitigation controls could include, but are not limited to, anti-virus and anti-malware software, firewall protections, automatic updating of vulnerable software (including Operating System), employee education, and user access restrictions. If you need advice on safeguarding your systems, you can contact the bank and ask for the Information Security department.
Mobile banking has become a part of everyday life for many people, offering convenience and functionality in the palm of your hand. Southern Bancorp mobile banking is secure, but it is important to protect your phone against viruses and malware by using appropriate anti-virus apps, and never installing apps from untrusted sources. In addition, avoid “Jailbreaking” or “Rooting” your phone, as this will allow rogue apps and malware easier access to your device. Finally, password protect your device (on boot up or unlock) to prevent unauthorized access.
Calls, Emails, and Texts
When the bank needs to contact you, we will call, mail, or send a secure message via online banking. If we need to call you, we will never ask for your account information. Additionally, we will never send unsecured emails or texts asking for account information. If you are contacted by an entity claiming to be Southern Bancorp or our affiliate and asked to verify private information, be very cautious. “Phishing” is a common tactic used by fraudsters that involves impersonating a bank employee to try to gain information from a customer for fraudulent use. If in doubt, do not give any information and call the bank directly, either your local branch or our customer service number: 1-800-789-3428
Currently, we have an opt-in service that allows us to text customers their End of Day balance and daily transactions. Any other texts received can be considered fraudulent and should be deleted immediately.
Social media is a growing part of our lives, and is something to consider regarding banking security. Any information submitted to the site, including private messages, should be considered public information. Be careful not to post pictures that may contain personal information, such as personalized checks or debit cards.
Safe Debit Card Practices
- Do not keep your card and your PIN together; if possible, memorize your PIN and do not write it down.
- Keep your card within your sight at all times. It is very easy for a fraudster to swipe your card in his or her own card reader, gaining all the information contained in the magnetic strip.
- When shopping online, use a credit card if possible. Your debit card is linked directly to your checking account—if it is compromised, your funds are directly affected. Disputes are much easier with a credit card, and your money has not been stolen.
- Be aware of your surroundings when at the ATM. Look for out of place attachments, such as a hidden camera, or skimming device. Skimming devices may look out of place, or be loosely connected to the functional part of the payment machine. These devices are fairly sophisticated, and will allow your transaction to process, but save your information for the skimmer to pick up later. If you are in doubt, try moving the card reader—if there is a skimmer attached, it may come off with very little force. For more information, visit this US Secret Service document: Skimming Fraud. Also check to see if there could be a tiny camera hidden anywhere nearby to record the PIN number you enter. If you believe there could be, place some object between you and the suspected camera location as you enter your PIN.
- Southern Bancorp continuously monitors its debit cards for possible fraud, so we may call you to verify whether you conducted certain transactions. If we do contact you, we will not ask for any personal or confidential information; we will only ask if you attempted the transactions that appeared to be fraudulent.
Understanding FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage
Since Southern Bancorp Bank is an FDIC-insured institution, it means that your qualifying deposits are insured by the federal government. And when your money is FDIC insured, you can’t lose a penny, no matter what. But as with any insurance, there are coverage limits and requirements that must be met.
To help you determine your insurance coverage, you can use an easy-to-use online FDIC tool called EDIE The Estimator. A few minutes with EDIE can give you endless peace of mind. You’ll know if the money you have in your Southern Bancorp Bank deposit accounts is fully protected or if any accounts exceed coverage limits.
Using EDIE is easy. Just click the button below to get started. To save time, have a list of your deposit accounts and the amount you have in each. If you have joint accounts or trust accounts that name beneficiaries, have those names, too. To check business accounts, you will need the business name and Employer Identification Number (EIN).
To ensure your privacy, Southern Bancorp Bank does not allow EDIE access to any personal or account information, nor will EDIE store any of the information you provide. No information is sent over the Internet.
General Customer Information
The United States government has established a website to help spread awareness of how to be safe and secure online. That website address is: http://www.onguardonline.gov You will find many helpful resources on avoiding scams and securing your computer and other internet-related safeguards.
NEW! FDIC Consumer News A Bank Customer’s Guide to Cybersecurity. This guide was published by the FDIC to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft and online fraud. You can download it here:
How We Gather Information
As part of providing financial products or services, we may obtain information about our customers and consumers from the following sources:
- Information we receive from you on applications, emails, or other forms
- Information about your transactions with us, our affiliates, and others
- Information we receive from a consumer-reporting agency
Information that is generated electronically when you visit our website’s Internet Banking services
Southern and/or our Internet Banking service provider(s) (“Southern Bancorp”) may collect general information on our Virtual Branch visitors simply to help us provide banking and other financial services to you online. They collect certain information on our behalf for security and statistical purposes. The information collected for these purposes may include:
- The Internet address (referral site) which brought you to our web site
- The date and time you access our site
- The name and version of your web browser
- The Internet service provider you used when you accessed our site
- Your Internet Protocol (IP) address
- The pages visited in our website
Privacy of Children
Southern Bancorp respects the privacy of children. We do not use the web to collect and gather names or any other personally identifiable information from children. We do have products that teach children to save, but we do not allow children to open accounts online.
Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses
An IP address is a number that’s automatically assigned to your computer or internet-facing device whenever you’re on the Internet. Web servers, the computers that “serve up” Web pages, can automatically identify your computer by its IP address. When collecting information, Southern Bancorp does not normally link IP addresses to anything personally identifiable, which means that a user’s session will be logged, but the user remains anonymous. Southern may use IP addresses to audit the use of our site. Southern can and will use IP addresses to identify a user when necessary for security purposes.
What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a very small text file sent by a web server and stored on your hard drive, your computer’s memory, or in your browser so that it can be read back later. Cookies cannot “read” information about you from your computer or be used to “steal” information about you, and cookies don’t generally carry viruses. Cookies are a basic way for a server to identify you (most cookies actually identify the computer you happen to be using at the time, not you personally). Cookies are used for many things from personalizing start up pages to facilitating online purchases. Cookies help sites recognize return visitors and they perform a very important function when you engage in secure Internet banking. For your security, we do not store any of your personal information in our cookies. For Internet Banking purposes, Southern Bancorp uses encrypted cookies. This Internet banking cookie allows Southern Bancorp to process multiple transactions during your session without requiring you to reenter your pass code for each individual transaction. In addition, it helps identify you as a returning user next time you log on. The cookies for Internet banking simply provide another level of security for our Internet banking product. Southern Bancorp does not (and cannot) use this cookie to collect or obtain new personal information about you. You must allow your browser to accept this cookie so you can use the Internet banking system.
Disclosure of Information
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about our customers, former customers, or website visitors to anyone, except as permitted or required by law.
External 3rd Party Links
Our website may have numerous links to other 3rd party sites. These links to external third parties are offered as a courtesy and a convenience to our customers. We do NOT have access to the information collected by any third party website, nor can we control how they use this information. If you have questions or concerns about the privacy policies and practices of these third parties, please review their websites and contact them directly.
Online Security – further reading
Southern Bancorp has developed security policies and procedures to protect your confidential information when using our online banking systems. This multi-factor authentication meets or exceeds regulatory guidance and recommendations using technologies like: Secure Socket Layering Protocol, Access ID verification and Password verification, Digital Certificates, Out-of-Wallet questions, and out of band security codes. For more information on how to safely use the online products, please visit our online banking education pages at our Customer Information page.
If you believe any information that Southern Bancorp has collected about you has been used for an improper purpose; we want to hear from you. Explain your concerns in as much detail as possible so that we may take appropriate action.
Excessive and Luxury Expenditures Policy
ACH and Electronic Transactions
Southern Bancorp offers our Overdraft Privilege Program for those occasions when there are not sufficient funds in your account to pay a recently completed transaction. In those cases, Southern will advance funds, creating an “overdraft” or a negative balance in your account. The overdraft is typically repaid with your next deposit.
The amount of overdraft privilege granted will vary depending on account activity such as deposit regularity and balance information. This activity will be monitored and overdraft limits will be adjusted accordingly. To qualify for items to be paid under this program, your account must be in good standing at the time the item is presented.
There is no need to apply for this program. You will automatically be enrolled in the program. If you do not desire overdraft privilege on any transactions on your account, you may call us at 800-789-3428 or contact your local branch staff to ask to be excluded from this program.
What You Need to Know about Overdrafts and Overdraft Fees
An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. We can cover your overdrafts in two different ways:
- Standard overdraft privilege.
- Overdraft protection plans such as a link to a savings account or a line of credit, which may be less expensive than our standard overdraft practices. To learn more, ask us about these plans.
We authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions:
- Checks and other transactions made using your checking account number
- Automatic bill payments
We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions unless you “opt-in” (See Below):
- ATM Transactions
- Everyday Debit Card transactions
We pay overdrafts at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. If we do not authorize and pay an overdraft, your transactions will be declined.
What fees will I be charged if Southern Bancorp pays my overdraft?
Under our standard overdraft practices:
- We will charge you a fee of $15.75 each time we pay an overdraft.
- There is a limit of seven (7) charges per day for overdrawing your account.
Contact us today for more information.