Protecting Your Identity

Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. In 2014, there were 12.7 million victims of identity fraud in the U.S., according to Javelin Strategy and Research. In recognition of Cyber Security Awareness Month, Stock Yards Bank & Trust recommends following these tips to keep your information – and your money – safe.

1. Be cautious of who you share with.

Don’t provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.

2. Shred sensitive papers.

Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

3. Keep an eye out for missing mail.

Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don’t mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.

4. Use online banking to protect yourself.

Monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Sign up for text or email alerts from your bank for certain types of transactions, such as online purchases or transactions of more than $500.

5. Monitor your credit report.

Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com.

6. Protect your computer.

Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser’s padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an “s” after the “http” to be sure the website is secure.

7. Protect your mobile device.

Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments – especially from senders you don’t know.

8. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately. 

Resource Information: American Banker’s Association

SYBT Call Center: Frequently Asked Questions

If you have ever had a question about your account balance, branch information, or online banking assistance, you have probably had a chance to talk with representatives in our call center. At Stock Yards Bank & Trust, we work hard to ensure that no question goes unanswered, so today we have teamed up with Kim Coleman, our Call Center Supervisor, to go in depth on some of the most frequently asked questions that come into the call center.           

Question That Frequents the Call Center: Updating Browsers

If you have experienced difficulty logging into online banking, you may simply need to update your browser. Browsers are a key part of keeping your online financial experience and information safe. If you are not familiar with updating your browser or need help with the basics, look no further!

What is a browser? A program used to navigate the world wide web.  Here are some popular browsers you probably recognize:

 Internet_Explorer_logo  chrome  firefox-logo.bee1d85af18f  safari
Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox

Safari

How do I know if my browser is up to date? Visit https://whatbrowser.org/. This website will tell you what browser you are currently using and will include the message, “This is the most current version.” If your browser is not up to date, the links to update the browser are listed in the chart below. Browsers become more secure with each release, so don’t miss out. No matter what browser you use, make sure you have the latest version installed.

Microsoft operating system browsers:

Browser Operating Systems Most recent version Download
Internet Explorer Windows 7 & 8 11 http://www.microsoft.com/ie/default.mspx
Mozilla Firefox Windows 7 & 8 27 http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
Google Chrome Windows 7 & 8 33 http://www.google.com/chrome

Mac operating system browsers. Mac OS is the computer operating system for Apple Computer’s Macintosh:

Browser Operating Systems Most recent version Download
Safari OS X (10.8) 7 http://www.apple.com/support/mac-apps/safari
Mozilla Firefox OS X (10.6 -10.8) 27 http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/install-firefox-mac
Google Chrome OS X (10.6 -10.8) 33 http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/?hl=en&platform=mac&brand=CHFJ

The second most popular topic for questions is assistance with online banking.

Since many of these questions vary by customer, we wanted to provide additional resources on this blog that may help you in the event you need assistance for online banking:

New Customer Banking FAQ

Online Banking Requirements

Still need help? Contact us!

Teaching Kids About Finance: How to Get Started

It’s never too early to start teaching children the basics of finance. As the summer draws to an end, take the opportunity to explain to kids what they can do with that extra cash they may have earned. Whether they spent their days mowing the lawn or selling lemonade, it’s the perfect time to teach your child financial lessons that will last a lifetime. Here are some teachable moments to help you get started:

• At the bank. When you go to the bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works. Click here to view all of Stock Yard’s locations.

• On payday. Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is saved for future expenses such as college tuition and retirement.

• At the grocery store. Explain the benefits of comparison shopping, coupons and store brands. Emphasize the value of the purchase, and include wants versus needs.

• Paying bills. Explain the many ways that bills can be paid: over the phone, paper or by check, electronic check or online check draft. Discuss how each method of bill pay takes money out of your account. Be sure to cover late penalties, emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time.

• Using credit cards. Explain that using a credit card creates a loan that has to be repaid. Share how each month a credit card statement arrives in the mail with a bill. Discuss the features of different types of cards, such as ATM, debit and credit cards.

What are some ways you teach your children money management? Comment below!

Resource Information: American Banker’s Association

SYBT Celebrates National Dog Day

Today, August 26th, is National Dog Day and what better way to celebrate than by sharing some of Stock Yards Bank’s very own pups. Dogs play an important role in SYBT history and corporate culture. Many of our branches give out dog treats in the drive-thru, and our mascot “Spot” is a Great Dane.BlogPic Our Great Dane statue was made by G.C.J. Mattei Co. in 1913 and was commissioned by Mr. Lytle H. Hudson, Sr., the first President of Stock Yards Bank, to honor a beloved family pet. This precious keepsake has been a permanent fixture in our Main Office lobby for over 100 years.

We think of “Spot” as much more than a mascot. We believe it represents many admirable qualities – a standard by which we will always measure our service to our clients; strength, integrity, loyalty, and dependability.

We had an overwhelming response of submissions and below are just a few of our employee’s beloved canines. Click on their photo to learn more about them!

How to Buy Your First Place Like a Pro

So you want to buy your first home. Congratulations! Now, where to start? Melinda Golde from our Mortgage Banking Group was able to share some helpful tips for those looking to buy their first home.

Check Your Credit

Your credit score is one of the most important factors when purchasing a new home. It can affect the credit decision on the loan as well as the actual cost of the loan – the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate may be. Your homeowner’s insurance premium can also be affected by your credit score Before applying, review your credit by accessing your information at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure there are no mistakes, unpaid or past-due accounts or collection accounts. If you have items on your credit report that need to be repaired, or you just have limited credit experience, you will need some time to work through and correct those issues – you should allow at least six months before shopping for a new home.

Organize Your Documents

As part of the home-buying process, your mortgage lender will require you to document your income and your assets. Make sure you have your two most recent pay stubs, the previous two years’ W-2s and tax returns, as well as your two most recent bank statements (all pages). Buying a home can be a long process, but having your documents organized can help.

Determine How Much Down Payment You Will Have

There are many loan programs available that do not require a down payment of 20% of the purchase price. Some programs require as little as 3% down with 0% down options available for rural properties or active and retired military personnel. You may even be eligible for down payment assistance. (A down payment less than 20% may require mortgage insurance that could affect the payment).

Review Your Cash Flow

Determine where your money is going each month and then compare that to how much you make (gross monthly pay). You may even go as far as tracking your spending for a couple of months. What kind of house payment are you comfortable with based on your current income and liabilities?

Get Expert Advice

A pre-approval is a valuable tool to have as you begin your search for your new home. At Stock Yards, there is no charge or upfront fee for this service. After you are pre-approved, work with a real estate agent that has knowledge of the area in which you’d like to purchase. Give the agent an idea of the type of home you are looking for and the amenities that are important to you, and they will do the leg-work.

Make sure to check out our website for more information regarding mortgage services. Just purchased your first place? What are some tips that we left off?

5 Money Saving Tips for College Grads

For many college graduates, the first few months in the “real world” can be quite the transition. During this time, grads may be searching for a job, moving out, or moving to a different city. No matter what the plan is for post-graduate life, it’s important to keep finances in check. Here are five simple money saving tips:

1. Move in with Parents
If you have the option, moving in with your parents can save an abundance of money. Even if your parents require you to pitch in, it will still be cheaper than spending money on rent, water, utilities, etc.

2. Create a Budget
As you begin working full-time or part-time, take note of how much money you have coming in and how much you are spending. Creating a budget allows you to stay on track with spending. For more information on how to create a budget, check out this website.

3. Sell Old Items
If you have lived in a dorm or off campus housing, more than likely you have acquired some furniture and decor you no longer need. Hosting a yard sale can bring in extra cash and help you get organized for the future. Get rid of those unused textbooks and sell them to get some extra money.

4. Enjoy Free Events
Instead of going out to eat every night or spending money on summer concerts, enjoy free shows or take advantage of special dinner deals on certain nights of the week. Being aware of special events in your community can help you have a great time and save a fortune.

5. Start Planning for the Future
If you haven’t already, open a savings account that can be your safety net. Start putting money away as soon as you have a job or receive money from graduation, summer job, etc. This account will be helpful in the event of a job change, relocation, or an unexpected charge like maintenance for your car.

Graduating college is a huge milestone and is something to be proud of! No matter what the next step is, getting ahead and saving will allow you to be even more successful in the future.