Banks are cyberproofing with new .bank domain

Provident Bank expects that with its new .bank domain, it doesn’t have to worry about customers receiving fake emails from the bank or customers being duped by going to a website set up to mimic the Provident site.

Provident Bank expects that with its new .bank domain, it doesn’t have to worry about customers receiving fake emails from the bank or customers being duped by going to a website set up to mimic the Provident site.

“The encryption requirements are more robust, and the standards are set higher, making it impossible to break in. It gives hackers the inability to impersonate our bank,” said Nathan Horn-Mitchem, information security officer of Provident Bank, based in Jersey City, N.J., with branches in Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties. “If an email goes out by a potential scammer, we want to see it.”

Provident Bank, which launched www.provident.bank last month, is one of only a few banks in Pennsylvania using the .bank URL address created to stop cyberattacks, protect consumers against phishing, restore confidence in online banking and keep banking customers off fake websites.

“We were part of the early bird registration process,” Horn-Mitchem said. “There are really not many financial institutions that have a .bank site and use it.”

Banks that have registered for the domain or are seeking it said the .bank site is necessary in the financial industry and that the benefits outweigh any negatives associated with it.

According to Mark W. Jaindl, president and CEO of American Bank in South Whitehall Township, the bank was granted several .bank domain names, including americanbank.bank, ambk.bank and americanbankonline.bank.

Customers can use americanbank.bank to access American Bank’s website.

“The greatest benefit of having the .bank website is the additional level of security it provides to a customer or visitor of our site,” Jaindl said. “Given the enhanced security standards that need to be maintained in order to be granted a .bank domain name, customers can be assured that they are accessing a site of a trusted financial institution.”

Ftld Registry Services, a company formed by the American Bankers Association and other members of the financial industry, only recently made the .bank domain more widely available.

The goal is to have a web domain solely for registered and verified financial institutions that meet strict, ever-changing security guidelines.

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