October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and although it falls just once a year, cyber safety is something we all must be concerned about year-round. This year’s theme is “Do your part. #Be Cybersmart.” and serves as a good reminder that we all need to be mindful of how and when, and with whom, we are sharing our personal and financial information.
As with any crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in fraudsters taking advantage of the situation by preying on peoples’ fears. Especially in these difficult times, please be wary of any e-mails, texts, calls and social media pleas regarding COVID-19. Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, and the increased online presence due to many of us staying home more has made it even more important to stay vigilant.
You can be sure that Tower places the highest importance on securing your accounts, including training all staff to recognize and combat fraud. We also continue to invest in banking technologies and regularly upgrade our systems with multifactor authentication and encrypted technology. We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our members’ accounts and to stay one step ahead of fraud.
On a lighter note, you may have heard that we moved our Annapolis branch to a larger, more convenient location at 810 Bestgate Road last month. The new and improved branch has the same friendly staff, a better location with easy access, self-service options including an iPad tech bar and 24/7 ATM, and a dedicated Wealth Advisor.
I’m excited to announce that the new branch also offers the latest technology in Video Banking with personalized, efficient service, plus a convenient drive-up Video Banking service. Video Banking provides a safe, secure transaction and offers a combination of convenience, a streamlined member experience and personal self-service transactions. Unlike an ATM where there’s only interaction through a limited button response, Video Banking includes a touch screen, buttons and a handheld phone providing direct access to a remote live teller.
The new Annapolis branch is open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. –5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.–1 p.m. To visit the new branch, please schedule an in-branch appointment or use the drive-up service during business hours.
I am also proud to report that as of this writing, the TowerCares Foundation has provided close to $900,000 in donations, grants and scholarships to organizations who support our mission of helping children, active military and DOD civilian employees, and Veterans in need. I invite you to visit Who We Support at towercaresfoundation.org to see for yourself the amazing work these charities are doing in our communities.
The Foundation realizes that none of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors, and we are grateful for their continued support. Towercares is a participating charity in this year’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the official workplace giving program for Federal employees. Please consider making a recurring donation to the TowerCares Foundation through the CFC (CFC# 23594), taking place now through January 15, 2021. Please see your workplace’s CFC keyworker for details.
I would like to share with you that during this COVID-19 pandemic, Tower has maintained a very clear goal of providing excellent service to our members while balancing the necessary risk mitigation to protect the health of our employees and members. We have all adapted to doing more virtual interactions and Tower’s Board appreciates the great work done by Tower to protect us all. We especially appreciate you, our members, for your patience and support as we have navigated through this trying time.
As a fellow member-owner of Tower, I encourage you to get involved with your credit union. One way to do this is to join Tower’s volunteer Board of Directors. To learn how to submit your name for consideration, please see the Call for Candidates article in this month’s TowerLine.
Finally, I would like to assure you that Tower has remained in a very sound financial condition throughout this pandemic. This has been a financially difficult time for many of our members and I am proud to say that Tower has helped thousands of our members who are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Credit unions were first formed to allow members to help each other and this guiding principle remains as important and evident to this day. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us to see how we can help. For the latest updates and information, please continue to visit our COVID-19 resource page.
Arland A. White Jr.