Tuesday, January 7, 2014
It was announced on December 30, 2013 that Investors Bancorp, Inc. received all required regulatory approvals regarding the acquisition of GCF. At the close of business on January 10, 2014, GCF will become part of the Investors Bank family, and your GCF accounts will be fully integrated in the coming months. As the transition date nears, you will receive communications from Investors and GCF. For now, nothing will change.
As part of Investors Bank, GCF customers will receive all the great benefits that you currently enjoy, with the added convenience of more than 125 additional branches throughout New Jersey and New York. Investors has been serving its customers and communities since 1926.
It has been our pleasure to serve you and our communities for over 100 years as GCF Bank, and we now look forward to continuing the tradition as Investors!
Our Current Rates:
For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.
Credit Card Insecurity
Panic spread through America on December 19, 2013. The news was huge. As many as 40 million credit and debit cards were compromised in a breach that occurred in Target stores between November 27 and December 15.
Not online shoppers. But consumers who shopped at a brick and mortar establishment, swiping their cards with confidence.
A well-respected national chain under attack from the onset of the holiday shopping season. Those lured in by Black Friday deals they couldn't refuse. Turns out they got more than they bargained for.
Consumers use scrutiny when shopping online. They know to look for the lock icon in the address bar that indicates a secure shopping site. They've learned to shop from a known source versus a site that could have sprung up overnight. They understand that fraudsters will create a malicious site designed to replicate a legitimate version, and to look for indicators before keying in payment information.
But in a physical store - not so much. Believing their only threat to come from pick pockets or purse snatchers, they cling tightly to pocketbooks until reaching the safety of the checkout counter where the real danger lurked.
These folks were good. They may just go down in the annals of cybercrime history, along with record prison time they'll get once they're caught. And they will be caught.
GCF customers whose cards were among those compromised were notified by letter. All compromised cards were locked out from use as of end of business yesterday, January 6th. Instructions were provided to obtain a replacement prior to losing card access to assure uninterrupted service, and to update any automatic billing linked to the old card number.
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how this happened. Speculation ranges from malware infecting their Point of Sale (POS) system to an insider job similar to Snowden/NSA.
One thing for certain is, no matter how detailed your breach response plan, one can never prepare for a type of attack that has never been seen before.
Despite how the attack was carried out, it was made possible by out-dated technology. America lags behind the rest of the world in technology. A truth that is sad to admit.
Most of the rest of the world, including Canada, is using EMV chip cards rather than the magnetic strips that are easy to duplicate. Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) defines requirements to ensure interoperability between payment chip cards and terminals. It sets the specifications that enable embedded integrated circuit chips to communicate with a card reader.
Your credit card becomes a smart card. An embedded microchip holds all the information required to perform whatever function you attempt. Including unrivaled security.
Data can only be accessed through the smart card operating system by those with proper rights. User data is stored on the card rather than in a central database. Encryption capabilities include key generation, secure key storage, hashing, and digital signing.
Smart card technology is extremely difficult to forge, and has built-in tamper-resistance capabilities. Both hardware and software is used to detect and respond to tampering attacks. Sensors detect thermal and UV light attacks.
Certain credit card providers here are currently embedding EMV chips into select products. Chase Sapphire Preferred, Bank America and some Citi VISA cards are automatically issued with EMV chips. Others are only issued in this format by customer request.
Soon all cards issued here will feature EMV chips. Let's hope that something better and safer isn't the norm by the time we do.
2014 is off to a vibrant start as GCF blends into the Investors family. Like a good marriage, this brings opportunity we would never have had access to on our own.
The same holds true for GCFlash. Bigger and brighter things loom ahead. So don't be alarmed if we don't land in your inbox for about a month. We're taking a brief hiatus to retool. But we'll be back soon - Better than ever!Back to top
GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT
GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member's e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, click this link to send us an email to unsubscribe. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.
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