We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.

If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.

Fast Access

GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Edition #736

Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

October 22, 2013 Edition #735

October 15, 2013 Edition #734

October 8, 2013 Edition #733

October 1, 2013 Edition #732

Weekly Spotlight:

Looking for an Internet security or fraud prevention article we published in GCFlash? Find highlights here.

Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
October 22, 2013 6 Mo Ago
1 Yr Ago
5 Yrs Ago
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 1,915.74 or 14.31% since 12/31/12)
15,303.10 (+0.06%) 14,818.75 13,107.21 8,990.96
S&P 500
(Up 223.41 or 15.66% since 12/31/12)
1,649.60 (-0.06%) 1,593.61 1,411.94 930.09
(Up 439.63 or 14.56% since 12/31/12)
3,459.14 (-0.01%) 3,307.02 2,987.95 1,657.21
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 2.01% 1.67% 1.75% 3.87%
British Sterling 1.5127 1.5469 1.6087 1.5606
Euro 1.2936 1.3026 1.2976 1.2489

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1st Flash

Stop Bullying Now

I'll never forget Debbie. Her boyfriend sat next to me in class. One fateful day, he leaned over and asked if he could borrow a pencil.

We were in the 8th grade. Over 40 years ago. Yet the memory still lingers every time I hear about children being bullied.

Debbie was furious that her boyfriend spoke to me, a fact I learned walking home from school that day. She taunted me the entire walk home, calling me names and threatening to beat me up the next day.

It never occurred to me at that young age that she would have attacked me on the spot if that were truly her intention. No advance scheduling would have been necessary for something of this nature.

My stomach was in knots the next day. I did not want to go to school. Yet neither did I want to appear afraid.

Tension mounted throughout the day. Anticipation of the dreaded meeting heightened with every tic of the clock. It finally happened. The bell signaling the end of another school day rang louder and longer than it ever appeared to have before.

I ran home as quickly as my little legs would carry me. I never showed up at the designated time and location. I'm guessing she didn't, either, as the names continued but the threats eventually stopped.

It wouldn't have mattered much at the time to know how our lives would transpire. She still lives in our hometown, a divorced mother of three struggling to break the chains of addiction.

I'm gazing out my office window, watching the palm trees sway on a tropical island writing this column. Neither of us resemble the children depicted in that scenario four decades past. Yet it remains quite vivid to me.

Back then, I had the safety of my home to protect me from my tormentor. Children today have no safe place. The Internet brings their harassers right into their place of refuge. There is no solace. There is no relief. Threats continue to live on in one form or another, long after the originator turns their attention to the next victim.

Cyberbullying can occur in various ways. The child may receive mean text messages or emails. Someone may post rumors on social networking sites, or embarrassing pictures of them on a website. They may create a fake profile using their identity to post derogatory comments. Or even bully others using the victim's name.

It can be impossible to trace the source and take down the fake profile.

Children who are bullied online are often bullied in person as well. If you see a sudden change in your child's behavior, they may be a victim of bullying. They may be reluctant to go to school, their grades may drop or they may lose self-esteem.

Bullied children are more likely to develop health problems or use alcohol and drugs to mask their pain.

It's important that parents talk to their children about cyberbullying, along with other online security issues. Know what sites they visit, where they're going, what they're doing and who they're doing it with.

A responsible parent will monitor a child's online activity if they have reason for concern. There are several good parental control programs available to help achieve this. But don't stop there.

Learn about their favorite sites. Get a feel for their texts. Ask for passwords, but promise to only use them in an emergency. And keep that promise. If they're not comfortable "friending" you on Facebook, ask another trusted adult to do so.

Explain the importance of telling you immediately if they're being bullied, or if it's happening to someone they know. Make sure they know you won't punish them for the actions of another by taking away their computers or cell phones.

Children are still trusting creatures, they haven't yet been scorched by the realities of life. They need to be taught the consequences of posting something they may one day regret. It's a lesson as equally important as not talking to strangers. Even more so as they begin to think of those they meet online as friends. The distinction between stranger and friend is now blurred, presenting an even greater danger.

Teach them the importance of keeping their passwords safe and not sharing them with friends. Here comes that blurred line again; where you lend a pencil to the boyfriend of someone once thought a friend. It could be an action just as innocent that turns their life upside down.

The website offers excellent advice on how to respond to bullies, support the kids involved, where to report it, and how to find help for victims. Every parent should bookmark this site and visit often. Feel free to share this column with them, too. The health and welfare of your child could depend upon it.

On The World Wide Web

Think your child can't become a cyberbully victim? Read these 11 facts and think again.

Do you want to upgrade your operating system or software yourself? Before you start, visit this site. It's a good place to learn how to do just about anything.

A daily chuckle helps ease the weight of worldly events and challenges. You'll LOL knowing you don't have to share an office with these stupid co-workers.

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2nd Flash

The End of XP

All good things must come to an end. For Windows XP, that end is coming April 8, 2014.

Many people and businesses still use the operating system. For good reason. It was one of the most stable, user-friendly products Microsoft released in quite some time. They seem to hit a home run with one product and strike out with the next release.

Folks cling to that which works. If you're among those that still use XP, you're in good company. But there are things you will need to know.

Your computer will continue operating on April 9, 2014. The operating system will not self-destruct.

However, Microsoft's support for the product will end. This means no more updates. Updates patch security holes. No more updates means anyone still using XP will be ripe targets for cyberfraud.

Windows XP was released 12 years ago. And so much has changed in the technology world since that time. If you are using a PC old enough to run on XP, it may not be capable of upgrading to the current Windows 8 OS. Microsoft has a utility you can run to check your computer for compatibility. Find it here.

Windows 8 takes a lot of getting used to. It's quite different than previous versions. We offered some help here.

Microsoft advises XP users to either migrate to Windows 8 or buy a new computer if their current system isn't capable of the upgrade.

But there may be a better option. You can still find copies of Windows 7 online with a quick Google search. The upgrade is easier and system requirements not quite so different than XP. You'll need a machine with a 1 GHz processor or faster, 1 GB RAM for a 32-bit or 2 GB for a 64-bit system, 16 GB available hard disk space (20 GB 64-bit) and DirectX9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. Certain features require additional requirements.

And Windows 7 falls into that home run cycle, unlike its successor 8. There's a brief learning curve but you're quickly up to full speed.

XP is not going to its grave alone. Microsoft is killing Office 2003 along with it. The support end, that is. And since malware payloads are often deployed via Visual Basic scripting, the risk is equally as high when the patches stop coming.

Upgrading Office 2003 to the current 2010 product isn't quite as easy. You can't get there from here. You'll need to upgrade in steps, loading Office 2007 first.

To run Office 2007, you'll need at least a 500 mHz processor, 1.5 GB hard disk space, 256 MB memory and display resolution of at least 1024x768. Fairly lean by today's standards, but if your system is of the Office 2003 era you'd better check it first.

Not all copies of Office 2003 are upgradable. If you have the 2003 Student and Teacher or Basic editions, you'll have to purchase the full installation copy. Otherwise, the upgrade-only version will work just fine.

This article assumes the reader is familiar with performing software upgrades. If you're not, don't try this at home. Seek assistance from your trusted computer support center.

Tip of the Week

Identity thieves find opportunity around every corner. The Affordable Care Act is no exception. Con artists are contacting citizens with promises of helping them navigate the enrollment process. They claim to be experts on various plans and procedures, well-qualified to guide you through step-by-step.

Don't fall for it. They are only after your personal information. You'll need to initiate contact with a navigator or program representative for any assistance you require. No legitimate entity will contact you first. Beware of anybody that does.

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"Nobody likes to fail, but failure is an essential part of life and of learning. If your uniform isn't dirty, you haven't been in the game." - Ben Bernanke

Today in History

1929 - The most catastrophic day in stock market history, heralding the Great Depression, occurs on this day. It became known as Black Tuesday.

Flash Fact

It took 25 years for the Dow Jones to reach the same level as it was before the crash in 1929. (Astute readers may remember reading the same Flash Fact earlier this month, but it was worth repeating.)

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
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