Night of Lights Parade & Brunch with Santa

2019
NIGHT OF LIGHTS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6th

CRAFT FAIR STARTS 4:00 PM

LOCATED IN THE NORTH VALLEY SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER & TEAKETTLE ROOM

PARADE STARTS 6:30 PM

AWARDS FOR FLOATS; FLOAT ENTRY $10 OR FOOD ITEM FOR FOOD BANK

HEAT UP AT THE COOP AFTER THE PARADE
VISIT WITH SANTA AND WARM UP WITH A BON FIRE, HOT COCOA, CHILI &
A LIVE HOLIDAY CONCERT WITH HOLIDAY DESSERTS, CFHS CHORAL SONIFERS AND COLUMBIANS!

SATURDAY, DEC. 7TH 9:30 AM
BRUNCH WITH SANTA: TIMBERCREEK VILLAGE
MEADOWLAKE DR.

Stay Safe Online

Freedom Bank Wants You To Be Safe Online This Holiday Season

Here at Freedom Bank we want you to be safe this holiday season. We have teamed up with National Cybersecurity to make you more aware of protecting yourself online. Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – has been designed to not only encourage personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, but also promote security best practices, consumer device privacy and e-commerce security.

The 16th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is in full swing! Held every October, NCSAM has been a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about not only the importance of cybersecurity, but also ensure that everyone has access to the appropriate resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

Below are some of the highlighted calls to action and their key messages:

Own IT.

We live in a world in which we are constantly connected, so cybersecurity cannot be limited to the home or office. When you’re traveling, it is always important to practice safe online behavior and take proactive steps to secure your smart devices. With every social media account you sign up for, every picture you post, and status you update, you are sharing information about yourself with the world.

  • Double your login protection: Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you.
  • Update your privacy settings: Set the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Keep tabs on your apps and disable geotagging (which allows anyone to see where you are).
  • Connect only with people you trust: While some social networks might seem safer, always keep your connections to people you know and trust.

Secure IT.

Have you noticed how often security breaches, stolen data, and even identity theft, are front-page headlines nowadays? Cybercriminals attempt to lure users to click on a link or open an attachment that may infect their computers. These emails might also request personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers. When users respond with the information or click on a link, these attackers now possess access to their personal accounts.

  • Avoid using common words in your password: Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A”/
  • Be up to date: Keep your software updated to the latest version available. Turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it!
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications which implore you to act fast. Many phishing emails create urgency, instilling fear that your account or information is in jeopardy.

Protect IT.

Today’s technology allows us to connect around the world through banking, shopping, streaming, and more. This added convenience undoubtedly comes with an increased risk of identity theft and scams. More and more home devices (such as thermostats, door locks, etc.) are now connected. While this may save us time and money, it poses new security risks.

  • Secure your Wi-Fi network: Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices, and you can better secure your Wi-Fi network and devices by changing the factory-set default password and username for each one.
  • Know what to look for:
    • Identity Theft – bills for products or services you did not purchase, suspicious charges on your credit cards, or any changes to your accounts that you did not authorize.
    • Imposter Scams – an imposter may contact you saying they are from a trusted organization informing you that your SSN has been suspended, or your account has been locked, while asking for your sensitive information or payment to fix the issue.
    • Debt Collection Scams – scammers may attempt to collect on a fraudulent debt. Debt collector scammers typically request payment by wire transfers, credit cards, or gift cards.

Visit these sites to learn more:

https://niccs.us-cert.gov/national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2019

https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/about-ncsam/

The information provided in the MS-ISAC Monthly Security Tips Newsletter is intended to increase the security awareness of an organization’s end users and to help them behave in a more secure manner within their work environment. While some of the tips may relate to maintaining a home computer, the increased awareness is intended to help improve the organization’s overall cyber security posture. This is especially critical if employees access their work network from their home computer. Organizations have permission and are encouraged to brand and redistribute this newsletter in whole for educational, non-commercial purposes.
Disclaimer: These links are provided because they have information that may be useful. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in the links and neither endorses nor intends to promote the advertising of the resources listed herein. The opinions and statements contained in such resources are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of CIS.

Freedom Bank Receives “Outstanding” Rating for Community Reinvestment Act Performance

Quote from Don Bennett: We don't view community investment as a regulatory requirement. For us, it is just how we do business.Freedom Bank received the highest possible rating for our performance in the Community Reinvestment Act during the most recent examination by the FDIC. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires federally insured depository institutions to support the borrowing needs of the communities where they do business, including low- and moderate-income areas.

The “Outstanding” rating is based on Freedom Bank’s performance under the lending, investment, and service tests. These tests examine mortgage, small business, and community development lending, community development investments, and community development services in the communities a bank serves.

Freedom Bank was recognized in these key areas:

  • 90.9% of home mortgage loans and small business loans, by number, were made to borrowers located in Flathead County.
  • 82.8% of small business loans were made to businesses with less than $1 million in Gross Annual Revenues, demonstrating Freedom Bank’s commitment to meeting the small business credit needs of Flathead County.
  • Good distribution of lending to customers of different income levels and business customers of different sizes.

“We don’t view community investment as a regulatory requirement,” says Freedom Bank President Don Bennett. “For us, it is just how we do business. Columbia Falls believed in us when we opened our doors as a single-wide trailer in 2005 and we work hard every day to return the favor.”

Just like many of our customers, Freedom Bank is a small business. We consider our small size and local character to be our core strengths. Bennett adds, “Freedom Bank remains committed to the continued vitality and successes of our customers, no matter where they are at in their financial journey.”

If you want the money you deposit at a bank to stay local, you can count on Freedom Bank. Give us a call or stop in today to learn more about what we offer. We want to be your bank!

Montana’s Notary of the Year

Jerry Burley, assistant vice president and loan officer at Freedom Bank on Friday was awarded Notary of the Year by Montana Sec. of State Linda McCulloch.

Burley has been a notary since the early ‘90s, getting his start in banking fresh out of high school.

He grew up in Broadus and, following his love of accounting, took a job bookkeeping at a bank in Ashlan.

The job required him to be a notary, so he became one.

The process as he recalled it was not difficult.

“Back in the day, it was just fill out a form, and the bank paid for the bonding, and I took a training and they sent the certificate,” he said.

Being a notary is fairly simple, he said. Any time a legal document needs notarized, he confirms the ID of the person signing, keeps a log, and adds a stamp to the document confirming he notarized it.

“Jerry Burley epitomizes what it means to be Montana Notary of the Year,” said McCulloch. “He was chosen from a strong field of nominees for demonstrating exceptional services and high standards of practice.”

Montana Notary of the year nominees were evaluated on their longevity, variety of documents notarized, use of notary journal, community service, and exceptional notary service.

McCulloch started the Montana Notary of the Year award in 2009 in an effort recognize the invaluable work done by notaries in Montana.

“Notaries are the first line of defense against many types of fraud as they are responsible for determining the identity of the person who signs a document, swears an oath, or performs any of the other acts that require a notary public. I’m eager to present this award to such a deserving notary public,” McCulloch said.

Burley is involved in the community, which factored in to being named Notary of the Year.

He was a member of the Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, and has served as treasurer of the Gateway to Glacier trail for the past three.

Because he was named Montana Notary of the year, Burley is automatically nominated for the National Notary of the Year award given annually by the National Notary Association.

Burley’s wife, Joanne, their daughter Kristen and granddaughter Avery were all present at the award ceremony at Freedom Bank on Friday.

Although he now works as a lender at Freedom Bank rather than the accounting and bookkeeping that first got him interested, he says that his favorite aspect of being a notary has remained the same.

“I think mainly it’s the people that come through, the conversations I have with them while they sign. It’s just getting to know people,” he saidJERRY SEC DON

Debit Card Shutdown Notice

Freedom Bank received notification that a large credit card processing center that services several businesses in the Flathead Valley was compromised sometime in November 2013. As a result, persons that used their debit or credit cards at these businesses may be exposed to fraudulent activity. In cooperation with law enforcement and other financial institutions in the Flathead Valley, Freedom Bank immediately initiated a debit card shutdown for those cards that may have been exposed to the security breach. This had to be done immediately in order to protect everyone that was exposed.

Please understand that this breach had nothing to do with the bank’s security systems and has impacted every bank in the Flathead Valley and thousands of individuals. Our staff has been working diligently trying to notify our customers, but due to the high volume of cards shut down, we did not have enough staff, or time, to call everyone before the cards were shut down. Shutting the cards down protected both our customers and Freedom Bank. We apologize for any inconvenience. New cards have been ordered and customers should be receiving them within 7-10 business days. Thank you for your understanding.

Please call us at (406) 892-1776 if you have any questions.

Glacier National Park Quarters – Limited Supply Left

The Glacier National Park Quarter was released in 2011 as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.  The quarter depicts Glacier’s prominent glacially carved valleys, Mount Reynolds peak, the iconic mountain goat and sub-alpine conifers.

Freedom Bank still has a limited supply of collectors sets of the Glacier National Park quarter for purchase.  Add to your collection or mark a gift off of your shopping list for that special coin collector in the family by contacting Freedom Bank.

Expiration of Temporary FDIC Insurance Coverage

NOTICE OF EXPIRATION OF THE TEMPORARY FULL FDIC INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR NON-INTEREST BEARING TRANSACTION ACCOUNTS

By operation of federal law, beginning January 1, 2013, funds deposited in a non-interest bearing transaction account (including an Interest on Lawyer Trust Account) no longer will receive unlimited deposit insurance coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Beginning January 1, 2013, all of a depositor’s accounts at an insured depository institution, including all non-interest bearing transaction accounts, will be insured by the FDIC up to the standard maximum deposit insurance amount($250,000), for each deposit insurance ownership category. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage of non-interest bearing transaction accounts, visit http://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/unlimited/expiration.html.

Wondering how much of your money is covered by the FDIC?

You might find yourself wondering just how much of your money is covered by the FDIC since the expiration of the temporary FDIC insurance coverage. The FDIC recently rolled out their Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE), you can find this useful tool at www.fdic.gov/edie/index.html. If you discover that your assets are not fully covered or you would like to more effeciently organize your assets please give Freedom Bank a call at (406)892-1776 and one of our personal bankers will be happy to assist you in your financial planning.

Identity Theft and Compromised Debit Cards

Lost your debit card or think it might be compromised?

If you cannot find your Freedom Bank debit card or think that your debit card information may be compromised immediately contact Freedom Bank at (406) 892-1776 during our normal business hours to speak to a service representative. If you need to report your card outside of business hours please call (800) 472-3272 to have your card disabled and ensure that no unauthorized transactions take place. Failure to report your card lost or stolen in timely manner can result in a loss of funds.

Protect yourself from identity theft

Identity and data theft is a growing cause for concern for the Flathead Valley. For information on how you can protect yourself we recommend that you visit the FDIC website dedicated to educating consumers on how to keep yourself from becoming a victim.

Business Account Restrictions for Unlawful Internet Gambling

In accordance with the requirements of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and Regulation GG, this notification is to inform you that restricted transactions are prohibited from being processed through your account or relationship with our institution. Restricted transactions are transactions in which a person/business accepts credit, funds transfers, checks or other instruments or proceeds from another person/business in connection with unlawful Internet gambling. As a customer of Freedom Bank, these restricted transactions are prohibited from being processed through your account or banking relationship with us. If any part of your business engages in Internet gambling, we will ask that you provide evidence of your legal capacity to do so.