Local banks use new domain to enhance web security

SYLVANIA (13abc Action News) - Some local banks are taking a new step to keep your information safe. Get ready for the phrase “dot-bank".

It's a subtle change but it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
At Farmers and Merchants bank locations throughout Northwest Ohio and into Indiana it's time to say goodbye to “dot com” and hello to “dot bank”.

"We just felt like adding another layer of security into what we already have would be better for the customers,” said Marty Filogamo with Farmers and Merchants State bank.

Bank leaders signed onto a program with the American Bankers Association. It allows banks to apply and be vetted for a “dot bank” web domain. The reason is simple.

"When you have a “dot com”, anyone can create a “dot com” and the bad guys are doing a really good job of creating those spoofs," said Filagamo.

So you might get an email sending you to a “dot com” website but it could be a thief pretending to be a real bank. Now with “dot bank”, they are verified banks.

"Keeping our customers information secure is probably the number one priority we have with the bank," said Filagamo.

With all the identity and bank account breaches we hear about every day, “dot bank” is a way for people to weed through the clutter and protect their accounts.

"They've given us their information, their deposits and it’s just our responsibility to take care of those," said Filagamo.

Crooks are very sneaky when using these "dot coms." For example it might look like your bank name with the "dot com" but the letter "O" is really a zero. You click on the bogus link and could be handing over your information to a crook.