$2.5K grant from MutualOne Foundation will fund lending library at Stapleton Elementary School

MF59581The MutualOne Charitable Foundation has awarded $2,500 to the Stapleton Elementary School in Framingham to establish a lending library for students. The grant was announced today by Steven M. Sousa, executive vice president and chief operating officer of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee.

The request for funds to establish a student library was made by Stapleton staff members Debbie Price, resource support teacher, and Michele Biasella, literacy coach, who expressed a dire need for students to continue the reading skills they learn at school when they get home.

Stapleton School has a diverse student population including English Language Learners and special education students in its 21 classrooms.

“In order to grow in reading, our students need to read outside of school and not just in the classroom. Unfortunately, many of our students do not have access to texts at their level at home,” said the request for book sets and organizational supplies to create the new lending library.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the comments by the Stapleton staff that books are an important part of education, and that the more exposure children have to quality literature, the richer their lives will be,” said Sousa. “The MutualOne Foundation is proud to fund the new Stapleton Elementary School lending library.”

 

Ugly Sweaters & Toys for Tots

Our team was looking good as they sported their ugly sweaters, and counted up the toys collected for Toys for Tots. Thank you to everyone who made a contribution!

Choosing a Banking Relationship with Great Care

Carlyle House

Dennis Morgan, Administrator of Carlyle House

It’s long been said that quality healthcare is about “delivering just the right services at the right time in the right place.” It’s something that Dennis Morgan, a successful entrepreneur and Administrator of Carlyle House, a 55-bed skilled nursing facility in Framingham, knows very well. But Morgan also believes that this same standard of care applies not just to healthcare companies, but also to business banking relationships.

“I’ve had several careers and spent the last 20 years in healthcare, so I’ve been around a lot. The one thing I’ve learned is that a good bank is critical to your success. Our most recent expansion is proof. We wanted to expand Carlyle House and needed a bank that understood our industry, what we were trying to accomplish, and was willing to take a chance on us.”

Fortunately, Dennis didn’t have to go far to find that bank. “We knew we could count on MutualOne. We’ve been banking with them for more than 20 years and they have always had the willingness and desire to understand our needs.”

Over the years, MutualOne has also been there to accommodate Morgan’s other plans for growth and expansion. “In addition to Carlyle House, I own a rehabilitation facility and a hospice business. As we started to grow and gain more contracts, I worried that MutualOne would be too small to handle our needs, but they’ve been so nimble and willing to adapt to our changing needs. You just don’t find the expertise, accessibility, and support they provide at bigger or even smaller banks.”

Looking for a business bank that can provide exceptional care to your business? Call David Flynn at 508.532.8351 today. To learn more about Carlyle House, visit CarlyleHouse.biz.

Employees of the month

Congratulations to Donna Gogliormella, Senior Personal Banker, and Marie Harrington, Senior Operations Specialist, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.

Donna was recognized for her willingness to accept additional responsibilities, while continuing to provide great customer service. Marie was selected for her smooth transition to operations and the ability to learn additional functions.

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Donna Gogliormella (left) and Marie Harrington

MutualOne Bank partners with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation

On Friday, November 18th the MutualOne Bank Activities Committee partnered with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation to help sell 50/50 raffle tickets at TD Garden. Our volunteers rooted on the Celtics while raising funds to help support children in need throughout the Greater Boston Area.

Employees of the Month

Congratulations to Chima Eugene, personal banker, and Katrin (Kathy) Yousefi, loan servicing representative, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.

Chima was selected for her excellence interacting with customers and understanding their needs. Kathy was recognized for expanding her responsibilities, while improving the turnaround time to deliver critical customer information.

Chima Eugene and Katrin (Kathy) Yousefi

Chima Eugene (left) and Katrin (Kathy) Yousefi

MutualOne Bank Sponsors Keep the Promise Food Tasting

MutualOne Bank was a Gourmand Sponsor of the 3rd annual Keep the Promise food tasting on November 5th. Our employees Kim Cohen, Vice President and Assistant Controller and Yves Munyankindi, Retail Support Administrator had a great time representing the Bank and tasting all of the delicious treats from 15 local restaurants. Proceeds from the event went towards feeding and sheltering homeless families.

 

MutualOne Feasts at Fresh Taste

MutualOne Bank was proud to support and attend The Natick Visiting Nurses Association’s (VNA) 10th annual Fresh Taste. The event featured MetroWest’s top chefs, who made delicious creations out of their locally sourced ingredients and an auction that boasted great prizes.

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MutualOne employees from left to right: Greg Kennedy Vice President Retail; Yves Munyankindi, Retail Support Administrator; Mobolaji Omisore, Branch Manager-Natick Branch; Jean Hoskins, Branch Manager-Lincoln Street Branch Framingham; Dominique Tock, Senior Personal Banker; Jordan Concannon, Service Representative.

Securing Your Wireless Network

PadlockReprinted from the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Website

Understand How a Wireless Network Works

Going wireless generally requires connecting an Internet “access point” – like a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router, which sends a signal through the air, sometimes as far as several hundred feet. Any device within range can pull the signal from the air and access the Internet.

Unless you take certain precautions, anyone nearby can use your network. That means your neighbors – or any hacker nearby – could “piggyback” on your network or access information on your device. If an unauthorized person uses your network to commit crime or send spam, the activity could be traced back to your account.

Use Encryption on Your Wireless Network

Once you go wireless, you should encrypt the information you send over your wireless network, so that nearby attackers can’t eavesdrop on these communications. Encryption scrambles the information you send into a code so that it’s not accessible to others. Using encryption is the most effective way to secure your network from intruders.

Two main types of encryption are available for this purpose: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Your computer, router, and other equipment must use the same encryption. WPA2 is strongest; use it if you have a choice. It should protect you against most hackers. Some older routers use only WEP encryption, which likely won’t protect you from some common hacking programs. Consider buying a new router with WPA2 capability.

Wireless routers often come with the encryption feature turned off. You must turn it on. The directions that come with your router should explain how. If they don’t, check the company’s website.

Limit Access to Your Network

Allow only specific devices to access your wireless network. Every device that is able to communicate with a network is assigned a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. Wireless routers usually have a mechanism to allow only devices with particular MAC addresses to access to the network. Some hackers have mimicked MAC addresses, so don’t rely on this step alone.

Secure Your Router

It’s also important to protect your network from attacks over the Internet by keeping your router secure. Your router directs traffic between your local network and the Internet. So, it’s your first line of defense for guarding against such attacks. If you don’t take steps to secure your router, strangers could gain access to sensitive personal or financial information on your device. Strangers also could seize control of your router, to direct you to fraudulent websites.

Change the name of your router from the default. The name of your router (often called the service set identifier or SSID) is likely to be a standard, default ID assigned by the manufacturer. Change the name to something unique that only you know.

Change your router’s pre-set password(s). The manufacturer of your wireless router probably assigned it a standard default password that allows you to set up and operate the router, as its “administrator.” Hackers know these default passwords, so change it to something only you know.  The same goes for any default “user” passwords. Use long and complex passwords – think at least 12 characters, with a mix of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Visit the company’s website to learn how to change the password.

Turn off any “Remote Management” features. Some routers offer an option to allow remote access to your router’s controls, such as to enable the manufacturer to provide technical support.  Never leave this feature enabled. Hackers can use them to get into your home network.

Log out as Administrator: Once you’ve set up your router, log out as administrator, to lessen the risk that someone can piggyback on your session to gain control of your device.

Keep your router up-to-date: To be secure and effective, the software that comes with your router needs occasional updates. Before you set up a new router and periodically thereafter, visit the manufacturer’s website to see if there’s a new version of the software available for download. To make sure you hear about the latest version, register your router with the manufacturer and sign up to get updates.

Protect Your Network during Mobile Access

Apps now allow you to access your home network from a mobile device. Before you do, be sure that some security features are in place.

Use a strong password on any app that accesses your network. Log out of the app when you’re not using it.  That way, no one else can access the app if your phone is lost or stolen.

Password protect your phone or other mobile device. Even if your app has a strong password, it’s best to protect your device with one, too.

To learn more about how to secure your wireless network, visit ftc.com.