We will be closed on Saturday, September 3 and Monday, September 5 in observance of Labor Day. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend.
Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, has announced a Foundation award of $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of MetroWest as operating support for the Framingham Pearl Street Clubhouse. The Clubhouse has over 900 registered members and serves an average of 260 children each day, with emphasis on those from low- to medium-income circumstances.
The Foundation has consistently supported the Boys & Girls Clubs after-school and summer programs and services in Framingham over the past several years.
“We are proud to help provide a safe and supervised environment where the youth of our community can cultivate the skills, confidence, and competence to reach their full potential,” said Lamprey. “We believe it is money well spent.”
Everywhere you look, people are using smartphones and tablets as portable, hand-held computers. “Unfortunately, cybercriminals are also interested in using or accessing these devices to steal information or commit other crimes,” said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC’s Cyber Fraud and Financial Crimes Section. “That makes it essential for users of mobile devices to take measures to secure them, just as they would a desktop computer.”
Here are some basic steps you can take to secure your mobile devices.
Avoid apps that may contain malware. Buy or download from well-known app stores, such as those established by your phone manufacturer or cellular service provider. Consult your financial institution’s website to confirm where to download its official app for mobile banking.
Keep your device’s operating system and apps updated. Consider opting for automatic updates because doing so will ensure that you have the latest fixes for any security weaknesses the manufacturer discovers. “Cybercriminals try to take advantage of known flaws, so keeping your software up to date will help reduce your vulnerability to foul play,” said Robert Brown, a senior ombudsman specialist at the FDIC.
Consider using mobile security software and apps to protect your device. For example, anti-malware software for smartphones and tablets can be purchased from a reputable vendor.
Use a password or other security feature to restrict access in case your device is lost or stolen. Activate the “time out” or “auto lock” feature that secures your mobile device when it is left unused for a certain number of minutes. Set that security feature to start after a relatively brief period of inactivity. Doing so reduces the likelihood that a thief will be able to use your phone or tablet.
Back up data on your smartphone or tablet. This is good to do in case your device is lost, stolen or just stops working one day. Data can easily be backed up to a computer or to a back-up service, which may be offered by your mobile carrier.
Have the ability to remotely remove data from your device if it is lost or stolen. A “remote wipe” protects data from prying eyes. If the device has been backed up, the information can be restored on a replacement device or the original (if you get it back). A number of reputable apps can enable remote wiping.
To learn more about safely using smartphones and tablets, see the Federal Trade Commission’s Computer Security Web page.
A recent $8,400 grant from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation is helping the Framingham Police Department put three “Safety Ambassador” interns to work in the community this summer. Announcement of the award was made today by Steven M. Sousa, MutualOne Bank executive vice president and chief operating officer and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee.
According to Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson, the interns will provide the department with “insight and support to improve the efficiency of crime reporting” in the downtown area. They will also provide a variety of services to improve the downtown atmosphere, including reporting on problem areas, connecting with the homeless, and serving as an additional public safety resource at sponsored events. The program was designed with support from Framingham Downtown Renaissance, Ferguson said, with the focus on a safe and healthy downtown community.
“We are pleased to provide the Framingham Police Department with the financial support they need to put this intern program in place,” said Sousa. “It is another approach to community outreach and will help support the move toward downtown revitalization and development.”
Congratulations to Donna Sahely, senior operations specialist, and Glaiz Herdman, senior account representative in Client Services, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.
Donna was selected for her contributions to the Bank’s recent introduction of Debit EMV chip cards. Glaiz was recognized for developing internal training sessions to support the Bank’s electronic delivery systems.
Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank, has announced the promotion of Jean M. Hoskins to the position of branch manager of the Bank’s One Lincoln Street office in Framingham.
Hoskins joined MutualOne Bank in January of this year as a senior personal banker. Her previous experience includes positions as store supervisor and customer service representative with TD Bank. Earlier in her career, she was an associate retail marketing manager and co-op manager with The Rockport Company.
She is a graduate of South Panola High School in Batesville, MS, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Jackson (MS) State University.
A Framingham resident, Hoskins is a volunteer with the Pearl Street Cafe and a deacon at the Greater Framingham Community Church (GFCC). She also works with GFCC youth and is involved with mission and outreach work supporting various initiatives in both the MetroWest and international communities.
“Jean’s banking and management background and her dedication to others through her volunteer service work make her a perfect choice as a MutualOne branch manager,” said Haranas. “She shares our commitment to the individual and to the community.”
Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee, announced today that the Foundation has awarded $3,000 to Parents Association of the Handicapped (PATH), the Natick Recreation and Parks Department, and Camp Arrowhead to provide camperships for families requiring financial assistance.
Located in Natick on the shore of Lake Cochituate, Camp Arrowhead serves local children and adults with a variety of special needs through a six-week summer social and physical recreation day camp and a one-week residential camp in New Hampshire.
“The Foundation is pleased to offer its support to the professionals and trained volunteers who have kept this program up and running successfully for more than 55 years for the benefit of so many families and individuals in our community,” said Haranas.
Congratulations to Raymond Bradford, personal banker at our Concord Street, Framingham office, and Jennifer Figueroa, loan processor in our residential lending department, on their selection as this month’s Employees of the Month.
Raymond was selected for his initiatives in expanding customer relationships. Jennifer was recognized for the exceptional service she provides loan applicants.
Chairman Robert P. Lamprey of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation announced today that a recent $1,500 Foundation donation will cover the purchase of five cases of brand name headphones for use by fifth grade students at the Mary E. Stapleton School in Framingham. The goal, Lamprey said, is to reduce noise distraction in classrooms where students are engaged in individual digital learning activities on devices such as Chromebooks and iPads.
According to special education teacher Debbie Price who sought the Foundation grant, there were more classroom electronic devices available to students than there were headphones, resulting in noise distractions that could compromise the learning experience.
Youngsters living at the Framingham Housing Authority’s Musterfield Place family residences will have more to do this summer, thanks to a recent $10,000 grant from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation.
The Foundation award will help fund the salaries of a summer staff for the on-site recreation and outdoor play camp program that was started by the Housing Authority five years ago.
According to Stephen G. Keane, executive director of the Framingham Housing Authority, last year’s program for the Musterfield community was supported by a grant from the Attorney General’s office. There is no open grant opportunity from the state this year, he said.
“The program provides supervised outdoor recreation opportunity for youngsters who might otherwise be glued to a computer or television screen all day,” said Mark R. Haranas, president and CEO of MutualOne Bank and a MutualOne Charitable Foundation trustee. “The Musterfield recreation program is a viable and valuable alternative to screen time. We’re pleased to help guarantee that it will be available to the residents and their families again this year.”