Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clues from Cash

 Kevin Mitnick’s 10 Rules for Stronger Passwords
Always use strong passwords on the internet. A strong password is one that is hard for someone else to guess.

1. Don’t tell your passwords to anyone, even tech support people who may ask you for them. Nobody should ask for your password, and you should never give your password to anyone.

2. Don’t use simple dictionary words or pets’ or people’s names for your password. And avoid things like your zip code or key dates like a birthday or an anniversary.

3. Use passwords that are at least 12 characters long; however, those are still easy to crack if an attacker gets into your network. If you want to be super safe, use 20 characters. And don’t write them down where they can be easily found.

4. It’s actually easier and more secure to create a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a few nonsense words like $3 for the pirate hat or Betty was smoking tires and playing tuna fish.

5. Use a different password for each website. And don’t use simple patterns like password1, password2, password3 for different sites—those are too easy to guess.

6. Change your passwords for sensitive websites, like online banking, every 60-90 days, and, like Rule 5, do not use easy-to-guess patterns when you change them.

7. If you think your password may have been compromised, change it immediately and check your other websites for any signs of misuse, starting with your online banking site!

8. Sometimes websites ask you to enter the answer for a security question that you can use if you forget your password. Make sure that your answer to that security question is just as hard to guess as your password. This answer should not be used anywhere else.

9. Use extra security features, such as stronger forms of authentication, everywhere you can. For example, a site may offer an option to use Google Authenticator, which is an app that generates a new six-digit number every minute as a "second password." That is a good security feature, so use it! Sites also sometimes offer to send you a code via a text message. To log in to your account, you need both your password and the code. That’s less secure than the Google Authenticator app on your phone but better than nothing.

10. Use the password procedures that your organization requires you to use, and consider using a password manager at home. These products make it much easier to have strong, unique passwords on all of your accounts. There are also online password generators that create hard-to-guess passwords—for example,

This guideline on creating strong passwords is just a small section of the Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training. For more information and to train all employees, please visit


Monday, February 12, 2018

Cozumel 2018

My husband and I recently took a trip to Cozumel.   We have been to Cozumel a few times, but never stayed there.  Our friends have stayed at the Melia in Cozumel a few times and invited us to tag along this year.  We ended up with a group of fifteen, six of whom we had never met before.  We met at the airport in Cedar Rapids, checked our bags and boarded the plane to Atlanta.  Our flights to Atlanta and Cozumel were smooth and right on time.  A few of us got searched in Customs just as a standard check and off to the resort we went.
We got checked in to our beautiful ocean view suite and hit the beach by 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  It was 70 degrees, partly cloudy and a little windy but better than Iowa.  We grabbed a drink and strolled the beach.  There’s just something about sand under your feet and the sound of waves that makes everything great.  The only thing better is if the sun were shining bright. 
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will give you the highlights.  We ate fresh lobster tails and jumbo shrimp twice at the Lobster House.  It was within walking distance of the resort. Delicious!  We rented a 15-passenger van and cruised the island.  We shopped the markets down town and toured the Agave (Tequila) plantation.  The picture shows the agave plants.  It was very interesting and the samples were good too.   It takes almost 8 years for agave to mature to be harvested.  Then 1 to 3 years for aging to make tequila. 
 We were only there for four days, so the last two days were beach days.  We did a lot of relaxing.  What a great group of people to travel with.  A good time had by all.  Many people are scared to go to Mexico, but we have been several times and had great experiences.  It’s a great place to relax, a slower pace atmosphere.  We will be visiting again, probably next year.

By: Robyn Nolting

Friday, February 2, 2018


            Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was truly passionate about the topic at hand? Could you feel the emotion they were expressing? One of my favorite things is to talk with someone who is truly passionate about the topic, whatever it may be.
Passion is something that you don’t see from everyone. Many people get up, go to work, go home, make dinner & go to bed only to get up and do it again until what…the weekend? Time to retire? Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion. It can be found in serious matters, such as politics and religion. Or in exciting matters, like a new business idea or your favorite sports team.
A passion for baseball and the CHICAGO CUBS fills my house all throughout the season, but October 2016 was an especially exciting time! For the first time in 108 years they won the World Series!! We were absolutely thrilled! I thought I might get to see that passion again this coming weekend, as my husband has been a Vikings football fan his whole life. The excitement that filled him during the divisional playoffs in the last seconds when the “Minneapolis Miracle” clinched the game was unbelievable! He jumped, yelled & danced around our house. I, a long time Cowboys fan, couldn’t be happier to see him so excited. Unfortunately, their loss the following week means no Super Bowl and a very sad husband. Even though they won’t be playing we will still watch, cheer on the Eagles and hopefully see some great commercials!
All this being said…I hope you find passion in whatever you do! 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Maybe you Can Teach an old Dog Some New Tricks

I decided to test this theory by enrolling in piano lessons. No, I didn’t enroll my dog in piano lessons (I don’t have a dog). The “old dog” being referenced is myself and the “new trick” I’m being taught is how to play piano.
I love music and have always had a desire to play, but never pursued it. I’m not sure what I was waiting for the past 40+ years? Perhaps my mind sublimely knew getting 10 fingers to play 88 keys was not going to be easy. Add a smidge of procrastination, the fact nothing comes natural for me (no hidden talent just waiting to be unleashed), and the result is years of delay.
After coming to the realization that I wasn’t going to wake-up from some dream as a concert pianist, I decided to enroll in lessons. As I write this blog, I have 2 lessons under my belt and here is what I’ve learned:
  1. Flash cards are not just for kids.  Yes, this adult is learning her piano notes with flash cards.  It seemed silly at first, but I learned quick they work.
  2. Memory Game (you know the fun game you played as a kid) has taken on a new meaning.  Instead of memorizing and matching the location of a pair of cards with teddy bears on them, I’m memorizing notes on a music scale and matching them to their correlating piano key.  When I get a match, it is pure excitement (just like matching the teddy bears as a kid)!  
  3. Kids coming in for lessons are not sure what to think or say when they see an adult in the lesson waiting room with piano book in hand.  Perhaps I’m encouraging them to stay with it, so they are not the adult in the waiting room in 30 years.  Glad I can help motivate!J
  4. Nursery Rhymes are not just for toddlers!  Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – they are all I can play for now but I’m proud of it.  If my husband starts asking me to play rhymes to put him to sleep at night, then we may have a problem.
On a serious note, there is zero regret on my decision to pursue lessons and I’ve already put together a list of “goal songs” I can’t wait to learn to play.  It may take me a couple years to get there, but they are goals none-the-less.
So, if you are reading this and have something you’ve always wanted to do or learn, ask yourself “What am I waiting for”?   Life is short – pursue your passions and have some fun along the way. 
By: Tonya Gross

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy (Semi-)Retirement Cathy!

I will be retiring from my full-time position at LSB the end of this year. I have worked in several different positions, first as a teller, then loan clerk, and finally as executive assistant. All of it has been so enjoyable, so making the decision to retire has been very difficult for me. My husband has been asking when I was going to retire since I turned 65, but I haven’t been able to make up my mind. I have enjoyed my work at LSB and my co-workers so much, the idea of leaving all that behind just didn’t feel right. 

When struggling with a decision, they say to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle and put the pros on one side and the cons on the other. I decided to give it a try. On the pro side, I listed the things I would like to do in my retirement. I guess you could call it my bucket list. On the other side, I listed the things I would miss by not working. I will have to admit the pro side was much longer, but I still wasn’t convinced I wanted to leave work behind. I thought maybe a part time position could be the answer to my dilemma. Lucky for me, that was an option and I will continue to work at the Bank in a part time position. So now I feel I have the best of both worlds. I will have more time to start working on my bucket list, and still be part of the LSB family. Yea! I have had so much fun working at the Bank, learned so much, and grown so much as an individual. I don’t seem to be able to find the right words to properly express my gratitude. Nothing seems adequate. So, for now, I will have to settle for just saying…. Thank you so much for everything!

Cathy (CP)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Social Engineering Red Flags #​5: ​Email Body
The prevalence of phishing scams is at an all-time high. Because you are the key to preventing a cyberattack within your organization, it is important to question the legitimacy of every email you receive. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself ​about the content and body of the email ​that may help you realize that you are being phished.

​​Review the content of the email.
  • ​​Is the sender asking me to click on a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence, or to gain something of value?
  • Is the email out of the ordinary, or does it have bad grammar or spelling errors?
  • Is the sender asking me to click a link or open up an attachment that seems odd or illogical?
  • Do I have an uncomfortable gut feeling about the sender’s request to open an attachment or click a link?
  • Is the email asking me to look at a compromising or embarrassing picture of myself or someone I know?
If you notice anything about the email that alarms you, do not click links, open attachments, or reply. You are the last line of defense to prevent cyber criminals from succeeding and making you or your company susceptible to phishing attacks.

Stop Look Think - before you click.​
The KnowBe4 Security Team

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First Time Homeowners

This fall my wife Emilee and I became homeowners for the very first time. We have been renting for the past year and a half from my mom’s family. We are very appreciative that they have let us rent my great-grandparents old farm house. It has been a great first place but we have been looking for a place of our own for a while now. We noticed our new house go up for sale late one Thursday night so we emailed the realtor to schedule to go look at it. We got a call back within five minutes to schedule a time to go see it. Little did we know it was going to be one of the fastest few days of our lives. We went and looked at the house on Sunday evening put our offer in Monday morning and had an accepted offer on Monday night. We were forced to move so quickly on this house because it had been shown four times since being listed and there were three offers on the table by Monday morning. The process of submitting an offer and then getting an accepted offer back went way faster than I was expecting it to.  Our new home sits on four acres just outside of Batavia. This is a great location since it sits between Emilee and I’s work. We should be closing on the house in the next two weeks and we are excited to be able to get into our new home before Christmas (Which is good because I already bought a Christmas tree that is too big to fit in our current house.). As we wait for the closing we have started to pack for the move. Emilee has brought more boxes home than we have things to put in them. Needless to say, she is very excited to move in to our new house. Once in there is not a lot of work we will have to do besides painting a few rooms.  We are very grateful for all the help we have received throughout this entire process and we are looking forward to moving to our new home soon.
By: Miles Gaston