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CFCCU Blog

Online Security Tips

fraud alertBeing a victim of fraud or having your identity stolen are two of the worst things that can happen. Not only do you have something stolen from you, but you have to spend your time, money and effort to get back to where you were.

Use the security tips below to protect yourself and your family when you are online at home or on a mobile device while you’re on the go.

First Tip - Add the Shazam Fraud Phone Number to your contact list so that if they call you can recognize them as "the good guys".  Name:  Shazam Fraud, Phone Number: 866-508-2693

Online Security Tips

  • Ensure your wireless internet router is secured with a strong password.
  • Keep firewalls and security systems on your personal computer updated.
  • Use only the latest operating systems on your mobile devices to ensure security systems are patched.
  • Be wary of using public Wi-Fi on a laptop or mobile device; do not make purchases when connected to public Wi-Fi.
  • Before making purchases online, ensure the URL starts with “https” and there is a padlock icon in the address bar. This indicates information you provide is encrypted.
  • If your browser notifies you that a site is not secure, hit the “back” button.
  • When opening emails, open only those from senders you recognize.
  • Do not click on links in emails from people you do not know or did not initiate a conversation with.
  • Watch out for misspellings, grammar issues or phrases like “we need you to confirm your membership with us” in emails, as these are good clues the email is a phishing attempt.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you provide to social networks.
  • Do not use the same password for all logins, and rotate your passwords regularly.

Prevent a Phishing Attempt

Please remember that CFCCU will NEVER ask for your personal information via a phone call, email, or text message. The steps you should follow when you receive this type of message or phone call are to ignore it, delete it, and phone us to report it. DO NOT follow the instructions given – when in doubt, phone the credit union.

Criminals will craft their false messages with a sense of urgency to make you think you need to follow the instructions they give you quickly, before you have a chance to think about it. For instance, “Your Cedar Falls Community Credit Union account has been shut down.” Or “CFCCU has deactivated your Credit Card. Phone XXX-XXX-XXXX to reactivate immediately.” Beware of these types of messages! Fraud attempts are occurring on a regular basis using a variety of names - we want to help you avoid becoming a victim.

Protecting Your Credit Report, Credit and Debit Cards

  • Minimize the number of credit and debit cards you use, and carry only one or two at a time.
  • Cancel any unused accounts. They provide additional targets for identity thieves. However, be aware that canceling credit cards may affect your credit score adversely.
  • If you expect a new or reissued credit or debit card in the mail and it doesn't show up on time, contact the issuer immediately.
  • Check your credit reports at least twice a year. Ask for the 3-in-1 merged credit report with a summary from all three credit bureaus. Under the federal FACT Act, consumers are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the major agencies. 
  • Each month carefully review your financial statements, bank statements and phone bills- both land lines and cell phones- for unauthorized use.
  • Keep a list of your credit cards, bank accounts and investment accounts in a secure place. Include account numbers and phone numbers for customer service and fraud departments, so you can contact them quickly if cards are stolen or accounts are being fraudulently used.
  • Check your Social Security Earnings Statement each year for signs of fraud. You should receive it annually and it typically arrives three months prior to your birthday.

ID THEFT PROTECTION

Steps to protect your personal information:

  1. When logging on to CFCCU's Website, look closely at the site's URL to make sure it matches the credit union's name and actual web address. (www.cfccu.org)
  2. Log on to Online Banking only from a secure computer. Never log on from a public computer in a hotel or restaurant, and be careful when logging on to unknown networks with a laptop.
  3. If you get a warning e-mail, call the credit union -- don't click on any provided links.
  4. If your computer is acting strangely -- for instance, reacting slowly or getting pop-ups -- avoid using it for online banking until you can get it checked out.
  5. Keep anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date on your computer.
  6. Install and maintain a firewall.
  7. Never respond to any e-mail that requests personal information.
  8. Be leery of fly-by-night, Internet-only banks with high interest rates on savings or checking accounts. Make sure the bank is FDIC-certified and is insured.
  9. And, most importantly, use a different user name and password for each of the websites you access. Your passwords should be complex, with numbers and symbols, and changed regularly.

 

bad checkIf you receive an email about buying something you're selling, or a parttime job offer as a "Secret Shopper", or a long-lost relative wants to send you money and then they send a  check in the mail - be suspicious - the check is probably bad.  If you put the check into your account, take money out and the check is returned, you are liable for the money you took out.  If the credit union suspects it might be a fraudulent check they will let you know and place a hold on the funds until the check clears.  This protects you!

It's a shame that today we must be ever vigilant against people who are not only trying to steal our money, but our identity as well.  NEVER share your account information, passwords with anyone!!

Remeber the First Tip - Add the Shazam Fraud Phone Number to your contact list so that if they call you can recognize them as "the good guys".  Name:  Shazam Fraud, Phone Number: 866-508-2693.  You should do that now while you're thinking about it.

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