Tips to help keep your personal information safe
Cyber criminals are always busy – last year, online consumer data at large retailers like Target and Home Depot was compromised. And most recently, Wendy’s fell prey to their relentless efforts. The good news is that you can fight back – these tips will arm you with the tools to help keep your personal online data safe.
1. Check account statements
Only you know where you’ve been spending your money, so be sure to check your balance on a regular basis.
2. Check your credit report
Get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company at AnnualCreditReport.com
3. Enroll in Fraud Text Alerts
You’ll be alerted via text if there is suspicious activity on any enrolled card. A reply that the transaction is valid avoids a block placed on the card until we hear from you. Enroll through Online Banking at PremierAmerica.com
4. Think before opening attachments
Some of the most destructive viruses are spread via attachments. Only open attachments you are expecting or have verified. Hover over the From email address to verify the legitimacy of the sender.
Premier America Credit Union will never send an unsolicited email that requires members to provide personal or account information.
5. Use a strong password
Choose strong passwords with at least eight characters, a mixture of upper and lower case, with letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using names, interests or anything easy to guess.
If you are asked to enter any personal data, take a look at the site’s policy. If you do not trust the site, do not enter any details.
7. Don’t share your PIN
Your credit union or bank will never ask for your PIN code – over the phone, via email or on the website.
8. Try not to keep financial information on your laptop
Laptops are much more likely to be stolen than desktops, so be aware. It’s also important to ensure that your computer is password protected in case it is lost.
9. Use encrypted sites where possible
If the URL is preceded by ‘https’ or you see a padlock symbol, these are indications the site has been independently verified as secure.
10. Check for company email addresses
If you receive an email from your credit union, bank, or any other company, asking for personal information, do not reply. If you need to send an email, check the official website for the address and type it in yourself.
11. Do not send or receive money on behalf of others
If you receive an unsolicited email asking to transfer money into your account, this money is likely stolen from another bank account or doesn’t exist. If you comply you are not only aiding criminals, but you’ve also given away access to your account.
12. Properly destroy financial data when throwing it away
Always shred statements, expired cards, passwords, and any confidential personal information.