There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times a day. In the United States, every 3 seconds someone becomes a victim of identity fraud. Stay safe and make sure you don’t become a victim.
Here are some tips to stay safe online:
Monitor Your Accounts Regularly
Check your accounts regularly to make sure all transactions posted are ones you authorized. Report any fraudulent or suspicious activity to Altura Credit Union. Get into the habit of monitoring your accounts every few days and always after you’ve done any type of online shopping. You will want to make sure your account was charged appropriately and that your account number isn’t being used for other purchases you didn’t make.
Don’t Fall for Phishing Emails
Phishing emails redirect the recipient to a malicious website or fraudulent websites, and some are designed to collect your username, password and other personal information. Don’t be afraid to call our call center to verify whether they sent you an email or if they need to get in touch with you. Never respond to emails that ask to verify your identity by providing your username or password. Altura Credit Union will never ask for this information via email, nor text. Also, avoid clicking on links in suspicious emails or downloading suspicious attachments.
Here are some tips on how to identify a phishing email:
- Don’t believe everything you see. Just because an email has a convincing email address does not mean it’s legitimate. If you received an email and you do not recognize the sender’s email address, be suspicious! Don’t always trust the display name or email.
- The message contains a mismatched URL. Hover your mouse over the top URL and you should see the actual hyperlinked address. If the hyperlinked address is different from the address that is displayed, the message is probably fraudulent or malicious. In this case the address does not match the hyperlink.
- The message asks for personal information, like your username and password or any other personal information.
- Never enter credentials to unknown sites.
- Look for poor spelling and grammar. This is a common red flag.
- Look, but don’t click. Viruses can be automatically delivered from malicious websites. Be wary of external links you don’t recognize.
- Don’t click on attachments in suspicious emails, as they can contain viruses and malware. Unless you 100% trust the sender, don’t click.
- Last but not least, always follow your gut feeling. Follow your intuition. If it doesn’t look or feel right, don’t take any chances.
Use Secure Websites or Apps
This sounds obvious, but don’t log into your accounts through links that are sent to you by an email address or on a website or app that you don’t recognize. When using free or public WiFi, try to use a private network and go to a secure site that begins with “https://”.
Check for Encryption
Protect your privacy when you’re logging into sites. Look for “https://” and not just “http://” at the start of a merchant’s web address. For example, Altura Credit Union’s website is “https://www.alturacu.com”. Most browsers will also show a padlock graphic and/or the address box will turn green when the site is secure. Both the icon and the URL indicate you are accessing your account over an encrypted connection.
Use Passwords and Change Them Regularly
Password protecting your devices can help prevent access to your information in the device. Don’t use easily identifiable passwords, like your birthday, and never save passwords on your phone.
- Avoid using the same password across multiple sites and make sure you are choosing a strong password that is a minimum length of 12 characters.
- Avoid using any words or phrases that contain your name, initials or birth date. Also get into the habit of changing them periodically.
- Use multi-factor authentication when possible. This extra layer of security can make the online banking process that much safer.
Avoid Using Unsecured Wireless Connections
Don’t use unsecured WiFi at a coffee shop, library, airport, hotel, etc. to transmit personal or financial information. You should access these accounts when you’re certain you have a secure connection. Unsecured wireless access points are easy to intercept and someone could easily collect the information you’re using to log in. When possible, use a VPN connection.
Protect Your Computer(s) and Use Anti-Virus
- Make sure your devices are running an up to date anti-virus protection software. Antivirus protection scans your files and programs for viruses. Run anti-virus scans regularly.
- Make sure your firewall is turned on. A firewall is a barrier or shield that is intended to protect your PC, tablet, or phone from the data-based malware dangers that exist on the Internet.
Update Your Devices
Updates are needed because they ensure that your devices aren’t hijacked by hackers using undiscovered vulnerabilities or unanticipated exploits. Make sure you’re keeping your devices up-to-date. Some of the leading viruses only work on outdated systems, so your devices may be more vulnerable to an attack unless you continually update them.
Remove Sensitive Information from Your Old Devices
If you get a new mobile device, computer, etc., be sure to delete your data and information from the old phone. You may have left personal information, passwords or other clues that could help someone commit fraud.
Share Less Sensitive Information
Watch what you’re sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a shocking amount of information—where you go to school, where you work, when you’re on vacation—that could help them gain access to your money and personal information.