Keeping your data secure and monitoring your credit is important to protecting your information from fraud
Here are five easy ways you can get into the habit of protecting your information both offline and online:
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
- Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.
- Practice safe web browsing and password management. Look for the “https” in the URL to indicate a secure web connection, and use strong and unique passwords online.
- Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
- Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. It's easy, and it's free.
If you think you are dealing with identity theft, visit ftc.gov/idtheft for tips and tools to help.
Members Choice Credit Union provides several data security tools to help you prevent identity theft and fraud:
- The ability to freeze your debit card via card controls in Online and Mobile Banking
- Purchase alerts for your Visa Debit Card
- Touch ID and security questions for Online and Mobile Banking
- Free credit scores and credit score monitoring with SavvyMoney in Online Banking
- Annual “Shred Days” to help you shred sensitive documents securely
FAQs about Cybersecurity
Learn more about phishing, pharming, vishing and smishing below:
What is Phishing?
On the Internet, "phishing" refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information. There are several ways a scam artist will try to obtain sensitive information such as your social security number, driver's license, credit card information, or bank account information. Sometimes a scam artist will first send you a benign email (think of this as the bait) to lure you into a conversation and then follow that up with a phishing email. At other times, the scam artist will just send one phishing email.
Here are some questions to ask if you think you have received a phishing attack:
- Do you know the sender of the email? If yes, still be cautious before clicking a link. If no, do not click any links.
- Are there any attachments in the email? If so, is the attachment an executable (a file with the extension .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .reg, .msi, .pif, .pl, .php)? If so, do not click on the attachment. Even if the file does not contain one of the extensions, be cautious about opening it. Contact the sender to verify its contents.
- Does the email request personal information? If so, do not reply.
- Does the email contain grammatical errors? If so, be suspicious.
- If you have a relationship with the company, are they addressing you by name?
- Have you checked the link? Mouse over the link and check the URL. Does it look legitimate or does it look like it will take you to a different Web site?
What is Pharming?
Pharming is another scam where a hacker installs malicious code on a personal computer or server. This code then redirects clicks you make on a Web site to another fraudulent Web site without your consent or knowledge. To avoid pharming, follow the basic computer safety guidelines in Protect Your Computer. Also, be careful when entering financial information on a Web site. Look for the key or lock symbol at the bottom of the browser. If the Web site looks different than when you last visited, be suspicious and don’t click unless you are absolutely certain the site is safe.
What is Vishing
Unfortunately, phishing emails are not the only way people can try to fool you into providing personal information in an effort to steal your identity or commit fraud. Criminals also use the phone to solicit your personal information. This telephone version of phishing is sometimes Vishing relies on “social engineering” techniques to trick you into providing information that others can use to access and use your important accounts. People can also use this information to pretend to be you and open new lines of credit.
To avoid being fooled by a vishing attempt:
- If you receive an email or phone call asking you to call and you suspect it might be a fraudulent request, look up the organization’s customer service number and call that number rather than the number provided in the solicitation email or phone call.
- Forward the solicitation email to the customer service or security email address of the organization, asking whether the email is legitimate.
What is Smishing?
Just like phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to lure consumers in. Often the text will contain or phone number. The phone number often has an automated voice response system. And again just like phishing, the smishing message usually asks for your immediate attention.
In many cases, the smishing message will come from a "5000" number instead of displaying an actual phone number. This usually indicates the SMS message was sent via email to the cell phone, and not sent from another cell phone. Do not respond to messages.