Tips for Reducing Risk

Tips to Reduce the Risk in Internet Banking
·         Block cookies on your Web Browser – When you surf, hundreds of data points are being collected by the sites you visit. This data gets mashed together to form an integral part of your “digital profile,” which is then sold without your consent to companies around the world. By blocking cookies, you will prevent some of the data collection about you. Yes, you will have to enter passwords more often, but it is a smarter way to surf.
·         Do not put your full birth date on your social-networking profiles – Identity thieves use birth dates as cornerstones of their craft. If you want your friends to know your birthday, try just the month and day, and leave off the year.
·         Do not download Facebook apps from outside the United States – Apps on social networks can access huge amounts of personal information. Some unscrupulous or careless entities collect lots of data and then lose, abuse, or sell them. If the app maker is in the United States, it is probably safer, and at least you have recourse if something should ever go wrong.
·         Use multiple usernames and passwords – Keep your usernames and passwords for social networks, online banking, email, and online shopping all separate. Having distinct passwords is not enough nowadays – if you have the same username across different websites, your entire romantic, personal, professional, and ecommerce life can be mapped and recreated with some simple algorithms. It has happened before. It is important to utilize passwords which are "strong" in nature. Strong passwords are at least seven (7) to ten (10) characters in length, alphanumeric, case sensitive, AND require the use of at least one special character (e.g., !@#$%&).
·         Use of Security Software – It is important to install, utilize, and maintain antivirus, anti-spyware, and anti-malware programs on your home computer. Antivirus software is important because it specializes in the quarantining and removal of viruses. A virus is malicious code that has the ability to duplicate and they send copies of itself to other computers. Why are viruses bad? They can delete or alter files, send themselves to recipents on your contact list, freeze your computer and more. As you use the Web, you can encounter software - often invisible to you - that can cause problems with your computer. Examples of such problems can include the following: 1) Changing your Web search results to advertisements instead of your search results; 2) Slower system speed from your computer; 3) Interference with other software. This can result from malicious software (also known as malware) that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. Malware can include advertising software (adware) that displays ad banners on screens, and spying software (spyware) that gathers information about your Internet activity. Adware and spyware are annoying, both in the problems they can cause and in the steps you must take to manage the problem. Here is what you can do: 1) Install and regularly use ad- and spyware blocking software. You can often find such software free of charge on the manufacturers' Web sites, as well as reliable software distribution sites. You can also check with software retailers. 2) Update the software regularly.
·         Use of Public Access PCs –Without your laptop but need to access your account? The credit union recommends you do not utilize a public access PC to access your Home Banking account. These computers are usually riddled with viruses, spyware, and other tools that can capture any information you input into the computer. This includes your username and password. One of the most common tools are called Keyloggers. These are programs that keep track of every keystroke that is made on that computer. Once the data is collected, the program can either store the information or transmit it to another computer on the internet. When this happens, someone else now is going to have full access to your money because the information is captured before it can be encrypted by our security controls. Please help prevent someone else gaining access to your money by not utilizing public access PCs.