Although many of us are more carefree and active during the summer season, we’re still constantly online. And every Internet connection your make—whether you’re shopping for some camping gear or using social media to connect with friends on the weekend, you’re vulnerable to cyberattacks. Follow these tips to help avoid problems:
Create smart, strong passwords. Incorporate capital letters, numbers & symbols in your phrase that should be more than six characters long, such as: Go1dM!n3.
Email wisely. Be careful about what you provide in these messages. Never send your credit card information, Social Security number, or other private data via email.
Same goes with IM. If you use instant messaging to communicate with friends and family, the same rules apply. And it’s always a good idea not to allow strangers in your IM groups.
Shop safely. If you’re ordering from an online store, be sure the site is secure. At checkout, look for the web address to begin with https. Also, see if a tiny padlock symbol appears at the bottom right of the screen.
Pay attention to your kids’ activities. Keep your home computer in a community area for easy monitoring. Use child software that is age-appropriate. Limit the time they spend online. Install and use parental controls.
And you can always click here to learn more about protecting your resources.
To keep your electronic space safe & secure, you can take advantage of the following tips to remove clutter, upgrade technologies–a digital spring cleaning.
- Get rid of excess files. Go through your folders, including the recycle bin, and discard unused items.
- Organize media in labeled files.
- Streamline your desktop so it’s not inundated with icons that slow you down.
- Uninstall old programs that haven’t been loaded in ages, reducing the potential for malware.
- Create unique & strong passwords with a mix of characters and numbers.
- Back up important data.
- And please visit us here to learn more about safeguarding your resources.
Cybercriminals & their schemes, which seek to rob you of your resources, seem to proliferate during tax season.
The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers that several threats have been reported across the country. Being aware of them and maintaining vigilance in protecting your personal data is always essential, no matter the time of year.
Here are some examples of recent scams:
- Identity thieves sent phishing emails to tax preparation firms. The messages purported to come from a company human resources executive, requesting employees’ W-2s. Never provide your personal information to anyone but your trusted tax advisor if you hire someone to do your filing.
- Taxpayers have been victimized over their returns. One instance involved a scammer submitting fraudulent refund claims using another person’s identifying information, which had been stolen. This caused considerable delays in refunds.
- Cheats pose as IRS officials and request sensitive information via email or text. The IRS will never contact a taxpayer through these methods and ask for this data. Also, don’t click on any link or attachment in a suspicious email.
And here are some additional tips to help prevent being victimized:
∙Don’t carry your Social Security card or any documents with your number written on it.
∙Check your credit report at least every 12 months, if not more frequently.
∙Secure personal information in your home.
∙Protect your computers & devices with firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, and updated security patches.
∙Go to this link to learn how we are working to safeguard your finances.
We offer exclusive member discounts on a range of identity theft recovery plans.
And if you have one of our Visa® credit cards, you’ll automatically get basic coverage for free!
This fully managed service includes:
∙ An advocate dedicated to your case
∙ Fraud alerts at the three major credit bureaus
∙ Document replacement & transaction remediation
∙ Continuous credit monitoring
∙ Applicable to IRS-qualified dependents
∙ Many additional benefits
If you’re not carrying Visa from America First, apply today. To learn more about ID theft recovery or to purchase upgraded protection, visit us here.
Many find online holiday shopping more convenient than slogging through traffic, looking for parking & dealing with crowds.
At the same time, you need to be on your guard when you make purchases electronically. Follow the tips below to keep the season a safe one:
- Ensure antivirus software is on all of your devices
- Check that the vendor uses a secure site
- Read sales, return, and privacy policies
- Keep your receipts
For additional updates regarding how we’re working to protect your resources, click here.
The holidays are nearly here and while many of our thoughts turn to giving, online thieves are focused on how much they can take, with a host of schemes to rob us of our information, money & seasonal good cheer.
Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim during this time of year:
∙ Mobile SMS fraud — Sent via text, these messages contain dangerous links encouraging you to update or install an app, infecting your device with malware.
∙ Shopping schemes — Too-good-to-be true offers and steep discounts on must-have items may originate from phony sites. You could also encounter fake contests on social media designed to get your personal information or proliferate spyware.
∙ Traveling blues — If you’re planning a trip to visit family or going on a winter getaway, scammers know it. They’re hoping to catch you by offering you fraudulent travel deals or sending spam. Be on the lookout for these tactics.
∙ Dangerous greetings — When you get an electronic card, be careful before you click. Some of these contain viruses.
∙ Doing our part — Be sure to go here for updates regarding how we are constantly working to safeguard your resources.
Online security is important for your financial health, no matter the time of year. We’re here to provide you with some simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe during the busy fall months.
• Malicious greetings — Emails often invite recipients to click on a card, video, or animation. While some are harmless, cybercriminals can imbed viruses and spyware in them; open all file attachments and URLs with care.
• Phishing for friends — Social media is often where phishing attacks take place. Think twice about adding friends you don’t really know and never divulge personal data to anyone online.
• Devices gone missing — Annually, thousands of travelers will lose their laptops, smartphones & tablets during the coming months. Therefore, it’s wise never to leave a boarding gate, vehicle, or security checkpoint without taking a mental inventory of your electronics.
• Dangerous downloads — Always use common sense when downloading games, file-sharing tools, streaming clients, and other third-party apps. Deploy anti-virus software to detect malware.
For more information regarding how your credit union is working to guard your resources, please visit us here.
No matter the season and regardless of the economic environment, there are always criminals looking to perpetrate identity theft.
It can happen to anyone at any time, but here are five easy steps you can take to help protect yourself:
· Keep your Social Security and driver’s license numbers off your checks and all of your identifying documents
· Never write your personal identification number (PIN) on your cards
· Destroy confidential documents — click here for a list of upcoming free shredding day events
· Choose complex passwords featuring combinations of letters, numbers and special characters
· Regularly review your America First statements with free Online & Mobile Banking
And be sure visit this link for more information regarding how we are working to guard your financial resources.
Cyber criminals are always busy in the summer months, attacking consumers around the globe.
According to experts, no one is immune to this phenomenon and, while we are all vulnerable, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk:
• Be overly careful about clicking on links and attachments you didn’t request and/or don’t recognize.
• Limit the amount of sensitive data stored on your computer. For example, never put your Social Security Number on any device.
• Use free Online & Mobile Banking to monitor your transactions and take care of your personal finances.
• Don’t geotag photos on Facebook.
• Greatly restrict the personal information you post on any social media site.
You’re also welcome to visit us here for updates regarding how we are striving to provide you with enhanced protection.
It’s that time of year: family vacations, weekend excursions, maybe even the trip of a lifetime to Europe or Asia.
And there’s no better way to pay for these opportunities than with your America First Visa® credit and debit cards.
But before you leave, it’s important that you inform us you’re going to be traveling. Please call 1-800-999-3961 and we’ll take steps to ensure your security. Then you can simply relax and enjoy your journey!
Also, you can visit us here for further information about how we’re working to protect your accounts and information.