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Security Update: Staying Protected in an Online World

In today’s 24/7 culture, where everything is electronic and moves at lightning speed, it’s essential to stay alert and protect yourself against fraud. Here are some tips that can help:

• Review your credit at least once a year from each of the three national reporting agencies. These are available to you without a cost here.

• Monitor your account activity as often as possible, easily and conveniently, with free Online & Mobile Banking. Check for unauthorized transactions, verify your purchases, and accomplish so much more.

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Security Update: Online Employment Scams are on the Rise

More and more, people are seeking employment online but some may be inadvertently placing themselves at risk of identity theft.

The FBI has investigated scams where criminals are searching job boards for personal information, particularly posted resumés with Social Security numbers and other details.

Here are some tips to help protect yourself:

•Don’t include your identifying data or physical address — simply list an email at which you can be reached.

•Never agree to wire a portion of a check or deposit back to a company representative who tells you this is required to be hired. Most times, the initial check or deposit is fraudulent and will be returned against your account, which means you’ll be liable for the entire amount.

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Security Update: Keeping Kids Safe Online

Summer is in full swing and, although there are lots of outdoor activities going on, it’s also a season when children remain tethered to electronic devices. To follow are a couple of tips for keeping your kids cyber-secure.

• Many youngsters carry smartphones these days, which keep them connected to each other and able to reach their parents in emergencies. It’s wise to be knowledgeable about the apps your kids are using on these phones and make sure they are downloaded from reputable stores, with the proper privacy disclosures and settings.

• Apps sharing locations with friends and family can be useful, but take care with these programs and understand the risks generated by putting any personal information online. That’s especially good advice for young people.
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Security Update: Let Us Know if You’re Planning a Trip

It’s that time of year: family vacations, day excursions, maybe even the trip of a lifetime when you’re flying to Europe.

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 so we can take steps to guard your resources.

Simply call 1-800-999-3961. That way, we can monitor and/or block transactions if they have a high probability of being fraudulent, and we can contact you if we see something that looks suspicious.

And please remember to visit us here for further information about your account security at America First.

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Another First from your Credit Union: Card Guard

America First works to provide you with products that protect your resources & enhance your convenience.

Such as our new Mobile Banking innovation: Card Guard, security you control™.

With Card Guard, you’ll have a revolutionary tool to manage your credit, debit and ATM cards, just by tapping your smartphone.

Download the app & you’ll be able to:

  • Turn your cards on and off whenever you like
  • Determine where you want to use them
  • Set per-transaction spending limits
  • Allow card use only from merchants near your phone
  • Much more

Simply put, you decide how your cards are used. Select this link for additional information.

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Security Update: What if Fraud Strikes?

Although fraud and identity theft can occur to anyone at any time, there are solid steps you can take to reduce the recovery time if you unfortunately become a victim:

•Contact all three agencies for copies of your credit report. You may order one for free at You can also visit these agencies individually: TransUnion here or via 1-800-680-7289; Experian or at 1-888-397-3742; Equifax, 1-880-525-6285.

Then review your reports carefully according to the outline below:

  • Recognize all accounts listed and confirm that the balances are in line with your records.
  • Determine the legitimacy of persons and entities requesting or receiving a copy of your report.
  • Search the inquiries for loans or accounts for which you did not apply. (If you find one, this may be a sign that an identity thief has fraudulently opened it in your name).
  • Confirm there are no addresses listed for places you have never lived.
  • Check that all this information is consistent across the bureaus.

If there is false or suspicious information, contact these credit agencies immediately. If something is concerning about a particular creditor, you will want to contact that company directly.

And be sure to visit this link to see how we’re working to provide you with enhanced security.

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Security Update: Guarding against Hacktivism

Law enforcement personnel and public officials are being warned of an increased risk in cyberattacks. But these kinds of electronic crimes can happen to anyone, at any time.

Hacking collectives effectively leverage open-source, publicly available information identifying people, then use that data to inflict harm and steal resources.

Compiling and posting an individual’s personal information without permission is known as doxing. This is gathered from social media and other Web sites includes home addresses, phone numbers, emails, and passwords.

While eliminating your exposure in the digital age is difficult, you can take steps to minimize your risk:

  • Carefully consider all your posts on social media sites and watch for unnecessary and revealing comments.
  • Routinely update your hardware and software, including antivirus applications.
  • Pay close attention to all emails, especially those containing attachments or links to other Web sites — they could have viruses.
  • Enable security measures to include two-factor authentication on your personal email.
  • Closely monitor your accounts for fraudulent activity with free Online & Mobile Banking.
  • Passwords should be changed regularly and be phrases of 15 characters or more.
  • Be aware of phising phone calls and emails from those pretending to know you.

To learn more, please visit us here.

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Security Update: On Guard against Identity Theft

According to Reuters, millions of people find themselves victims of identity theft every year.

It can happen to anyone, but here are five easy steps you can take to help protect yourself:

  • Do not list your Social Security and driver’s license numbers on your checks.
  • Install antivirus and anti-spyware software on your home computer & mobile devices.
  • Never provide anyone who calls or emails you with your personal or account data. Your credit union will never contact you first and ask you for your information.
  • Never write your Personal Identification Number (PIN) on any card or on a piece of paper kept in your wallet or purse.
  • Shred confidential documents.
  • Choose complex passwords featuring combinations of letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Review your America First accounts regularly with free Online & Mobile Banking.

And be sure to visit us here for more valuable information and tips on how we are working to protect your financial resources.

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Security Update: Digital Spring Cleaning

To keep your electronic life safe & secure, you can take advantage of the following tips to remove clutter, upgrade technologies, and perform a digital spring cleaning.

1. Get rid of excess files. Go through all of your folders, including the recycle bin, and discard items no longer in use.

2. Organize all forms of media in labeled folders.

3. Streamline your desktop so it isn’t inundated with icons that slow boot-up times.

4. Uninstall programs you never or rarely initiate, reducing the potential for malware.

5. Update your passwords by making them unique, never the same, and having different characters/numbers.

6. Back up important data on a flash drive or with online storage.

7. Consider reinstalling your operating system after everything is backed up.

8. Update your Internet security software with antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and firewall applications.

9. Defragment your hard drive.

10. Don’t forget your mobile device. Double-check your smartphone and remove unneeded apps.

And be sure to visit us here for information regarding how your credit union can help you guard your resources.

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Security Update: Don’t Fall Victim to Cybercrime

The proliferation of online & electronic scams isn’t slowing down, but there are ways you can avoid becoming a victim.

It’s always a good idea to take the following steps to prevent theft and enhance your safety:

  • Create different passwords for all of your applications and change them frequently.
  • Don’t leave your home computer on all the time — it’s like leaving a door unlocked.
  • Think before you click. Never blindly open attachments or links.
  • Use free antivirus or protective software.
  • Add a firewall to your system to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access.
  • Report any fraud attempt to us by calling 1-800-999-3961, and be sure to file a complaint with the FTC.
  • Regularly check your accounts with free Online & Mobile Banking.
  • Visit us here to see how we’re working to safeguard your resources.