Protect yourself online

by VCCU | Nov 05, 2013

As the holidays near, instances of online fraud are on the rise. Protect yourself with these tips:

Review Credit Reports at Least Once a Year. This will help ensure fraudulent accounts have not been opened using your personal information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles consumers to a free credit report once a year from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. You can receive your report(s) by contacting the credit reporting agencies directly or by visiting annual credit

Monitor Financial Statements and Online Banking Regularly. Get into the routine of checking your statements and periodically reviewing your account transactions and online activities. This will help identify unauthorized account activities early, preventing potential losses to your personal accounts.

Ensure Children Understand What Information to Provide Online. Fraudsters will often use a game or a free offer that will request personal information, or will include spyware to track and steal information from your computer or mobile device. Protect yourself by encouraging your children to limit online contact to friends they actually know, setting privacy controls to restrict access to private information, and enabling parental controls that allow access to only trusted sites. Talk to your children about not giving out their name, address, date of birth, or any other personal information online without talking to a parent first.

Beware of Downloading Sneaky Apps. Smartphone or social networking applications may provide application developers with access to your personal information, such as messages, contacts, emails and photos. Often, this information isn’t related to the application’s purpose. Instead developers may share your information with marketers or other third parties. Be sure to read the privacy policy of each application before downloading to understand what private information they are sharing.

Shred Documents with Personal and Financial Information. Financial statements, credit card offers and billing statements are examples of documents that should be shredded.

Look Out for Scams Involving Social Engineering. Fraudsters may impersonate a credit union (or other legitimate organizations) to trick you into giving out personal account information. This social engineering tactic is often utilized as part of an elaborate scheme involving phone calls, emails, text messages and other forms of communication. Never reply to unsolicited telephone, email, text or pop-up messages asking for personal account information. Understand that legitimate organizations never ask for sensitive information over unsecured communication channels.

 If you suspect or detect any unusual activity on any of your VCCU accounts, please contact us immediately.

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