Personal Computer Security
Security at Home
We work hard to secure our online banking services, but our efforts only account for half of the secure connection from our servers to your home. In order to ensure a safe and secure connection, your computer must be secured. You, as the member, are responsible for that other half.
Don’t believe everything you receive!
Be extremely cautious of any email that makes threats, warns of dire consequences, sounds too good or requests personal or financial information. We will never request any personal or financial information in email. No reputable financial institution in existence will make that kind of request online. We will make a personal call or send a letter if there are any issues with your account.
Report suspicious emails or calls to the Federal Trade Commission through the internet at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
Phishing and Pharming
Phishing is a form of online identity theft where a scammer sends an email to an unsuspecting consumer asking them to verify personal or financial information. The questionable email may look just like a legitimate email with a company logo (Credit Union, Bank, Credit Card logo), but in fact it’s a forgery with a bogus website or link contained within the email. If the consumer falls for the scam, the thief could get their credit card, bank account, or even the victim’s Social Security number.
Pharming is a more complicated scam designed to channel large groups of consumers to bogus websites through browser hijacking or other security loopholes in the internet. Where phishing relies mostly on spam and bogus email links, pharming techniques hijack an unprotected consumer’s browser without the manual interaction of responding to an email or clicking on a link.
Reclaim Your PC, What You Can Do
Keep your computer’s operating system up-to-date. Security flaws are constantly identified so it is recommended to routinely check for updates for your PC’s operating system.
Install Anti-Virus Software and keep it updated. An outdated Anti-Virus program may not protect you from the latest viruses. Set your Anti-Virus software to automatically update. An excellent free anti-virus program is AntiVir’s AV Personal Edition available for download at http://www.free-av.com.
Install Anti-Spyware Software and keep it updated. Unwanted programs, cookies, and spyware can secretly install themselves on your PC and many go undetected by Anti-virus programs. Two excellent free programs are Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy. Both are available for download at http://www.pcworld.com.
Personal Firewalls allow you to isolate your computer from the internet and can protect your PC from hackers and intruders. Most modern operating systems have a Firewall built in, and it can be turned on or off. This is the minimum protection you should employ. There are a number of free, third party products with advanced features available. Check out http://www.firewallguide.com/software.htm for Firewall suggestions. The latest version of FREE ZoneAlarm for personal use is available at: http://www.zonealarm.com.
If you have ‘always on’ internet like Cable, DSL, Broadband, etc. hide your PC behind a router to mask it from the internet. Never connect directly to the internet. A simple router using network address translation (NAT) can help make a PC invisible on the internet and thus reduce the chances of hackers or intruders ever knowing that your PC exists. These simple routers are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to set up.
Consider using another Browser. Most attacks and vulnerabilities are targeted at Internet Explorer (IE). Consider less vulnerable alternatives like FireFox or Mozilla.
Consider creating at least one administrative account (be sure to password protect it) and one non-administrative account within the operating system of your PC. Always use the non-administrative account while surfing the internet. This will help protect your PC from self-installing malicious code.
Remaining vigilant against threats, proactive on PC updates, and current on the latest information are the keys for safe and secure browsing.
- We will NEVER email you for personal information. Any email claiming to be the credit union, which requests personal data such as Social Security numbers, IDs, or passwords, should not be trusted or opened.
- Use a different password for Online Banking than ones you use for other applications.
- Do not write down your password.
- Always log out of your Online Banking session before leaving your computer.