With the convenience of smartphones, tablets, and online access making banking easier, hackers are able to thwart anti-identity theft measures which enable criminals to commit fraud. So how do we keep online banking safe? Here are a few tips that may seem like common sense, but ensuring that you are actively doing these can make all the difference.
STRONG Passwords and Passcodes
This is a big one. Always use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters in your passwords. You will know if your password meets these criteria if the password checker says “Strong” or “Very Strong” when setting it up for first time use. You should also use a numerical lock code on your phone. DO NOT make your lock code the same as your PIN number. Also, do not use the same password for your Connex account that you use for various social media accounts. Always keep your passwords confidential. NEVER check “Save My Password” either when logging in to your online banking service.
Be on the alert for suspicious emails or questions
Someone who has intention of accessing your account might use an email address that looks real and professional at first glance, or even use email signatures and phone numbers that appear to be from Connex Credit Union. You can prevent this by checking the mailing address, and if it uses special characters, or does not look legitimate, chances are it isn’t. The body of the emails might ask you questions that ask you to disclose your account or routing number, or even personal details such as your mother’s maiden name or name of first pet. DO NOT reply to these emails. Call us at (203) 603-5700 right away if you find any email to be suspicious.
Losing your smartphone or other electronic device
With the amount of information we store on our devices, it’s a scary moment when you realize you may have misplaced your phone, tablet, laptop, or what have you. This could happen anywhere- at the airport, the grocery store, and in extreme cases leaving it on the top of your car. If you happen to lose your device, contact us as soon as possible, put a hold on your accounts until you (Hopefully!) retrieve your device.
Log out when you are finished
Never stay logged in after finishing your online banking transactions. Some websites have a time-out feature that will log you out after a certain amount of time goes by. However, those precious minutes may allow someone to breach your information if you stay logged in. Whenever you stop using our online service, even if you are getting off the computer for a second, be sure to log out.
Use a secure Wi-Fi connection
Do not conduct Unbanking over public Wi-Fi or cellular data, as it isn’t safe. Instead, always use a secure Wi-Fi or wired connection that requires a password. You can check to see if your connection is secure if it requires a network security key or has some other form of security, such as a certificate. On Windows computers, an unsecure network will have a yellow shield icon with an exclamation point in the middle. On Macintosh computers, a secured network will have a padlock next to it, while unsecured networks will not.
Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
Old school viruses and Trojans are still out there, and can be found in common places such as your email, programs you download, and the web. Be sure to check what anti-virus software you are using on your computer, and if it is up-to-date.
Look for the padlock!
On your internet browser, you will commonly see a padlock, usually where the URL is displayed on the left or right hand side. This means the website you are currently accessing is secure. You might also see in the URL displayed “https://” where the letter S, in simpler terms, stands for secure. If you do not see this padlock symbol when conducting online transactions, cease what you are doing immediately and call us right away to ensure it is secure.
Connex Credit Union is committed to the highest level of account and financial security for all our members. You can read more on how we protect your information here: http://www.connexcu.org/home/member/online or check out this video for additional information on identity theft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WA5BtRia48
-Spencer Price, VP of Unbanking