Internet SAFETY TIPS
Online safety and security is a team effort. Here’s what your Credit Union is doing… and what you must do.
The security of your home computer is like the security of your home. The Internet is a public network, just like your neighborhood streets. Your ability to control who comes in depends on your security measures. Your online transactions must have security at both ends—for example, within your Credit Union and within your own system.
Technology helps ensure security
When you use the Internet to visit HUD FCU, whether it’s to check rates, review your account, pay bills or transact other business, you’re entering a secure area.
Before using online services you develop a secret password that only you know. This assures that you, and only you, have access to your accounts.
Once online with HUD FCU, your transactions and personal info are secured by encryption software that converts info into code readable by only you and your Credit Union.
Each credit union must implement a stringent privacy and security policy to protect your personal and financial info. Each member’s confidential info is treated with utmost care, meeting or exceeding Federal and state mandates.
Next, consider what you can do to keep your end of the Internet safe.
Understanding your role
No security system is 100% safe, not on your home, not on your computer. At home, you may have sturdy doors, windows, locks, and perhaps an alarm or intrusion detection system. Here are some areas of security to know about for your home computer.
Your password is the key that opens your home computer. You wouldn’t use a passkey on your front door. Similarly, don’t use a PW that’s easy for others to guess such as birthdates, SSN, child or pet names. Instead use a PW that contains a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols and change it regularly.
It should be installed on all Internet-connected computers. Many computers come with this software, so ensure that it’s turned on. This is like your annual flu shot. Your first installation protects you for a while, but with new viruses emerging daily, it is essential to update your anti-virus software regularly.
It’s the protective shell between your computer and the outside world. It reduces threats to your home computer from the Internet by filtering out potentially dangerous data and preventing unauthorized access to your computer. Firewall updates are called patches. Your software company may notify by email about a new patch, but you should check your software company’s website regularly to make sure that you don’t miss one.
It is the scrambling of your private info to prevent unauthorized data capturing. If you communicate thru a secure Web page like your credit union’s, the info you transmit is almost certainly encrypted. However, email is often unencrypted, even if you access it from a secured web page, so be wary of sending sensitive info such as account numbers through email.
Check regularly on whether new security updates are available of your computer operating system (i.e., Windows, MacOS).
Turn off your computer or disconnect from the Internet when you’re not using it. An intruder cannot attack your computer if it is turned off or completely disconnected from the Internet.
Back up your data
Even with all the security measures in place, the info on your computer is still vulnerable. Protect yourself from loss of critical data by backing up your files.
Watch for these threats:
Unknown emails, attachments, programs
Before opening any email or attachments, make sure you know where they came from. If you must open an email or attachment before you can verify the source, following these steps will reduce the chance that any malicious code in the attachment might spread to your computer:
1.Make sure your virus definitions are up-to-date.
2.Save the file to your hard disk.
3.Scan the file using your anti-virus software
4.Open the file
For added protection, disconnect your computer’s network connection before opening the file.
Fraudulent web sites (PHISHING)
Copycat web sites deliberately use a name and web address that is deceptively close to the web address of a genuine business. The trick is to lure you into clicking onto their web site and giving them personal info such as your account number and password. With this info, the operator of this web site may put charges on your credit card, steal from your accounts, and even steal your identity.
Always ensure that you’ve typed the correct web site address, and that you’re familiar with the home page, before conducting any business or giving out any personal info.
You can visit HUD FCU’s web site (www.hudfcu.org) at any time, day or night —that’s convenience! Your Credit Union is doing its part to make the journey safe and with some simple, common sense precautions, you can do your part!
Source: National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), an independent trade association representing federally chartered credit unions nationwide.
For your security, please do not give your personal information (SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER or ACCOUNT NUMBER) to any outside person or company by mail, e-mail, or telephone.