Criminal activity intensifies and increases at this time of year and protecting yourself has never been more important. Take some preventative measures that don’t take time or money and could certainly prove valuable later.
Make sure AmeriCU has your most up-to-date contact information; please don’t assume we have it. Verify your mailing address, phone number and your email address with us to ensure that if we need to contact you, that we will be successful in doing so. You should verify your information at least annually if not more often.
Update Your Password
Change your online banking password and make it unique and complex. A password that is anything less than eight characters is simply not secure. Make it a habit to change it on a regular basis. Don’t use any part of your children’s names, your birthdate or those of your family members, your social security number, or even your pet’s name. Use special characters, upper and lowercase letters and numbers in your passwords. You can even use a base word phrase mixed with other characters, for example:
Humpty Dumpty Fell Off the Wall + special characters/numbers=4hdfotw#
Sign up for AmeriCU’s e-Alerts. This **free service enables you to set up automated notifications via text message and/or email to alert you about all kinds of account information. Some of the options available to you are:
- Debit Card transactions
- Withdrawals (you can select a specific share or a specific amount)
- Low balance threshold
- Check clearing
**There is no charge to use this service; however message and data rates may apply. These include fees your wireless carrier may charge you for data usage and text messaging services. Check with your wireless carrier for details regarding your specific wireless plan for any data usage or text messaging charges that may apply.
To sign up for e-Alerts, log into your account online and click on the “eAlerts” option on the left-hand menu.
Monitor Your Account
Monitor your account activities often and only from a trustworthy computer network; e.g. your secure home network, NOT the public Wi-Fi networks available at your local coffee shop, bookstore, or airport. While these public networks are fine for browsing the internet, they should not be used when performing financial transactions or shopping online while using your debit or credit card.
Malware & Pop-Ups
Be aware of malware (malicious software that can be automatically or silently downloaded onto your computer when you visit some websites). Malware captures your login information when you are accessing your accounts online and can even be used by criminals to change the transactions you initiate yourself.
AmeriCU DOES NOT utilize pop-up window methods on our website or online banking. We use full page links to our trusted third party vendors. If you experience a pop-up window or message when visiting americu.org, do not continue until you are able to verify that the computer or device you are using has not been infected or compromised in any way.
Look out for phishing, the practice of luring unsuspecting users to a fake website (that looks real) by using an authentic-looking email in an attempt to steal your password, your financial or personal information, or even to implement a virus attack on your computer. AmeriCU will NEVER contact you by phone or email and ask you to verify your account details such as debit or credit card numbers, social security number, and/or passwords.
Use the Latest Technology
Keep the operating systems and applications on your computer and/or mobile device up to date. This will ensure the highest level of protection as your device manufacturer will be able to include any necessary security patches when your device software is updated.