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Essential Tips for Keeping Your Identity and Your Finances Safe

 Tuesday, October 13    CCCU
Essential Tips for Keeping Your Identity and Your Finances Safe

Essential Tips for Keeping Your Identity and Your Finances Safe

Aside from maintaining privacy, why is it important to protect your personal information? Identity theft can be disastrous for your credit and financial health, not to mention time-consuming to resolve.
In the digital age, internet fraud and data breaches are on the rise. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud, and our Portland credit union is here to help.

How to keep your personal information safe online

To protect your sensitive information and keep your finances safe from cybercriminals, you'll want to secure your online accounts, review your credit report regularly, understand how to avoid phishing scams, keep your financial and personal information secure, and monitor your checking account. Find a rundown of these strategies below.

Secure your online accounts

Online data breaches often expose email addresses and online login credentials, including passwords. If you're wondering how to keep your password safe, the best thing to do is create different ones for each account. While it can be tempting to use the same password across the board, a data breach could compromise all your accounts. Combine random letters, numbers, and special characters, and never use relevant dates or names that could be guessed.
We also recommend changing your passwords every couple of months and using hard-to-guess security questions. For instance, your favorite book will be less obvious to a hacker than your mother's maiden name. Additionally, be sure to lock your smartphone, tablet, and computer with a passcode, and disable Bluetooth when you're not using it.

Review your credit report regularly

Keeping tabs on your credit can tell you if anyone has tried (or successfully managed) to open an account under your name. You can see your credit report for free once a year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus.
Many credit card companies also offer free credit reporting for cardholders. You can sign up to get email notifications any time there's a change on your credit report. That way, you'll know about suspicious activity or inaccuracies as soon as possible.

Understand how to avoid phishing scams

Phishing scams are when cybercriminals or other scammers try to trick you into providing personal information. They come in the form of emails, text messages, phone calls, and letters in the mail.
Many pose as officials from companies or vendors you use to seek out bank account information, credit card numbers, passwords, or cloud login credentials. Others will pose as the IRS or a collection agency demanding money. Some email accounts allow you to report phishing scams when they make their way into your inbox. You can also report tax-related scams to the IRS and file internet crime complaints through the FBI. It's a good idea to check these websites periodically for current phishing scams too.

Keep financial and personal information secure

Things like opening a bank account, acquiring a loan, and signing up for insurance require you to provide your social security number. But in most situations, you shouldn't need to give it out. Keep your social security card in a safe place at home—never in your wallet.
We suggest removing personal information from your social media pages, like your birthday, phone number, and address, and keeping your accounts private. Be wary about accepting friends or followers who you don't personally know. Though you might not get a lot of snail mail these days, safeguarding your mailbox is also crucial. Consider getting a locked mailbox and shredding all letters and paperwork before recycling them.

Monitor your checking account

You probably check your email and social media accounts at least once a day, but how often do you look at your bank account? We suggest taking a peek at your checking account at least once a day. That way, you'll see any unauthorized charges or suspicious activity as soon as they occur. You can also sign up for text alerts to notify you of any charges over a certain amount.

Secure your finances with CCCU

At CCCU, we care about keeping your personal information safe and securing your finances. Our Portland community credit union has taken several steps to protect our members' accounts. We use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption and multi-layer authentication for logins. Not only that, we also monitor our systems 24/7 and update our servers regularly with the latest cybersecurity.
Contact us to learn more or join our credit union today.

12 ways to protect your identity

Consolidated Community Credit Union wants to make sure your identity is protected. Use the following checklist to improve security and keep your information safe online. 

✔ Use different passwords for each account
✔ Create hard-to-guess passwords with random numbers, letters, and symbols
✔ Use hard-to-guess security questions
✔ Change your passwords every couple of months
✔ Disable Bluetooth when you're not using it
✔ Review your credit report regularly
✔ Sign up for alerts on changes to your credit report
✔ Look out for phishing scams
✔ Report scams and fraud attempts as soon as possible
✔ Check the FBI internet crimes website for current scams
✔ Monitor your checking account
✔ Sign up for text alerts on transactions over a certain amount





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