ONLINE SECURITY FOR YOUR ACCOUNTS
Online Security is a growing concern for many. As we continue to use our devices more for storing and accessing personal information, security has become a concern. Above all, Pearl Hawaii makes your safety a top concern and we ensure that your data is secure. However, there are some things that we cannot control. If you follow a few simple preventive steps, it will make help keep your identity and your accounts safe.
Online banking offers convenience and control over your financial life. You can mitigate the risks by being proactive and protecting your online banking information. Doing so decreases the odds of your information ending up in the wrong hands.
KEEP YOUR COMPUTER AND DEVICES UPDATED
Unquestionably, viruses and other attacks take advantage of missed security updates to gain access to your computer. These updates are to fix security issues that would leave you open to attack. Updating your computer and devices will ensure that these security updates are installed. Most importantly, it will help to prevent attacks from being successful.
Other than your operating system, ensure that you also do not miss security updates for other programs. For example, programs such as Adobe, your internet browser, and especially your virus protection program should be updated regularly.
USE A VPN OR SECURE WIFI
If you plan to access your account information, do not use unsecured WiFi networks or connect to public wireless networks. Attackers can connect to these networks and steal your information. Unless you connect to a virtual private network (VPN), don’t trust these networks with your personal information. With this in mind, you do not want to risk accessing your financial information, email, or social media accounts. These “free” networks may be fine for playing a game or reading the news.
NEVER TRUST EMAIL FROM AN UNKNOWN SOURCE
Undoubtedly, online criminals often obtain your personal information through email with phishing or other social engineering methods. Certainly, never open an attachment or click on links in an email if you do not know the sender. There are two main ways you can be attacked through an email. First, malware will be hidden inside a file requiring you to open or download something. Second, the email will require you to click on a link in an email can launch an attack on your system or request personal information.
BUT IT LOOKS SO REAL
Sometimes, you may receive an email from a company that you do business with and the email looks legitimate. Although it looks real, this is often a tactic by cybercriminals to gain access to your information and your system. Often, these attacks are disguised as offers. In essence, they may be offering free products or services. Also, some emails convey some level of urgency requiring you to act. For example, the email states that your account is going to be closed or that there is an issue. If you are ever in doubt about the legitimacy of an email, contact the company directly. Use contact information that you know is correct and confirm the message directly with them.
PEARL HAWAII AND PREVENTING ONLINE CRIME
Importantly, Pearl Hawaii will never send emails, text, or call you and ask you to provide, update, or verify account passwords, Social Security numbers, PINs, credit or debit card numbers, or other confidential information.
If you have received an email message, text message, or voice message claiming to be from Pearl Hawaii Federal Credit Union and asking for you to give out personal or confidential information, it is fraudulent. Pearl Hawaii already has this information on record and would have no need to ask.
If you have received one of these fraudulent messages and did give out your personal information, please contact Pearl Hawaii immediately at (808) 737.4328 (73-PHFCU), email us at MyFamily@phfcu.com, or contact us through secure messaging.
BROWSE WITH CAUTION
Although you keep your web browser up-to-date, there is always a chance that an attacker knows of a bug that doesn’t have a corresponding security update or you stumble upon a scrupulous site. Always verify the address is one that you are familiar with. Additionally, use your favorites or bookmarks to store commonly accessed sites. By using these favorites you are making sure you are going to the same site every time instead of a fake or spoofed site that an attacker may create to steal your username and password.
LOOK FOR HTTPS
Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of a site, which is the primary protocol used to send data between a web browser and a website. HTTPS is encrypted in order to increase the security of any data transfer. This is particularly important when users transmit sensitive data, such as by logging into your bank account, email service, or health insurance provider.
BE WARY OF PHISHING SCAMS
Phishing scams can take different forms, but they’re often email or text scams. For example, you might get an email, phone call, or text that looks like it came from your a trusted source, telling you that you must log in to your account and update your information. Phishing is one of the most common methods identity thieves use to gain access to personal and financial information. This kind of scam usually involves tricking you into giving up your information.
WAYS TO SECURE ONLINE BANKING
- Be wary of phishing scams.
- Choose strong passwords. Ideally, you will want a password to have a minimum of 12 characters that includes symbols, lower and upper case letters, and numerics.
Never choose a password that uses personal information such as your name, address or date of birth. Stay clear of short passwords, common words, and simple number combinations.
- Always change passwords regularly.
- Choose different passwords for different accounts.
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Stay away from of public Wi-Fi and computers.
- Sign-up for banking alerts.
- Choose trustworthy financial apps.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING ONLINE BANKING PHISHING SCAMS
- Verify the sender’s email address.
- Call the financial institution, service, or vendor and ask if they sent you an email and verify the email address with them.
- Do not click on links in an email or text.
- In and email, hover over links. Hovering over a link inside an email (do not click) can reveal where it will take you.
- Don’t share personal details.
- Choose trustworthy financial apps and products. Financial apps can help with banking or sending money, but they arere not equally secure.
- If you plan to use your bank’s mobile app, make certain you’re using its official app. The best way to do that is to download the app from your bank’s website.
- Consider which apps you allow to access your online and mobile banking details. For example, you might want to use a budgeting app to manage your money. These apps generally ask you to share your login credentials to pull information and create a financial picture, putting your data at risk.
- Before downloading a financial app, check its ratings. Research the app’s security policies and look for past data breaches.
- To learn more about identity theft fraud safety visit ID Theft Center.
- If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) or visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site to learn more.
- If you believe your Social Security Number is being used fraudulently contact the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213.
- It’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report each year from each credit-reporting agency. You can get a free credit report yearly from the Annual Credit Report website at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228 where you will go through a simple verification process over the phone. It is important that you obtain and review a copy of your credit report once a year to make sure your information is accurate.
- For financial literacy, check out Upgrade| our blog or our financial education page.
- To file a complaint about a suspected fraudulent email, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Building trust, nurturing dreams, inspiring hope. From home or car loans to Hawaii’s most innovative banking services, Pearl Hawaii is committed to you. Bank at any of our Oahu locations in Waipahu, Ewa Beach, Waianae, Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, or near the Airport. Additionally, you can bank using PHFCUOnline just like one of our branches. To contact us, call us at 808.737.4328, toll-free at 800.987.5583, or email us at MyFamily@phfcu.com.