Consumer Tips for Protecting Your Accounts and Your Identity
Consider how many times you’ve had to provide your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) online such as your legal name, social security number, email or home address, and more. Many fraudsters use the internet as a source for personal data to help them commit fraud. Are you confident your information is protected?
SLFCU Card Fraud Prevention Specialist Eric Mitchell says, “There were 110 major corporate data breaches reported in 2018. Many services require your PII for registration or verification purposes. Data breaches have become very common in our digital world.”
Though they’re not all-inclusive, Eric offers a few simple, but important, tips to help protect yourself.
- Never click on emails, links in emails, or email attachments you do not recognize or were not expecting. They could contain viruses that will steal your PII and damage your computer.
- Use complex passwords – with letters, numbers, and symbols – that would be impossible for others to guess. If you have difficulty remembering your usernames and passwords, consider looking for an app from a reputable source to help create and store that information for you. Other options are to store your usernames and passwords electronically on a password-protected Word document or Excel spreadsheet.
- To protect your personal or business debit cards, download the free CardNavSM app at slfcu.org/DebitCard to set spending limits, lock your card anytime, set up purchase alerts, and more.
- To protect your personal or business credit cards, download the Card LockTM app at slfcu.org/CreditCards to set transaction alerts, set controls to limit where your card can be used, lock your card anytime, and more.
- If you discover fraudulent transactions on your debit or credit card, call SLFCU immediately at 505.293.0500 or 800.947.5328.
- Members with SLFCU’s Mastercard debit or credit cards can sign up for free Identity Theft Alerts online via mastercard.us/idtheftalerts.
“It’s good to become a lifelong learner when it comes to fraud prevention techniques,” said Eric. “There are always new developments and strategies—for both fraudsters and people trying to prevent themselves from becoming their next victim.”
You can find free resources at annualcreditreport.com, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website, and two Federal Trade Commission websites, consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-security or consumer.gov/scams. “The more you know, the better you can protect yourself and your information,” Eric emphasizes.
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