How to Protect Yourself
Follow these tips to protect your identity from being stolen online:
1. Educate yourself on the latest fraudulent email and identity theft schemes such as phishing, vishing, and smishing that target North Island Credit Union members and non-members alike.
2. Never send credit card numbers, account numbers, PIN codes, social security numbers, or any other personal information that you do not want publicly exposed in an e mail. Any information sent in an e mail should never be considered secure. (North Island Credit Union will never ask for this information on an unsolicited basis. We offer secure messaging for our Online Banking members that wish to contact us electronically and provide this information to us in a secure manner.)
3. Be highly suspicious when prompted to provide personal financial information over the phone. Hang up immediately and contact your credit union or financial institution directly (at a publicly published number) to verify the validity of the message.
4. Minimize the number of different computers you use for Online Banking; in particular, avoid the use of public computers, such as those at an airport kiosk or Internet café, whenever possible. If you must use a public computer, always log off and close your browser when you are finished. Be sure that you are discreet when typing usernames and passwords to prevent scam artists from obtaining that information by simply observing you.
5. Be wary of clicking on a link in an email to our website (or any website). We recommend typing northislandcu.com (or the appropriate website address) directly into the address bar of your browser or use a bookmark to visit our website. If you do click on a link in an e mail, you should verify that you are at the correct website by examining the web site's address in the web browser's address bar. Delete emails which are from unknown senders, or that have non-sensical information or spelling errors; they are likely fraudulent. An official-looking logo should not be considered safe.
6. We recommend that you use the current version of Internet Explorer or Firefox, and that you enable the anti-phishing tools built into these browsers. Also, install anti-virus, spyware detection software, and a firewall, and keep the programs updated for maximum protection.
7. Switch to e-Statements to lower your risks of identity theft and mail fraud.
8. Sign up for free Online Bill Pay to pay your bills automatically and securely.
9. Limit the information you share on social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Many settings do not allow full privacy, and identity thieves can gain access to your personal information, and even know when you are away from your home for extended periods of time.
10. Set strong passwords, and never use the same one for access to all of your personal accounts. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and
special characters for maximum security. Do not write your password down, and never share it with anyone. You may want to create a special password for particularly sensitive sites, such as for online banking. Do not use the "auto-complete" option on your computer which will auto-fill your password; while this is convenient, it defeats the point of a user-specific password.
11. Regularly delete temporary files and folders on your computer devices. Ensure that you are deleting "cookies" which may be used to track your online activity, including sites accessed and passwords used.
12. Beware of online shopping. Technology can scramble sensitive information, such as your credit card number, so that it can be read only by the merchant you are dealing with and your credit card issuer. This ensures that your payment information cannot be read by anyone else or changed along the way. There are several ways to determine if you have that protection when you are sending payment information on the web:
- Look for a picture of an unbroken key or closed lock in your browser window. Either one indicates that security is in force. A broken key or any open lock indicates it is not.
- Ensure that the web address on the page that asks for your credit card information begins with "https:" instead of "http."
- Some web sites use the words "Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)" or a pop up box that confirms that you are entering a secure area.
These security protections do not work in e-mail. So, ensure that you send personal and payment information in a secure web transaction.
13. While these tips all apply to consumers, businesses should be aware of them as well. Commercial banking members should follow the tips above, and should also perform an online risk assessment and controls evaluation periodically to ensure the security of their online banking credentials and other sensitive information.
14. Businesses are also encouraged to password-protect any PCs or laptops that may contain and member or business information, ensuring that only trusted individuals and staff are able to gain access to the data.
Members are encouraged to contact our Contact Center team at (800) 848-5654 immediately if they believe they may be a victim of fraud.