Security Resolutions to stick to in the New Year
While we prepare to welcome in the new year and make plans for our New Year’s Resolutions, consider committing to stronger security measures for your online accounts. Now is an excellent time to consider the steps you currently take to protect your financial accounts, and if there are any additional protections you should commit to using next year. The security features we have in place serve as an additional barrier to protect our members, but keeping your information safe is so much easier when we have your help and can work together to ensure your accounts are protected.
As your trusted financial partner, we want to encourage you to take full advantage of all of the safety and security measures made available to you and always be vigilant when it comes to protecting your account. Here are some tips to help you make security a priority this year:
Bulk Up Your Passwords
Security requirements seem to become more and more complex, but rest assured, this is only for your safety. Make sure all of your current accounts meet the security standards for password complexity. But don’t use the same password for all of your accounts! When you repeat the same password across multiple accounts, it makes it that much easier for someone to access your other accounts if they can figure out that one password. If you have any old accounts that haven’t had a password refresh in a while, now is an excellent time to give them an update. Even though it may seem like a hassle, security experts recommend changing your passwords regularly. This is for your safety; regularly updating your password makes it even less likely that someone would be able to guess that password to access your account.
Security experts recommend creating a unique password of at least 12 characters and includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use identifying information in your password, especially details that can be found online like on your social media. This includes your name or birthday, the name and birthday of your family members or pets, or parts of any current or past addresses. Never include any portion of your Social Security Number, credit card number, or account number in your passwords, as these are the most commonly stolen data. You don’t want to make it any easier for someone trying to access your information. Some people create a system or pattern for their passwords to make it easier to remember. While it may seem like a good idea to use the same base password with one or two variations, that means that once someone figures out one of your passwords, they can crack the code to figure out your other passwords too. You certainly don’t want someone to access your password for a social media account and use that as the key to access to your financial account password. Consider using non-dictionary words as the base for your password, which will make it that much more difficult for criminals to crack.
Never Share Your Passwords or Login Credentials
There is no reason to ever give someone else access to your digital banking accounts, debit or credit card information, or any other account credentials. Your username and password are specific to your unique account and are not intended to be shared with anyone. Not even your family members or closest friends. If you give another person access to your digital banking account, there is nothing stopping them from accessing all of your money.
Remember that Robins Financial will never ask you for your account password via email or over the phone. We will also never initiate contact with you to request account details, we have that information already.
Shred and Safely Discard Any Passwords You Have Written Down
Remembering your different passwords and which one goes with which account can be difficult, but you should never ever write down your password for anything, especially your digital banking account. If you feel you need to store your passwords somewhere to remember your logins correctly, store passwords electronically rather than writing them down. Or store clues to help remind you of your password, rather than saving the password in full. And of course, make sure your electronic password manager is password-protected, and don’t write that password down either.
Don’t Store Financial Data on Your Phone
This includes your account number, debit and credit card numbers, PINS, card security codes, etc. Storing this information on your phone makes it that much easier for someone to access your financial data if your phone is lost or stolen. If you leave your phone unattended and don’t have a passcode to protect it, anyone who picks your phone up could access any of the data you have stored on your device. Learn more about protecting your smart devices.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
This is a useful security feature for any account, not just your Robins Financial digital banking account. Multi-factor or two-factor authentication adds an extra step in the verification process to confirm that it’s really you if there’s an attempt to access your account from a different device. Typically, a code will be sent to your phone that you will need to enter before proceeding in the login process. If this feature is available to you for any other financial account, even other accounts you access online, we recommend enabling this feature on every account possible to take your protection as far as possible.
Set Up E-Alerts
Easily monitor your account activity with alerts delivered instantly to your mobile device. This keeps you up-to-date with the actions on your account so you will be able to notice right away if there are any suspicious transactions or other unusual activity. You can activate and manage e-Alerts within digital banking.
Review Your Credit Reports
It’s recommended to review your credit reports at least once per year, even if you aren’t looking for anything suspicious. Your credit report shows all of the financial accounts open in your name. Carefully looking over your reports not only keeps you on top of your finances, but helps you spot red flags of identity theft or fraud. Keep an eye out for inquiries on your report from companies you aren’t familiar with or any accounts you don’t remember opening. You are entitled to one free credit report every year from Annual Credit Report.
Enroll in Credit Monitoring
There are several different credit monitoring services available for you to use, many are even free! These services monitor your credit report and notify you when there are any changes, so you can be the first to know of any activity on your account and get a heads up on potential identity theft.
Robins Financial Credit Union is committed to protecting the safety and security of our members. Our protections go even farther when we have your help. To learn more about how we protect our members every day and how you can protect yourself, visit our security center, give us a call or stop by any of our branch locations.