Protect Your Personal Information

Simple steps and due diligence go a long way toward protecting your personal and business information.

Fight fraud and identity theft with a careful approach.

We all love the convenience of our digital communications. Because of that, it's important to be aware of how you interact and with whom. Also, you can find helpful tips for doing business at an ATM or on the phone to avoid situations that compromise your finances and personal information.

Mind Your Password

Safeguard your computer.

You can create a more secure online environment for yourself by considering these points.

Update your browser.

You likely use one of the web popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Make sure you are running the most current version so you take advantage of the latest updates in security, speed, and simplicity of use.

Do...

  • Create a password with at least eight characters.
  • Make it something you can easily remember, but difficult for someone to guess.
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Change your password periodically.

Do not...

  • Give out your password to anyone, especially if prompted by an email or phone request.
  • Write it down in any accessible place.
  • Make it something that can be easily guessed, such as birthdays, children's names, or pets’ names.
  • Make it your name or part of your Social Security Number.
  • Have the same password for all accounts.

Helpful hints

  • Create an acrostic from the letters of a phrase. For example, “I have too many passwords to remember!” could be a password of “Ih2Mp2r!”. If you change the password frequently, use the password phrase and the numbers representing the month and year, “Ih2Mp2r!0612”.
  • Make up a nonsense word from pronounceable syllables, for example: a. NUKARGO (new-car-go) b. BLUSKYDAY (blue-sky-day).
  • Use special characters #, $, and @ with numbers to form pronounceable passwords: A. I81#ofF@ (I ate one pound of fat.) B. $$Talks2 (Money talks, too.).

Safeguard your computer.

You can create a more secure online environment for yourself by considering these points.

Update your browser.

You likely use one of the web popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Make sure you are running the most current version so you take advantage of the latest updates in security, speed, and simplicity of use.
 

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Business Email Compromise (BEC)

Business email compromise scams (BEC) are on the rise. Scammers know businesses rely on emails to conduct daily business, making them unique and lucrative targets for these types of scams. This type of scam can affect businesses of any type or size.

The results of these attacks can be financially devastating and can cause lasting reputation concerns.

Scam details

Scammers use a variety of avenues including:

  • Sending updated payment instructions (address, wiring instructions) that appear to come from a regularly paid vendor.
  • Sending out a request for a fake payment or gift card purchase from a company executive.
  • Takeover of your email account.
    • This allows a scammer to redirect legitimate emails so you don't see them, reset passwords to sites including mobile phone providers, and bank accounts.

Protecting yourself

  • Examine incoming messages:
    • Don't click on any links within emails or text messages. Type in the address to the website of the vendor, retailer, or creditor directly into your browser.
    • Click on the sender information of an email; things that appear to come from legitimate vendors may in fact come from other illegitimate sources.
    • Never download attachments from individuals you do not know.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication on any account that offers including mobile phone and email accounts.
  • Verify any changes to contact info or payment instructions by phone before paying.
  • Use a unique password, not repeated anywhere else just for your email.
  • Regularly check archive folders, rules, trash, and sent folders to ensure nothing is amiss.
  • Protect yourself with a cyber insurance policy.
  • Invest in anti-virus software that can alert you to suspicious emails and websites.
  • Do not share personal information on social media including answering quizzes or questions about favorite things. Many of these quizzes share answers to security questions that you have set up.
  • Educate your staff on business email compromises.

If you become a victim...

  • Contact your financial institution immediately to lock down your accounts.
    • They can also assist in contacting the FBI Recovery Asset Team and the Financial Institution where the fraudulent funds were sent. The first 24 hours are critical.
      • You or your financial institution need to file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Center (ic3.gov)
  • Contact your insurance company if you have a cyber insurance policy.
  • Reset your email password.
  • Begin investigating how the compromise occurred.
  • Document everything in case it is needed by your financial institution or the authorities.
  • Business email compromise scams (BEC) are on the rise. Scammers know businesses rely on emails to conduct daily business, making them unique and lucrative targets for these types of scams. This type of scam can affect businesses of any type or size.

    The results of these attacks can be financially devastating and can cause lasting reputation concerns.

     

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Protect Your Accounts

Account/credit information

  • Review statements from your South Carolina Federal Credit Union accounts, including credit cards, to ensure all transactions are accurate.
  • Review your statements carefully.
  • Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Cancel unused or expired credit cards and shred them.
  • Request a copy of your credit report annually.
  • Sign up for eStatements to avoid mail fraud.
  • Use Online Banking to check your account information more frequently.
  • Never use a publicly accessed or shared computer to conduct Online Banking transactions.

Phone

  • Do not reveal personal information if you did not initiate contact.
  • Be cautious about revealing your Social Security Number.
  • Take precautions when talking about personal information in public or when others can hear.
  • Never disclose your PIN or account numbers to anyone.
  • Validate any phone number through a trusted source before revealing confidential information.

ATM

  • Never agree to use your card to cash someone else’s check.
  • Do not share your PIN with anyone.
  • Memorize your PIN rather than writing it down and carrying it with you.
  • Leave an ATM if someone approaches you directly.
  • Choose an ATM in a well-lit area.
  • If at night, have someone accompany you when using an ATM.
  • Shield the keyboard and display so others cannot see your transactions.
  • Do not talk about your transaction while at the ATM.
  • Make sure you take your card, money, and receipt.
  • When at a drive-up ATM, lock your doors and close the windows.

Email

  • Never open emails or attachments from unknown senders.
  • Never send money to a person you don’t know.
  • Do not reveal personal information in a non-secure email.
  • Use filters to protect against spam mail.
  • Do not follow email links; type well-known web addresses into your browser.
  • Create strong passwords and change them intermittently.

Device security

  • Lock your mobile device with a unique PIN that only you know.
  • Only download applications from a trusted source.
  • Position your home router near the center of your home away from windows.
  • Use firewall, antivirus, anti-spam, pop-up blockers, and anti-spyware software from a trusted source.
  • Set up a security key for your wireless network and change the default network password.
  • Never leave your computer unattended.

Account/credit information

  • Review statements from your South Carolina Federal Credit Union accounts, including credit cards, to ensure all transactions are accurate.
  • Review your statements carefully.
  • Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Cancel unused or expired credit cards and shred them.
  • Request a copy of your credit report annually.
  • Sign up for eStatements to avoid mail fraud.
  • Use Online Banking to check your account information more frequently.
  • Never use a publicly accessed or shared computer to conduct Online Banking transactions.

 

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We can answer your questions.