We know that when you share your personal information online, security is of the highest priority. Be assured that Dade County Federal Credit Union shares your concern and employs sophisticated security methods. The instant you sign in to your secure Personal or Business On-line Banking account, your user ID and password are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. This precaution is intended to prevent anyone other than yourself and Dade County Federal Credit Union from accessing your information.
For helpful tips on how to safeguard your personal information and computer from identity thieves, viruses and scams, please keep reading.
General Security Tips
- While anyone can fall prey to fraud and identity theft, many ways exist to minimize your risk.
- Dade County Federal Credit Union provides these security tips so you can guard against fraud and identity theft.
- If you feel you may be a victim of identity theft, review our Identity Theft advisory in this section for more information and a list of resources.
Keep Information Private. Be extremely careful if you have to use a library or other public computer to access your account, online fraudsters could have installed a keystroke logger to obtain your username, pin, answers to security questions, and password.
Fraudsters are known for masking emails and text messages to look like they come from a trusted sender. Do not send your account number or personal information via email or text messaging to anyone. Do not use a hyperlink that is located in an email to access DCFCU’s online banking website and always ensure the login page web address starts with https.
- Never give out personal information online or over the phone unless you have initiated the contact. Dade County Federal Credit Union will never request that you submit confidential information over non-secure channels such as e-mail or phone calls initiated by us.
- Don’t include information such as your driver’s license or Social Security Number on your pre-printed checks.
- Memorize all Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), such as your ATM card PIN and online passwords. Do not keep such numbers in your wallet or purse.
- Avoid using easily guessed or learned information such as your on-line password, PIN or Personal Access Code. We offer you the ability to select a Personal Access Code to be used as identification when accessing our Tellerline 24.
- Store new and cancelled checks in a secure place and shred unnecessary financial documents. Consider signing up for a check safekeeping service.
- Avoid writing your account number on envelopes or other items that may be thrown away later.
- Register your credit cards, ATM, check and debit cards with a liability protection service.
For Business Accounts:
Perform risk assessment on your computer and controls evaluation periodically. Some examples of Risk:
- Risk related to online transactions that your business faces
- The possibility of Internal Fraud
- The lack of dual control or other checks and balances over individual access to online transaction capabilities
Some examples of Controls:
- Segregating duties among two or more people so no one person has too much access or control
- Conducting internal or third party audits of controls
- Conducting employee background checks
- Using password protected software to house passwords in
Deploy dual control routines over higher risk functions performed on line, such as calling the Credit Union informing them of high value dollar transaction processed on your account”.
Protect Your Mail
- If you stop receiving bills, statements or other monthly mailings, or if a bill is not received when expected, contact the issuing company immediately.
- Promptly collect incoming mail, and use a locking mailbox if possible.
- Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or a post office; try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox.
- Shred all unwanted pre-approved offers for credit cards, convenience checks or loans.
Personal Computer Security
One way a thief can get personal information about you is from your home computer. The following tips detail how you can add to the security of personal information on your home computer.
Passwords and User IDs
For each computer or on-line service you use, you should have a user ID and password. Try to create the most bizarre and original password, and make sure you protect it. Commit your password to memory and don’t share it with anyone. The following easily identifiable items should be avoided when creating passwords:
- Your birth date or a family member’s birth date
- Names of family members or pets
- Social Security number
- Phone numbers
- Dates of important events, such as anniversaries
Tips for creating strong passwords
- Use a combination of numbers, letters and punctuation.
- Longer passwords are better.
- Make sure it’s something you can remember without writing it down.
Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs
Viruses can infect a home computer in many ways: through floppy disks, CDs, e-mail, Web sites and downloaded files. Anti-virus programs help protect your computer against most viruses, worms, Trojans and other unwanted invaders that can make your computer “sick.” Viruses, worms and the like often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, accessing personal data or using your computer to attack other computers. If a file is found to be infected with a virus, most anti-virus programs provide you with options of how to respond, such as removing the harmful item or deleting the file. Installing an anti-virus program and keeping it up-to-date is the best defense for your home computer.
Firewalls: What Are They and How Do I Use Them?
Before you connect your computer to the Internet, you should install a firewall. A firewall can be generally described as a security guard for your home computer. The guard is a piece of software or hardware that helps protect your PC against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. With a firewall, you define which connections between your computer and other computers on the Internet are allowed and which are denied. There are firewall programs, both free and available for purchase, that provide the capabilities you need to help make your home computer more secure. E-mail Scams: Phishing
Malware: Short for malicious software, often included in spam e-mails, this can take control of your computer without your knowledge and forward to fraudsters your personal information such as IDs, passwords, account numbers and PINs.
You can make your computer safer by installing and updating regularly your:
Firewalls on your computer
Operating system patches and updates
The following websites can get you started learning about your online security options. These are provided for information purposes; no endorsement of any product or service is intended.
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
Anti-Virus & Firewall
What is phishing?
All Internet users should be aware of the online scam known as “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”). Phishing involves the use of e-mail messages that appear to come from your bank or another trusted business, but are actually from imposters.
Dade County Federal Credit Union will never contact you by email to request your personal and confidential information. Phishing e-mails typically ask you to click a link to visit a Web site, where you’re asked to enter or confirm personal financial information such as your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number or other data. Although these Web sites may appear legitimate, they are not. Thieves can collect whatever data you enter and use it to access your personal accounts.
How can I spot a phishing scam?
Look for these warning signs:
- Language and tone. The message you receive may urge you to act quickly by suggesting that your account is threatened. It may say that if you fail to update, verify or confirm your personal or account information, access to your accounts will be suspended. The wording may also be sloppy and contain misspellings.
- Requests for personal information. Scam e-mails typically ask for personal or account information such as:
- – Account numbers
- – Credit and check card numbers
- – Social Security numbers
- – Online banking user IDs and passwords
- – Mother’s maiden name
- – Date of birth
- – Other confidential information
- E-mailed instructions to download software. All your online banking should be done through our secure Web site, and we will not send you e-mail instructions to download any banking software to your computer. Do not install software downloads directly from e-mail messages, or from companies or Web sites you do not recognize. When in doubt, contact the company directly or call our customer service number at 305.471.5080.
- Non-secure Web pages. Clever thieves can build a fake Web site that looks nearly identical to an authentic one. They can even alter the URL (the Web address) that appears in your browser window. Watch out for non-secure Web pages that ask for sensitive information (secure sites will typically display a lock in the status bar at the bottom of your browser window).
How can I decrease my risk of being a phishing victim?
Here are some safety tips:
- Be suspicious of demanding messages. Messages threatening to terminate or suspend your account without your quick response should be treated as suspicious. A legitimate bank or business should not request personal information from you over an unsecured Web site. When in doubt, call the business’ customer service number (available on your account statement) to confirm the status of your account. Do not use telephone numbers found on the suspected Web site.
- Be cautious of downloads. Installing unknown software on your computer can put your personal information at risk and potentially harm your computer’s hard drive. Make sure the software comes from a legitimate Web site, not an e-mail message. If you’re not sure whether you should download a program, contact a customer service representative for more information.
- Always type in the URL of the Web page you need. Phishing scams rely on embedded links that take you to fake Web sites. It’s safer to type your credit union’s Web address directly into your browser so you know you’re visiting the legitimate site.
- Protect your password. Don’t write down sensitive personal information such as your password or Social Security number. Change your password frequently.
- Keep your computer up to date. Dade County Federal Credit Union recommends that you install anti-virus and firewall programs to help keep your computer safe.
Report an online scam
- If you receive suspicious e-mail that appears to come from Dade County Federal Credit Union, please notify us immediately by forwarding the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (do not open any attachments or click any links found in the suspicious e-mail).
- You may also want to forward it to the Federal Trade Commission at email@example.com, or contact them at www.consumer.gov/idtheft* or 877.IDTHEFT (877.438.4338).
- If you believe you have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent e-mail or Web site, please contact Dade County Federal Credit Union at 305.471.5080 and contact the other financial institutions with which you have accounts.
Learn more about phishing
To learn more about phishing, read the article of phishing enclosed in this website.
Pharming: similar to phishing, pharming seeks to obtain personal information by directing you to a copycat website where your information is stolen, usually from a legitimate-looking form.
E-mail viruses and worms are fairly common. Here are steps you can use to help you decide what to do with every e-mail message attachment you receive. You should only open and read a message that passes all of these tests.
- The know test – is the e-mail from someone you know?
- The received test – have you received e-mail from this person before?
- The expect test – were you expecting e-mail with an attachment from this sender?
- The sense test – does the e-mail subject make sense based on who is sending the e-mail? Would you expect this type of attachment from this person?
- The virus test – does this e-mail contain a virus? To determine this, you need to install and use an anti-virus program.
Purchasing and Installing Programs
Apply these practices when you select software for your home computer.
- Learn as much as you can about the product and what it does before you purchase it.
- Understand the refund/return policy before you make your purchase.
- Buy from a local store that you already know or a national chain with an established reputation.
Keep Your System Up to Date
Most software vendors provide free patches to fix problems in their products. You can usually download these patches from the vendor’s Web site. When you purchase a program, it’s a good idea to find out how the vendor provides customer support.
Backups: How Important?
It is a good practice to back up important files and folders on your computer. To back up files, you can make copies onto media that you can safely store elsewhere, such as CDs or floppy discs.
For more information on home computer security, visit http://www.cert.org/.*
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft happens when your personal information, typically your Social Security number (SSN), is stolen and used to commit fraud or theft. The thief can use this information to rent apartments, buy cell phones, drain your bank account or obtain loans and credit cards. In worst-case scenarios, thieves can even hold a job or commit a crime using your identification. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft affects nearly 400,000 people in the US each year. A person whose identity has been stolen can spend months or years•and thousands of dollars•to clean up the mess made of their good name or credit record. For more information about Identity Theft, please visit the FTC Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.*
How Can It Happen?
Identity thieves have high- and low-tech ways of stealing your personal information. They can search through your trash or hack into your personal computer. The following are just a few examples of items identity thieves look for:
- Your wallet or purse•containing ID, credit cards, debit cards
- Bank statements or receipts
- Mail•credit card statements, checks, tax information, pre-approved credit card offers, etc.
- Personal information from your home or home computer
- Files from offices where you are a customer, employee, patient or student
Minimize Your Risk
Now that you are aware of identity theft and how it occurs, these steps can lower the chance that it will happen to you.
- Order a copy of your credit report. Make sure it’s accurate and includes only the activities you’ve authorized. Do this at least once a year to catch mistakes and fraud before they wreak havoc on your personal finances.
- Guard passwords and PINs that allow you to access your credit card, financial and phone accounts•and avoid using easily available information such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your SSN or your phone number.
- Secure personal information in your home. Remove your new mail from the mailbox promptly and send outgoing mail from the post office or other secure mail boxes. Tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, physician statements, checks and bank statements. Where available, arrange to receive your account statements online instead of on paper. Where available, arrange to receive your account statements online instead of on paper.
- Review your account statements on a regular basis, and use online or phone balance and transaction review features. These are among the best ways to watch for fraudulent activity on all of your financial accounts.
- Find out who has access to your personal information at work and verify that records are kept in a secure location.
- Don’t carry your SSN card•leave it in a secure place.
- Learn how to keep your computer and personal information safe.
Sharing Personal Information with Businesses
Many businesses offer an “opt-out” choice that limits the information shared with others or used for promotional purposes. When you “opt-out” you may cut down on the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls, promotional mail and spam e-mails you receive.
If You Are a Victim
Identity theft can happen even if you think you have done all you can to protect yourself. If you suspect your personal information has been misused to commit fraud or theft, take action immediately. Here are three basic steps to take to protect against further damage:
- Contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus to inform them that you are an identity theft victim. Request that a “fraud alert” be placed on your file and request a copy of your credit report. Please see the resources section for a listing of credit bureau contact numbers.
- If you believe your accounts have been tampered with or fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name, close these accounts immediately. If you have a Dade County Federal Credit Union account with unauthorized credit or debit activity, please contact customer service immediately. To initiate a search for Dade County Federal Credit Union accounts or to request account documentation for known fraudulent accounts created through identity theft, please complete an Identity Theft Account Documentation Request.
- File a police report with your local police department or the police in the community where the identity theft took place. Ask for a copy of the police report; often credit card companies and others will need proof of the crime to erase the debts caused by identity theft.
Resolving Credit Problems
The key to proving you are a victim of identity theft is to get the right documents to the right people. The following are tips to help you resolve credit problems resulting from identity theft.
- Credit reports: Call the Credit Bureau and inform them of the information on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate. Follow up in writing and include copies (not originals) of your documentation such as a copy of the police report or your credit card statement with circles around the items in question.
- Credit cards: Write your credit card company or other provider to inform them of fraudulent charges. Send your letter so that it arrives at the creditor within 60 days from when the first bill containing the charge was sent to you.
- ATM cards, debit cards and electronic fund transfers: If your ATM or Visa® Check Card is stolen or lost or you find a fraudulent transaction on your statement, visit your nearest Dade County Federal Credit Union Financial Center or call customer service at 800.299.7147
Identity Theft Resources
Federal Trade Commission
To report fraud, call: 800.525.6285 and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 888.EXPERIAN (888.397.3742) and write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 800.680.7289 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
- Credit Cards
To opt out of receiving pre-screened credit card offers, please call 888.5.OPTOUT (888.567.8688).
- Federal “Do Not Call” Registry
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Check with your state DMV to learn more about their policies on sharing personal information with other agencies at http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/protect.shtm#Motor
- Direct Marketing Association
– Direct Mail Marketers: http://www.the-dma.org/consumers/offmailinglist.html*
– Telemarketing: http://www.the-dma.org/consumers/offtelephonelist.html*
– E-mail: www.dmaconsumers.org/offemaillist.html*
- Social Security Number Theft and Misuse
Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov/*
- Mail Theft
- Phone Fraud
Federally Insured By NCUA to at least $250,000