At Pacific Service Credit Union, we believe that teaching children and young adults about money management instills important financial habits that last a lifetime. That’s why we’ve designed a suite of products specifically suited to children and young adults. And better yet, when you give the gift of membership by opening an account for [...]
MSN Money’s 7th annual survey lists five big banks and credit card companies in their 2013 top 10 ‘Hall of Shame.’ According to MSN Money, complaints against American Express, Discover Card, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Bank of America include misleading marketing, lawsuit settlements and “poor” ratings on credit cards and banking. Read the entire list [...]
These days, your smartphone probably carries more confidential information than your wallet. Phones often have password vaults or stored passwords, banking information, your contact information and more. Now that your phone is more important than your wallet, phone theft is the new purse snatching. So, how can you keep your personal information safe?
The first step is to lock your phone with a password. It’s basic and not foolproof; however, it’s the easiest deterrent for thieves that want quick access to your personal information. If they can’t access your information quickly after stealing your device, you will have time to report the loss and the thieves may move on.
Don’t store critical personal data in accessible applications, like notes, calendars or email. If you want to use your device as a password vault, consider a password and data vault app, like Secure Wallet, eWallet or Google Wallet, to safely house your secure data.
Use remote access like wi-fi and Bluetooth only when you need it and only from trusted sources, especially if conducting financial business. Don’t opt to have your phone automatically connect to nearby wi-fi networks and be sure to turn your Bluetooth availability off when not in use.
Instead of using your mobile browser, download an application, or “app,” instead. As long as you download from your device’s official store or marketplace, applications are safer than simply shopping or accessing websites online because they can help protect you from fraudulent phishing sites. You should also consider installing antivirus protection on tablets and notebooks. Be sure to download from your official app store or marketplace.
When accessing personal or financial information online, don’t skip the important step of logging out. Logging out closes your session and shuts down access to someone trying to access the site or app after you.
Additionally, don’t let your browser or device save your passwords. Enter your password for access every time.
When you get rid of your phone, be sure to wipe it clean of all data. Typically, phones have an option to erase the content or return it to the original factory settings.
As always, we encourage you to stay informed about current scams. We regularly post scam alerts and risks associated with banking on our blog.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. We can cancel compromised Pacific Service CU cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.
As mobile banking adoption increases, so does the risk of fraud. Compared to other types of fraud, the risk of mobile fraud is still comparatively low; however, we encourage you to stay informed about fraud risks as they develop. Here’s a little bit about the most common mobile threats.
Mobile hacking is still a fairly uncommon crime, however, if you are targeted, fraudsters could potentially record your keystrokes, control your apps or steal your information. To protect yourself, don’t connect to unknown wi-fi networks, don’t download unknown apps, and don’t click on links via text or email if they seem suspicious or are from unknown people.
Although this is possible, it’s not probable at this point. Experts do warn that mobile malware attacks are on the rise and will continue to increase in the coming years as users move more toward the concept of a mobile wallet. However, for now; the technology is very new and fraud attempts are very low compared to the more common malware attacks on your desktop or laptop computer.
The risk of text banking involves sending secure information over a very lightly secured wireless channel. Companies typically caution consumers to minimize what they share via text; however, users often still send account numbers and personal information. We recommend that you opt for a more secure mobile banking channel like a native application that you download to your phone, like the one we offer. Search for your financial institution’s app at an official app store like the Apple App store or the Android Marketplace.
Fraudulent Applications Fraudulent applications must be downloaded to infect your phone. Often these downloadable apps claim to offer additional security for your phone or offer a protected login to other accounts. Lower the risk of downloading fraudulent apps by shopping at official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.
The most realistic and common threat right now is that your phone is physically stolen. You can start by protecting your phone with a password. It’s not foolproof, but it is a deterrent. Second, most smart phones offer remote access. Your phone provider should be able to tell you if your device offers GPS. If you can’t find your phone, you may be able to track it from a computer or another device to see its location. You can also ask your phone provider to see if you can remotely erase your phone. In the event your phone has been permanently lost or stolen, you may be able to remotely clear your phone’s contents.
Most importantly, don’t store any personal information on your phone like passwords or social security numbers. If you do use your phone for private data, consider a password and data vault app, like Secure Wallet, eWallet or Google Wallet, to safely house your secure data. Again, lower risks by only downloading apps from official app stores like the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace.
Don’t underestimate the importance of strong, unique and varied passwords. Using the same password on your financial apps that you use on your more common apps could make login information easily accessible by a fraudster.
As always, we encourage you to stay informed about current scams. We regularly post scam alerts and risk associated with banking so stay tuned.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of fraud or your account has been compromised, immediately call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878. We can cancel compromised cards, change your account number or add a password to your account for future transactions.
eStatements are a win-win for everyone. Here are some reasons that savvy members choose “e.”
Receiving statements electronically is a great way to “go green” by eliminating the paper waste.
You’ll receive your statement several days sooner. No more waiting for the mail, your email notification is sent as soon as statements are available.
Using eStatements can protect your account information. Since there’s no paper, you can prevent mail tampering and the risks of maintaining paper records in your home.
You don’t have to file away your paper statement just in case you may one day need it and then search your house when you do. We’ll store them for you clutter-free. Whenever you need to reference your financial history, simply login to BranchLine.
eStatements are a cost savings for the Credit Union. As a cooperatively-owned financial institution, when we save money, we put that money back into the organization for our members’ benefit. We provide lower fees, lower loan rates and higher savings rates. We also invest in ways to better serve our members, like home banking improvements, the shared branch network and mobile banking.
The best part is that the coffee’s on us. Everyone loves a freebie, especially a dark, delicious cup of caffeine. When you cancel your paper statement before August 31, 2012, we’ll send you a complimentary $5 Starbucks card.
It’s easy to cancel your paper statements. Simply login to BranchLine, click eStatements and change your preference to “Cancel Paper.” Or, use our simple two-click form right now.
Recently, LinkedIn suffered a security breach that compromised over 6.5 million user passwords. Public postings of those passwords were published on online hacking sites, although many passwords were still in an encrypted format. LinkedIn does not believe that any user names were exposed in conjunction with those passwords. Following the breach, LinkedIn contacted members whose passwords were hacked, temporarily disabled their access and required that they reset their passwords.
In the wake of a breach of this magnitude, we are again reminded about the importance of securing and updating our online passwords.
Complex is good
It’s important to use a “complex” password with a series of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Increasing a password’s complexity increases your security. The biggest complaint I hear is that passwords are hard to remember. Here’s a trick: Using a phrase, you can create a strong password that’s easy to remember. For example, A41&14a is an easy-to-remember acronym for “All for one and one for all.”
Categorizing is good
Don’t use the same password to access all or many of your online accounts. You wouldn’t lock your home, car, office and safe with the same key, so consider varying the logins and passwords for different sites to maximize security.
One option is categorizing your passwords by security level. For example, sites like online banking, PayPal and investment brokerages may be more important to protect with your strongest, most complex passwords; whereas sites for photos, travel and music may be safe to use with less complex, easier to remember passwords.
Change is good
Even if you have strong passwords; you should keep them fresh. Passwords should be updated every few months. It may be helpful to change your password protected websites on a rotating cycle to be sure that you are always using an up-to-date, secure password.
Stay safe online by being cautious and prepared. As always, if you suspect your Pacific Service CU accounts have been compromised, contact us immediately so that we can assist you in safeguarding your information.
For website security purposes and to ensure that access to the Pacific Service Credit Union (PSCU) website remains available to all users, PSCU may enable the use of software programs to monitor and record network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this website and any other illegal activities are strictly prohibited, may be reported to law enforcement agencies and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and Title 18 U.S.C. Sec.1001 and 1030.