Your welfare is our prime concern at Sacred Heart Parish Federal Credit Union. We’re not solely interested in protecting the money you trust in our care. We’re interested in your overall security.
Safeguarding your online banking experience is a serious responsibility, one we don’t take lightly. We employ every technology currently available to secure your transactions.
Cybercrime is an organized effort to separate you from your hard-earned money. Online crooks can also steal your identity.
Watch out for these common online threats
Phishing – Fraudulent emails, appearing to come from a trusted source, will encourage you to follow a link to website designed to look like the site they are mimicking. They could claim to be coming from your bank, credit card provider, or other entity you conduct legitimate business with. Once there, you’re prompted to enter your user name, password, and other personal information. The data is collected by the thief, who uses it to steal your identity. Beware of emails that warn your account will be shut down unless you confirm personal information. Sacred Heart Parish Federal Credit Union will never contact you via email about an issue with your account. Call us immediately to report any suspicious communications.
|Spear Phishing – Phishing attack carried out on a specific target. The purpose is usually to gain entry into an organization’s internal network.
|Malware – Any software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s knowledge or consent. Viruses, spyware, and ransomware are all types of malware.
|Botnet – Cyber crooks download malware on a group of computers they control as a group to distribute spam or malware without the owner’s knowledge.
|Ransomware – This type of malware encrypts all of the data on your computer, rendering it inaccessible until you pay the ransom demanded to unlock your files. Hospitals, governments, and utilities are the most frequent targets of this type of attack. Interruption of the essential services they provide makes them especially vulnerable.
|Adware – Enticing or misleading ads appear suddenly on your screen. Rather than deliver the goods, your computer is infiltrated with malware. Don’t be tempted to click on anything unsolicited. If it’s a good or service you find interesting, do your research first and purchase from a legitimate source.
|Spyware - Malware that tracks you as you browse the Internet. It captures your user names, passwords, and any credit card information you provide online.
Practice online safety
- Create strong passwords, and never share them with anyone else. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters where possible. DO NOT use something easy to guess like the word “password,” your dog’s name or favorite baseball team. Instead, think of a phrase that you’ll remember. Take the first letter of each word and use numbers where appropriate. For example: Sacred Heart Catholic Church has Mass at 8 AM.
Your password could be: SHCChM@8
- Use multi-factor authentication or biometrics where possible. Multi-factor authentication requires something in addition to a login name and password. A code may be sent to your cell phone or captcha appear on the login screen to prove you’re a real person.
Biometrics use a thumbprint or iris scan as your unique identifier.
- Make sure you’re on a secure website before entering personal information or credit card numbers. Look for “https:” rather than “http:”. A lock icon will appear somewhere in the address bar, depending on your browser of choice.
- Keep your computer software updated. This includes your operating system, firewall, antivirus software, and your web browser.
Despite all the warnings and online safety awareness, cybercrime remain a lucrative business. It’s not because people don’t know what to look out for, but because busy lifestyles cause us to react and click before we carefully look for red flags in every email we receive.
Once we click, malware is unleashed on our computer that will wreak unimaginable havoc. And if you happen to be at work when it happens, you can take down the entire computer network.
Here are a couple ways to spot a malicious email
- Domain names appear similar to legitimate entities, but with a small change. For example, the Sender of an email may read email@example.com instead of Amazon.com.
- A tantalizing email appears in your inbox unexpectedly. Perhaps a superior “mistakenly” sent you a spreadsheet with corporate salaries. Or someone you don’t know sent an attachment with privileged information. Curiosity has gotten the best of some of the smartest people around.
- Typos are common in fraudulent emails.
- Avoid the Nigerian prince who wants you to hide his money, the winning lottery notification for a game you never played, or the vacation prize you won in a drawing you didn’t enter.
- Spammers can spoof a sender’s name to make it appear to come from someone you know. If you aren’t expecting the email, never open the attachment without first checking with the originator.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud. They may open credit accounts in your name, file a tax return using your Social Security number, or use your health insurance information for their own medical care.
The fraud can go unnoticed for a length of time before something triggers awareness. A child’s identity can be compromised for years before they become an adult and try to get credit on their own.
Identity theft can happen to anyone. Thieves target stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and other establishments where business transactions occur. Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, suffered a breach that affected 143 million consumers.
Four million credit card numbers were auctioned off at a cybercrime underground offering November 2019. The numbers were obtained through a breach of Focus Brands’ payment systems. Focus Brands is the parent company of popular restaurants Schlotzky’s, Moe’s, McAlister’s, and Krystal.
Names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdates, credit card numbers, and related personal information are like gold to a cybercrook.
What are some signs your identity may have been stolen?
- A bill or financial statement is late. Someone could have changed the address to redirect to their home.
- Watch for unauthorized transactions on your credit card and bank account statements.
- Review your credit reports for unknown accounts. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major reporting agencies. You don’t need to get them all at once. By requesting one at a time, you can spread them out over the course of the year to catch errors more quickly. Visit Annualcreditreport.com for your free report.
Equifax has a dedicated website for consumers to learn if they were affected by their breach. They offer resources for victims as well at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
Report a Lost or Stolen Debit or Mastercard