8.18.20

9 tips to protect your online banking accounts

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Proactive ways to keep your valuable account information secure.

Convenient banking websites and apps allow people to bank whenever and wherever they want. However, personal and account information could be compromised if you don’t take an active role in protecting it. Here are nine tips to prevent hackers from accessing your accounts.

Verify the banking app before downloading

Make sure the app you’re downloading is really from your financial institution. Get links to the Consumers Mobile App here.

Change passwords often and make them strong

Yes, it’s a hassle to keep changing passwords, but it’s a good way to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Make passwords strong by using words that aren’t in the dictionary. Use a combination of numbers, symbols, capital letters and lowercase letters. Don’t use words that could be easily guessed like the names of your kids, street or pets.

A common mistake is to use the same password for several websites. Create a new password for each online account you use.

A password manager can keep track of all your logins across devices. These tools encrypt your login credentials to keep your information safe. If you’re not already using a one, check out these password manager reviews.

Enable two-factor authentication

Your password is the first factor of authentication. With two-factor authentication, your financial institution takes an extra step to make sure it’s really you logging in. They’ll send a code by text, phone call or email that you need to enter on the website or app. The code is the second factor used to make sure it’s you attempting to access the account.

Some banks use two-factor authentication automatically. If you’re given an option, always enable two-factor authentication.

If you ever receive an authentication code from Consumers when you’re not trying to access your account, call us right away at 800-991-2221. Learn more about setting up two-factor authentication at Consumers here.

Skip the free Wi-Fi and public computers

The problem with free Wi-Fi is that anybody can access it, and some people are up to no good. Identity thieves and cybercriminals can monitor traffic on free Wi-Fi systems to  capture usernames and passwords. Don’t use free Wi-Fi for online banking or any transaction with sensitive information.

Public computers pose a security risk because they may harbor malware and spyware that can make your sensitive information vulnerable to prying eyes.

Don’t click on pop-ups

Pop-up windows can be used to trick people into downloading malware that puts their personal information at risk. Don’t click on them! Better yet, disable pop-ups in your device’s settings. If there are sites where you want pop-ups enabled, you can add them to your list of trusted sites.

Keep software up-to-date

Spyware and malware makers continually seek ways to exploit weaknesses in computer and smartphone operating systems. Fortunately, the makers of operating systems keep vigil and make updates to thwart cybercriminals. Make sure your operating systems are always up-to-date by allowing automatic updates.

Beware of scam emails and texts

Imposters send emails and texts that look like they’re from your bank, but are really disguised efforts to access your personal and account information. Never click on a link from a sender you don’t recognize. Go directly to the bank using the website URL you know and trust. From there, check your account and notifications. 

Sign up for alerts

Sign up for your financial institution’s alerts that let you know when there is activity on your account. If you see a transaction you don’t recognize, call your bank immediately.

Consumers members can get alerts by email and text. Learn how to enable alerts for your checking, savings, loans and credit cards.

Log off when your banking is done

Most financial websites and apps will automatically log off after a certain amount of time. Danger arises if someone were to access your devices before the automatic log off. Be safe and always click or tap on “log out” when your banking session is done.

If you have questions about using Consumers online banking, our Mobile App or alerts,  give us a call at 800-991-2221.

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want.

Federally insured by NCUA

 

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  1. Craig Davis says:

    just had a verification code texted to me. I did no t ask for one. I tried calling to inform the credit union but it is after hours. Is my account ok? Who am I supposed to contact after hours?

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    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hi Craig, we have a social service team that monitors our Facebook messages and can help with certain things after hours. Please give us a call at 800.991.2221.

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