Slam down the hackers and keep your bank account protected in 2022
It’s a new year, which means it’s the perfect time to set new goals, new challenges, and new money habits. But before you create your new year financial plans, check out these seven tips to maintain and protect your account information.
1. Create Complex Passwords and Usernames
Avoid using readily available information like your last name, your birth date, a single word, and the last four digits of your social. A combination of letters, numbers, and special characters make the strongest passwords. Keep this in mind when creating a username as well, because having a complex username is just as important as having a complex password.
2. Keep An Eye Out for Account Change Emails
Fraudsters are gaining access to accounts and changing contact information. How does this happen?
Fraudsters can change your username and password by figuring out simple log in information. They may even have access to your security questions. Once they gain access, they change contact information in your account, such as email addresses and phone numbers. Be on the lookout for emails from SWACU stating your email or any other account information has changed. If it wasn’t you, it’s a good sign that someone has accessed your account.
If a fraudster is able to gain access to your account, they are now using account aggregation tools, like Yodlee and Mint to get account information, such as your checking account number. This can go unnoticed because they do not have to log into your account. They can get all of the information they need from the account aggregation tool. They are even able to set up ACH transfers to drain your account. One way to stay informed of this type of activity, is to set up alerts.
3. Set up Account Alerts
Alerts are a great way to keep you informed when certain events happen with your account. For example, if money has been withdrawn from your account (ACH withdrawal) or you receive an ACH micro deposit (used to verify your account) we can notify you. To set up alerts, in the SWACU app go to profile, alerts, add/edit alert. For a detailed video on how to set up account alerts in online banking click here.
4. Use trusted websites when online shopping
Shop online using websites that are well known and employ security features. Pay attention to the actual URL you are shopping to ensure the site is valid and not being redirected to a less than reputable website.
5. Look for security indicators
To check that a website is secure, look for “https” at the beginning of a site’s address. When you see the (s) at the end the website is encrypted, and your data will be secure.
6. Don't store payment information
Storing your debit/credit card information on a retailer’s website may help you save time when shopping, but it becomes risky in the long run. Storing your account information on account aggreagtors such as Mint, Yodlee, etc., can also pose a risk for hackers/fraudsters to access you bank accounts. Stored information could comprise your identity if there is a widespread data breach.
7. Monitor statements and credit reports
A great habit to start the new year is monitoring your accounts weekly and checking your statements/credit report monthly. Early detection of identity theft can make a huge difference.
No matter what your New Year goals may be, our friends at GreenPath can help you to take control of your day to day financial choices to create more opportunities for achieving your dreams. Get started today by visiting GreenPath Wellness.