How to Protect Yourself
Utilizing technology when conducting banking business provides members with convenient tools to help them manage their finances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this new technology come new forms of fraud. At MembersAlliance Credit Union, we take every precaution to safeguard your personal and financial information, but we also urge our members to do their part in safeguarding their information.
Protecting Your Information
It is important to remember that managing your finances also includes protecting your information and developing smart, safe habits when handling your financial and personal information.
- Do not share your information with anyone unless you initiated the contact. This means that you should never provide your personal and financial information over the phone, via email, or through the Internet unless you originally initiated the contact.
- Store your Social Security Card, account numbers, PINs (Personal Identification Numbers), user IDs, and passwords in a secure place where people cannot access them.
- Choose passwords and PINs that are difficult to guess and change them on a regular basis. Also, do not share your passwords and PINs with anyone.
- Check your account statements on a regular basis. An excellent way to monitor your accounts is through WebDirect online banking where you can access your accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Know your billing cycles to make sure you receive your bills. If there is any interruption in receiving your bills, contact the billing company immediately.
- Consider going paperless with electronic statements. Electronic statements allow you to stop receiving paper statements and receive them electronically. We suggest you check with each company, though, to verify that its statements are sent to you through a secure system. Learn more and sign up for eStatements from MACU, by signing on to your account through WebDirect online banking. (eStatements is found in WebDirect)
- Consider paying your bills electronically and skip sending your payments through the mail. As with electronic statements, we suggest that you check with your billing companies to make sure that their bill payment sites and systems are safe and secure. Learn more about our online bill payment product, iPayDirect by clicking here.
- Shred your mail and any papers that have personal information and/or financial information on them; this includes credit card statements, bank statements, offers for pre-approved credit, and etc.
- Store new checks in a secure place. In addition, if you are expecting new checks, always make sure you receive them in a timely manner.
- Do not include your driver's license number, Social Security number, or phone number on pre-printed checks.
- Always check your mailbox for new mail. If you notice that you have stopped receiving mail, contact your post office immediately. It is also a good practice to send outgoing mail through the post office directly or a secure post office box.
- Request a hold on your mail and/or newspaper if you are planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Contact your post office and newspaper company to do so. In addition, you can also contact your financial institution to setup a seasonal address for your accounts.
- Request a credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year. Review your credit reports to make sure they are accurate and include only activities you've authorized. To request your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Visit www.ftc.gov/freereports to learn more about requesting your free credit report.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if your checkbook, debit card, ATM card, or credit card is lost or stolen. To contact us, call 815.226.2260.
- Always protect your ATM card and keep it in a safe place, just like you would cash, credit cards or checks.
- Sign the back of your card immediately upon receipt.
- Destroy your old card when it expires or when your new card becomes effective.
- Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and do not write it on the back of your card or keep it in your wallet or purse. You should keep a written record of it in a secure location entirely separate from your card.
- Do not share your ATM card or PIN information with anyone.
- Always save your ATM receipts, so you can compare them with your monthly statement.
- Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN by using your body to shield their view.
- Beware of your surroundings at the ATM at all times. If you notice anything suspicious at the ATM, cancel your transaction, pocket your card and leave the ATM immediately. If you are at a drive-up ATM, make sure all of the car doors are locked and all of the windows are rolled up, except the driver's window. Keep the engine running and remain alert to your surroundings.
- Don't display your cash upon receipt; pocket it or put it in your purse immediately.
- Report any problems with the ATM to the operator of the facility. Report any suspicious activity to the operator and the local law enforcement officials immediately.
- Prepare your ATM deposit at home by filling out the deposit slip to minimize your time at the ATM.
- Remember, do not leave your card, cash or receipt at the ATM.
- Never enter your PIN in any ATM that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner.
- Don't accept assistance from anyone you do not know or who is not an employee of the credit union.
- Contact your financial institution immediately if your ATM card is lost or stolen. To contact us, call 815.226.2260.
Online Banking Safety
- Make sure the Online Banking site is secure with SSL security before you conduct any transactions. Two signs will confirm this SSL security: 1) when you are in our site or any secure site the URL will look like this "https://" and include an "s" and 2) a small padlock will appear in your browser's screen, typically at the bottom or top of your screen.
- Always log out of the web site and close the browser when you are finished.
- Never access your Online Banking on a public computer at Internet cafés, public libraries, etc. You do not know if malicious software has been downloaded onto the computers.
- Recognize the site that you are entering, if site looks unexpectedly different do not enter site. Some Online Banking sites provide an extra layer of protection called multi-factor authentication ( MFA). MFA detects any uncharacteristic or unusual behavior involving your Online Banking account. WebDirect from MembersAlliance Credit Union uses MFA. If something looks strange or our website does not have the https or secure lock, do not log in to your account, and contact us immediately at 815.226.2260.
- Never leave a computer unattended while using your online banking, or any secure website.
- Change your password when instructed and make sure the new password differs from the old one. Your password should be difficult to guess and include a combination of letters and numbers. WebDirect users have access to change their passwords as often as they would like for extra security and protection.
- Use these tips when setting up password verifications questions.
- Choose questions that are specific and that only YOU can answer and not publicly available.
- Consider purposely using an incorrect answer to a question selected during the setup process. For example if you choose the question "What is the last high school you attended?" you could answer a rival high school name.
- Do not include your Password or the answer as part of the question.
- Do not disclose your answers to anyone.
- Verify that electronic statements are sent using a secure system. eStatements at Membersalliance Credit Union are only available to be viewed through WebDirect, which is a SSL secure connection. A member will only receive an email from MembersAlliance Credit Union stating that their eStatement is available for viewing.
Safeguarding Your Computer and Mobile Device
- Set your computer's operating system, if possible, to receive automatic updates. If you are unable to do this automatically, you can download and install updates on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to make sure you are using the most current version of your Internet browser.
- Use up-to-date anti-virus and personal firewall software on your computer.
- Back up important computer files on a regular basis.
- Store your user IDs, and passwords in a secure place. Do not store them on your computer or mobile device.
- Clear your cookies and cache on your computer or mobile device on a regular basis.
- Do not click on pop-ups or other downloads from sites you are not familiar with or do not trust. The same goes for emails - do not click on links, downloads, and/or attachments in emails from users you do not know or trust.
- Make sure any online shopping sites are secure with SSL security before you make any online purchases. Two signs will confirm that SSL security is in use: 1) the URL will have a "s" in it and look like this "https://" and 2) a small padlock will appear in your browser's screen, typically at the bottom or top of your screen.
- Do not interrupt your online session by clicking on another site when you are completing a transaction online. Always complete the transaction and then log out of the site before you move on to another web site.
- Always officially log out of any e-commerce or financial site when you are done with the site and then close the browser window. Do not click the "remember me" check box on a web site's login page.
- Never access bank, brokerage, or other financial services information on a public computer at Internet cafés, public libraries, etc. You do not know if malicious software has been downloaded onto the computers.