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Social Network Security
As social networking sites (such as Facebook) grow in influence and power, they are also causing trouble for themselves and their users by supplying user information to advertisers and others. Breaches in security have made what was thought to be private information available to a multitude of sources. More than a dozen privacy and consumer protection organizations have now filed a complaint with the FCC claiming the sites play with privacy settings intentionally to make users’ personal information more accessible for commercial use.
Users should check their privacy settings to see if they are sharing information that that they don’t want shared. Web security experts believe most users have no idea how their activities on the site are being used in the marketplace. When social networking sites “revamp” their features, they can reset user privacy controls to a default that allows the site’s owners to market the information and activities to potential advertisers. Those defaults may cause user profile information to be compromised by malware, scammers, third-parties, or even your “friends” if they are hacked.
Protect yourself by frequently visiting the security settings on your social networking profile and change them to the highest level of security available. Do not set your password to be the same as one of your other passwords you use for a different site. Do not accept “friend” invitations from someone you do not know, and before accepting invitations from anyone who looks familiar, check out their request with them by phone or other communication to ensure it really is a legitimate request. Never show work information on your personal social networking site; this can lead to negative results at work if your site gets hacked.
While social networking sites are useful in connecting with people you know in distant places and even keeping up with the activities of local friends, they can also make you vulnerable to a multitude of personal attacks. Use good common sense when you use the sites and don’t get too personal on your personal pages.
Debit and Credit Card Fraud
At UCU, we value our member-owners and strive to protect your account information. In regards to our VISA® Debit and Credit Card programs, we have many fraud detection tools in place to help protect both the credit union and our cardholders. Occassionally, this may lead to individual cards being temporarily blocked until we can reach the cardholder or certain geographical regions being blocked until the known fraud is irrelevant. In order to help alleviate some such issues, we ask that you keep us up-to-date with all of your contact information including cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And, if you ever have any issues using your United Credit Union VISA® Credit or Debit Card, please do not hesitate to call and we will investigate the issue and get back with you as soon as possible.
Money Order Scams
If you receive a money order from someone you don't know who wants you to send them money to cover fees, taxes or anything else, it's a big red flag that it's a scam. Con artists are increasingly using fake, but realistic-looking, money orders as part of their scams. Please watch for these sort of occurances and feel free to contact the credit union with any questions.
Companies and organizations are under constant attack from criminals sending fraudulant information while posing as a legitimate company. Some companies who have most recently been victimized:
STAR ATM Network
CO-OP ATM Network
CUNA (Credit Union National Association)
DO NOT RESPOND to e-mail scams that ask you for your account number, credit card number, and personal identification numbers. E-mail messages that ask for this type of information are fraudulent, and should be reported immediately. Please report any such e-mails to: email@example.com. We will never contact you and ask for this information.
Direct Deposit Can Help You Avoid Identity Theft
Not only is Direct Deposit a convenient way to receive your paycheck, social security benefits, tax refunds and more, it is also a way to guard against Fraud and Identity Theft. Having your check direct deposited keeps your checks out of the mail and out of the hands of possible criminals.
Not only does it guard against possible stolen checks and forgeries, but it may just help you out in a disaster. As we all know, disaster happens and, although the Social Security Administration tried to get payments to the displaced Hurricane Katrina victims as soon as possible, there was definitely a lag time. However, those who already had their checks set-up for direct deposit had their funds available to them immediately.
Keep this in mind when considering whether or not to have your check direct deposited!
Learn more about Fraud Prevention at the FBI Internet Fraud Page.