Your identity is one of your most precious assets – one that should be protected at all costs. That’s why 1st United Credit Union offers several tools and resources to help our members protect their information. Taking a few steps now can save you from a long, expensive battle to regain your good name in the event you are victimized. These six tips will get you started.
1. Keep personal info out of the mail
Thieves often get personal information from mail, either stolen from the mailbox or pulled out of the trash. 1st United Credit Union offers two ways for you to cut down on mail, lowering your risk of having your information stolen.
Enrolling in paperless statements and notices delivers your documents through online or mobile banking rather than mail. You will be notified by email when your statement is ready and prompted to log in to view it. It’s a much more timely and secure way to receive your information.
Additionally, online bill pay allows you to securely pay bills and individuals electronically, eliminating the need to write and mail checks that could potentially be taken from your mailbox and altered. Both options cut back on the exposure of your personal information.
2. Never share your personal or banking information
Personal information includes your debit card number, PIN, account number, and banking login information. If you need to pay someone, use online bill pay. You can also use a money transfer service, such as Venmo, Paypal, or Zelle, where you only need the recipient’s email or cell phone number to securely send them money. With these tools, you will never have to provide your account number or other personal information to another person.
3. Monitor your accounts
Monitoring your accounts regularly is the quickest way to identify something out of the ordinary, which could be an indication of identity theft. Remember, you can check your bank accounts daily through our website or mobile app. And with online statements and notices, you receive your statements through your account login so you don’t have to wait for the mail to arrive.
More Great Tips To Protect Your Identity
4. Watch your credit score and credit report
A sudden drop to your credit score or inaccurate information on your credit report could be an indicator of a possible issue. 1st United provides our primary members their FICO® Score, updated quarterly. Your FICO® Score can be accessed by logging into your account, and will also appear on your quarterly statement. Credit reports can be downloaded for free from annualcreditreport.com. Check both your credit score and credit report carefully, and be sure to report any discrepancies as soon as possible.
5. Set up account alerts
Account and fraud text alerts notify you when a transaction occurs over a certain amount, or if there is suspicious activity on your account. Take time to set up alerts for all your bank accounts and credit cards.
Additionally, Visa offers purchase-alert monitoring that lets you know when your Visa credit card has reached its limit, is used outside the U.S., or is used for an online purchase.
6. Enroll in ID monitoring
Just as you would insure your home, auto, and health, you should invest resources to protect yourself against identity crimes, data theft, and the burdens of being victimized. One way to do this is through an identity fraud monitoring company that does the tracking for you. Some even offer insurance that protects you in the event of loss. We partner with Identity Fraud, Inc. to offer members discounted protection plans. We also offer free identity theft monitoring through NortonLifeLock™ to our Visa credit card holders.
Instilling good habits now to prevent identity theft can save you a load of trouble later. Be diligent in protecting your personal and account information, and teach your family about the importance of protecting personal information, too. If you suspect fraud has occurred, contact your local police department immediately and notify us as soon as possible so we can place additional safeguards on your account.
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