WHAT VSECU DOES TO PROTECT YOU
Our vision is to empower possibilities for greater prosperity for Vermonters. Part of fulfilling that vision is protecting our members’ accounts against unauthorized access. The security of your personal information is a top priority for VSECU.
We use security technologies and processes to keep your personal financial and account information secure. Behind the scenes, our Information Technology department ensures we have the latest technology to safeguard your data, and our dedicated Fraud department continually monitors your accounts for unusual activity.
VSECU will rarely contact you by phone, email, or through social media channels to solicit confidential, personal, and/or account information. We will only request that type of information if you initiate contact or if we believe you may be at risk of fraud. If you receive a phone call or email and are unsure if it was from VSECU, please contact us by phone at 1-800-371-5162.
HOW YOU CAN HELP PROTECT YOURSELF
In addition to everything that VSECU does to keep your information secure, the best frontline defense against fraud is you. By taking the following steps when using a computer or conducting business online, you’ll help protect yourself and your personal information and be better positioned to avoid fraud before it happens.
Never reveal your personal information by text or email.
Fraudsters can falsify phone numbers and email addresses to make it appear that they are contacting you from a legitimate source. To be safe, don’t provide your personal information to people who have contacted you by phone, text, email, or social media. VSECU already has your information on file and will only ask for it over the phone if you’ve initiated contact.
Avoid downloading attachments or opening emails from an unrecognized sender.
Files from an untrusted source can carry dangerous malware or viruses to your computer. Make sure you ONLY open attachments or files that you are certain came from a trusted source.
Keep your anti-virus software up to date.
Prevent malicious viruses that can give hackers access to personal information stored on your computer by purchasing, installing, and regularly updating anti-virus and other protective software.
Double check any website you’re sent to.
- False links can lead you to a website that seems like the correct one, but in reality is not. Check the domain name and type the URL directly into your browser.
- When conducting online business look for the locked padlock icon in the URL bar. Click on the icon to confirm that the site is secure and authentic by reviewing the security certificate. On a legitimate website, the URL should match that listed in the digital certificate.
- Make sure your web browser is updated to its current version to keep it secure.
Be wary of social media scams.
Most adults in the United States are now on at least one social media platform. As a result, social media scams are on the rise. This is especially true of Facebook, which is the largest social network with billions of daily active users worldwide. VSECU will never ask for credit card or account information on social media, and you should avoid providing sensitive information to anyone over social media. To help you protect yourself on these popular platforms, VSECU’s social media specialist offers a list of ways to spot a Facebook scam and prevent fraud on social media.
Use strong password protection.
- Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters (i.e. !, @, #, &, :, /) to create a password that is not easily guessed (don’t use your birthday).
- Create different passwords for multiple accounts and change them regularly for enhanced protection.
- Do not use the “save password” feature in your browser, write your password down, or share it with anyone.
- A password manager is an excellent way to safely manage your passwords. It allows you to generate strong passwords, store multiple passwords for different accounts, and update them on a regular basis to keep your information secure without having to memorize.
- Take advantage of multi-factor authentication (MFA) whenever it’s available for an additional layer of verification.
- Require a password for computers, tablets, or phones, and never leave your device unattended. Always log off or lock your devices if you step away and/or when you are finished.
Monitor your accounts regularly.
- Review your account statements regularly to search for any unusual activity.
- Use credit monitoring services to check your credit score, as an unexpected drop in your score could indicate fraudulent activity and identity theft. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request your free yearly credit report from the three credit bureaus. You can also set up a fraud alert or freeze on your credit file with TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
Set up account alerts.
In VSECU’s Digital Banking platform, as well as most other online accounts and mobile apps, you can set up alerts to notify you of unusual activity with your credit and/or debit cards. If you see suspicious transactions, or if your card has been lost or stolen, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately to have your card canceled and a new one reissued. We can also assist with recovering stolen funds whenever possible.
ADDITIONAL WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
What else can you do to make sure your identity is secure? Educate yourself and be prepared.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website to get the latest information about recent scams. For additional information about how to avoid common fraud, check out what the experts in our Fraud department have to say on the VSECU blog.
Pay attention to how you feel.
Fraudsters use some common tactics to force people to act without thinking. Broadly speaking, if you experience any of the following feelings during a conversation with someone who has contacted you, it could indicate that you are a target for fraud:
- You feel rushed by a sense of urgency, typically from a pressing deadline.
- You feel intimidated by fear tactics that threaten certain consequences if you don’t follow instructions.
- You feel pressured to act before you feel comfortable.
- It seems too good to be true—because it probably is.
When these feelings arise, your best defense is to slow down the conversation. Tell them that you will call them back or that you need a moment. They will likely continue to try to pressure you, so you may need to hang up. Once you’ve removed yourself from the situation, use the contact information you have on file for the organization or agency to find out if the call, text, or email was legitimate. If you experienced any of the abovementioned feelings, it probably is not.
If you are afraid that your financial information at VSECU has been compromised, please contact us immediately. We can help with the process of securing your accounts and may even be able to help mitigate your loss.