Keep your Login information private. We will never ask you for private information...
- At home keep personal information safe, especially if you have roommates or are having any work done in your home. Don't keep Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) near your checkbook, ATM card, or debit card.
- Shred any papers with confidential information before you throw them out - even the junk mail. Anything with an account number can be used in Identity Theft. This includes prescreened credit card offers, receipts, canceled checks, credit union statements, expired charge cards, doctors' bills, and insurance documents.
- Don't give out any confidential information - such as your credit card number, social security number, or PIN number unless you initiated the contact with a business. Be careful of unexpected emails that look as if they are from a legitimate company asking you to enter some information at a linked website; sometimes phony websites can look real.
- Check your credit union and credit card statements regularly to make sure there is no unexplained activity.
- Keep track of when your bills usually arrive. If a bill does not arrive on time, call the company to make sure no changes have been made to your account. Often, identity thieves will change the address of a bill so that it will take you longer to figure out the scam.
- Carefully check your credit reports regularly. Your credit reports are important tools for limiting the amount of damage a thief can cause.
- When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM or for other purposes, use one that is hard to guess. Avoid the last four digits of your social security number, your mother's maiden name, birth dates, names of pets, or even the name of your hometown baseball team. Try to mix numbers, letters and symbols.
- Make it harder for thieves to use your accounts. Put passwords on credit card, credit union, and phone accounts. Get credit cards with your picture on them. Call the companies that issue the accounts and find out what security options they offer.
- Consider canceling credit cards you haven't used in a long time.
- Use only secure sites when making online purchases. Secure pages begin with "https."
- Don't print your social security number on your checks.
Get Your Free Credit Report
You can now get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus once every 12 months, thanks to a 2004 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The three major credit bureaus have set up a central Web site, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address that you use to order your free credit reports.
Please Note: PFCU members that are asked to identify the number of their PFCU Visa account need to use the account number not the card number if asked to identify their visa account number in the identity verification process
The three credit reporting bureaus will not send you an email or call you asking you for personal information, so don't respond to such requests. They are probably scams. If you receive an email that appears to be from a credit bureau, don't click on any of the links in the email. If you receive a phone call, don't give out any personal information. Use only the Web site listed above.
Protecting Your PC/MAC
There are a few steps that you can take to increase the level of security on your PC.
- Keep your Anti-Virus active and up to date.
- Keep your Operating system up to date - use automatic updating.
- Personal Firewall
- Do not open attachments from emails unless you were expecting to receive them. Even if you know the person who is sending the email.
- Be careful not to install any software on your computer unless you know what it is.
- Adware/Spyware Blocker