Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created in October 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Its purpose began as an effort for Americans to stay safer online.
The risk of identity theft has grown in large part due to the rising number of connected devices in our lives. Every time you open an account to try a new service, swipe your credit or debit card to make a purchase, or post on social media, you increase your risk.
According to the Insurance Information Institute there were 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports received by the FTC in 2020, which was up 45 percent from 2019. Now, more than ever, protecting your personal and financial information requires proactive thinking and preparation.
Stay safer and more secure online with these pointers.
- Only use sites that begin with "https://" when shopping or banking online.
- Be sensitive to what you upload/share on your social media accounts. Avoid sharing personal information like date of birth, social security details, phone numbers, names, and pictures of family members. Don’t respond or click on links from people or organizations you don’t recognize.
- Never share your personal information if you’re unsure who’s asking.
- Understand that LMCU will never call or text you and ask for your personal or account information.
- Apply multi-factor authentication to your accounts. (Learn how to do that with your LMCU account here.)
- Use biometrics to secure your accounts whenever possible. You can do this in the LMCU mobile app by navigating to Settings > Login Options > Biometric ID.
- Always lock your personal, work, or mobile devices when unattended in a public place.
- Use long and complex passwords. Never repeat passwords between websites.
- Check your app permissions frequently.
- Make sure you’re using the latest security software, web browser, and operating system.
- Use your personal hotspot in public places, they’re more secure than free WIFI.
- Secure your WIFI network and digital devices by changing the factory-set password and username.
- Browse the web through a virtual proxy network (VPN) to anonymize your web traffic and data.
- Monitor your credit report regularly for unusual activity.
Think you’re a victim?
If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft or if you receive a communication from LMCU that appears suspicious, call LMCU Member Services Department at (800) 242-9790 to secure your LMCU account(s). Additionally, file a report with your local law enforcement agency, as well as with the Federal Trade Commission by calling (877) IDTHEFT or online at ftc.gov/idtheft, and place a "fraud alert" on your credit reports by calling one of the major credit reporting agencies listed below:
- Equifax: (800) 525-6285
- Experian: (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion: (800) 680-7289
At LMCU, we’re committed to keeping your data protected. We have implemented multiple safeguards that meet or exceed required regulations in order to not only protect your money, but your personal information as well. You can read more about how we do that here.
While October's Halloween is a time for enjoying costumes, decorations, and treats, don’t get tricked by cybersecurity threats. For 2021 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, do your part, #becybersmart, and learn how to manage and prevent cybersecurity threats!
Topics: Wallet Wisdom