Cybersecurity Month: Secure Your Payments
With the continued onslaught of fraudsters and identity thieves hiding behind every corner of the internet, Cybersecurity Month is the perfect time to reassess your financial security and make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Securing your payments is one such activity you can do this month to help fight off future scam artists.
Below, you’ll find our favorite tips and tricks to keep your payments—and your finances in general—safe and secure this October.
Always Enroll in Text Alerts
At Community Financial, we’re always looking for ways to bolster your financial security while streamlining the process itself. That’s why your Community Financial debit and credit cards are automatically enrolled in Fraud Text Alerts to keep your account safe. If you have cards elsewhere, make sure to inquire about text alerts—making it easy for your financial institution to check in with you about questionable account charges.
Go Digital (Securely)
Scammers are getting better and better at stealing card information, making the world of payments seem overwhelming and scary. However, you can safeguard your card information by utilizing Community Financial’s digital payment options. By securely storing your debit or credit card in your phone’s digital wallet, you can gain faster checkouts when shopping online or in-store, along with making payments safer. Paying with a digital wallet is actually safer than giving a store your card number and PIN, as digital wallet transactions are validated by a number unique to each device and card. This means you’re less likely to have your card compromised during purchases!
Additionally, protect your electronics—such as a laptop, tablet, or phone—just as you would protect your card. Were you aware that signing into an unsecured (password-free) wi-fi network can put your electronics (and any all your stored information such as passwords) at risk? Unfortunately, hackers often use public spaces like coffee shops to prey on those utilizing free, unsecured wi-fi networks. Safeguard against this by always making sure your own wi-fi has a secure password, as well as avoiding any unfamiliar or public wi-fi networks, which could possibly lead to your private information becoming compromised. Better safe than sorry!
Add Extra Protection Against ID Theft
For extra security, you can safeguard your identity with Mastercard’s® ID Theft Protection™. With the Federal Trade Commission reporting that identity thieves stole over $5.8 billion in 2021, now is the perfect time to add the extra benefit of ID Theft protection to your financial accounts. You can even activate this benefit now to gain an extra layer of support at no additional charge (see Mastercard’s link above for more information).
Learn All You Can
Another way of bolstering your cybersecurity is simply by learning. Learn all you can about current scams, how text alerts operate, and what you can do if fraud does occur. Community Financial has a variety of resources available to help you learn more. Visit cfcu.org/CardFraud for more information about fraud protection for your payments and cfcu.org/identitytheft to learn how to best navigate the world of identity theft prevention.
Always Keep Vigilant
Finally, one of the best things you can do to secure your finances is so stay vigilant and make sure your account activity is your own. Once a scammer has your credit card information, you’re not always going to see an immediate flood of purchases on your statement. More often than not, the perpetrator in question will make a few, spaced-out, small purchases to test your card first. Then the spending spree begins. By keeping an eye out, you can catch these “test” purchases and get a new card before any larger purchases start popping up.
Unfortunately, no one is immune to identity theft. However, you can take steps toward securing your accounts, payments, and identity to make yourself a difficult target and protect your information. For more information about fraud protection and getting started today, visit us online and in-branch, or reach out to our talented team members at (877) 937-2328. We’re here for you every step of the way and we’ve got your back.
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