Online Security Tips

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: There are constant threats to your personal information. So it is important to do your due diligence in keeping it safe. Most people know to look at the web address and look for the ‘s’ in the ‘https’ in the front of the web address to make sure the site is secure. Otherwise, many others know to look for the little ‘lock’ on the bottom of the browser to show that the site is secure and safe to put in your information. This generally means that you are safe to put in your information on to the site to register, place your order, etc. However, there is still a threat if your web browser itself has been hacked. If a web browser has been hacked it can be difficult to combat. Many virus scanners will not catch the infected browser, because to the scanner it will simply appear as normal web traffic. Meanwhile, the infected browser may send back critical information that you make available to a fraudster looking to steal your identity. Unfortunately, while many browsers are making strides to become safer every day, fraudsters and hackers are working just as hard. The newest way they attack browsers is by attacking the extensions (or accelerators) on the browser. Extensions are the gadgets, similar to an app on a phone, that run when your browser is in use. Most browsers are being programmed safer and safer, but these extensions are not held to the same high standards. If you are not sure about an extension that’s running on your browser, click to disable (not remove) and see if that affects any sites that you like to frequent. If it doesn’t affect any sites, it is likely not needed and you may have taken a big step in keeping your information safe.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: Be careful who you talk to when you answer your phone! Recently, there has been a rash of phone calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft. The call begins with the “Microsoft” employee claiming that your PC is infected and they would need to get in to your PC to fix it. They advise you to go to a specific website, and then the trouble begins.

Once they gain access to your computer they can download viruses or other harmful programs that can steal your personal information, such as account numbers and passwords. What has been reported is that they will show you a random process that runs normally on your PC and claim that it is a bad or harmful process. This is a lie to gain your trust. Your computer has tens of thousands of processes that run normally.

At this point, they will tell you to give them your account information so they can fix the fake supposed issue. Now you have a doubly bad situation, as now they have your account info and your PC may now be infected with a virus that will steal any information you have stored.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: If you receive a pop-up notice that your Java program is out of date that shows the three options of "Update, Decline, or Cancel", do not click on any of these options. This is not a legitimate Java update and will download malware or a virus.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: Emails claiming to be from NACHA regarding your ACH payment are back in circulation. If you receive an email that claims to be from NACHA regarding your ACH payment, delete the email and do not click on any links or open any attachments. These are phishing/malware emails. NACHA would never contact a consumer or an organization regarding ACH payments.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: When shopping online, be sure to check that the website is secure before you proceed with your purchase. The website will start "https" or will show a padlock that you can click on to see a security report. After you make your purchase, verify the amount you are billed on your card matches the amount you agreed to during the purchase.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: There is a new twist on malware that attempts to obtain your personal/banking information. There is malware that will pop-up fake chat boxes while you're conducting your online banking. This fake chat box/pop-up asks you to enter your account login and password. This fake chat box/pop-up will have a message similar to "We're running a security check." Then an online chat will begin that will be an attempt to collect your information. Please note that there have been no reports of this appearing on Fulda Area Credit Union's website and this malware is embedded in the computer and not the financial institution's website. If you see a chat box/pop-up like this, remember that a financial institution will NOT ask you to verify information in this manner. If you see this fake pop-up/chat box, do not reply to it, and immediately have your computer checked for malware.

ONLINE SECURITY TIP: Remember to keep all of your computer software up-to-date. Outdated software is more vulnerable to viruses and malware. Software companies are always issuing updates so be sure to install legitimate updates when they are available. Also, run a full system virus scan at least once a week.

last edited on 07/01/13