Ensuring the Security of Personal Information

In light of the recent Target breach, I have been thinking a lot about security and doing what I can do to protect my accounts as best as possible. I was fortunate to not have used my card when I did visit Target during the period in question and my wife always used her REDcard when she went. However, I feel like it is better to be as proactive as I can to make sure my information is safe.

In case you missed the latest round of news, the Target data breach is believed to have impacted more people than initially reported (possibly up to 110 million people). Unfortunately, some news outlets are reporting that this breach could just be a sign of things to come. So, other than diligently checking your account balances, what are things you can do to try and prevent your personal information from getting in the wrong hands.

An important thing is to try and limit the number of documents you have with any personal information and to keep those documents in a safe place. With so many bills and applications that you receive throughout the year, it can be tricky to keep tabs on how many documents you have with such private info. Later this year, we will announce our Shred Days that take place throughout the summer.

Our Shred Days are a great opportunity to safely get rid of any paper documents that might have sensitive information on it. Best of all, this service is available to the entire community, not just members of our Milwaukee Credit Union, Racine Credit Union, Kenosha Credit Union and Waukesha Credit Union. However, if you aren’t a member of Educators Credit Union, you should check out our new site www.joinecu.com which explains the benefits of becoming a member.

One of the things I have done is changed my Educators user name from what it defaulted as when we made the switch to the new Online Banking last year. When accounts were reset, to keep everything manageable, the account number was incorporated into the username. This was meant to be a temporary measure, since you can customize the name on your account. However, many like myself, never changed it and have been using this default for over the past 8 months. More than anything, it is just safer to not use your account number on the odd chance that someone sees you logging in or if your computer ever has malware on it.

Some guidelines for changing your user name:
*It has to be 8-12 characters long
It must start with a letter
Only letters and numbers can be used, no special characters such as ! or @*

This is just a suggestion to help make your account more secure. There haven’t been any data breaches at Educators Credit Union, but it is wise to guard yourself as best as possible.

What have you done to help keep your personal information safe?

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