8 Steps for First Line of Defense against Credit Card Fraud
With all the news about breaches in security from popular places such as Target and Michaels, you may be wondering, how on earth did that happen and what can I do to protect my accounts?
Cardholder diligence and account monitoring is becoming more important as the first line of defense in fraud mitigation. Manatee Community Federal Credit Union wants you to be aware of steps you can take to decrease the chances of this from happening to you:
8 Steps for first line of Defense against Credit Card Fraud
- Monitor activity on your accounts regularly. Fraudsters are becoming savvier at avoiding detection of fraud monitoring programs by following transaction spending patterns that are similar to cardholders as well as by using less popular merchants that may not be monitored as heavily.
- Ensure your financial institution including Manatee Community Federal Credit Union has current contact information to reach you in case of suspect activity on your account. Manatee Community members: To report your MasterCard lost or stolen, please call 1-800-338-0566 immediately. To report your VISA® Debit card lost or stolen, please call 1-800-757-9848 immediately.
- When shopping online, do not store your login credentials or your debit/credit card information on websites.
- Ensure your login credentials (user IDs and specifically passwords) for your computer, online banking, smart phones, web sites or any system where you log in has secure, complex passwords that are difficult to guess (ex: minimum of 9 characters long using a combination of upper & lower case letters, number and characters).
- Update passwords for web sites regularly to ensure continued protection. We recommend doing this monthly.
- Be cautious of accessing personal information and of purchasing online if on an unsecured or public WiFi network.
- Ensure that personal computer and smart phone protections are kept current (ex: firewalls, anti-virus software, etc.)
- Be aware of current fraud trends related to social engineering (ex: phishing) and social networking sites (ex: Facebook).
Although nothing is guaranteed to completely safeguard you against breaches, these due diligent steps will make it more difficult for the culprits. If you need assistance or have any questions feel free to contact Manatee Community Federal Credit Union at 941-748-7704.
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