Member Information Protection
Tips to keeping your personal information, indentity and data safe and secure…
Protecting your data and personal information is a huge priority for us at St. Mary’s & Affiliates Credit Union. In regards to the recent breach of Equifax, as well as overall, everyday safety precautions, we would like to provide some helpful tips to help protect yourself against identity theft.
Always Monitor Your Accounts for Any Suspicious Activity
- If you have not already created an online Home-banking account with us, you may sign up for free at smacu.org to closely monitor your account. Here, you can sign up for free text message and/or email alerts, review your account summary and make any necessary transfers.
- Download the Home-banking app on your smart phone for quick, easy and convenient access to your accounts.
- Contact us at 608-258-5062 with questions about your account or to dispute unknown transactions placed on your debit MasterCard. For questions about your credit card MasterCard or to dispute suspicious transaction activity, call 1-800-808-7230 (MasterCard Customer Service) or 1-800-600-5249 (MasterCard Member Dispute).
- Sign up for EZCardInfo.com to closely monitor your credit card transactions and set up account alerts.
- SECURLock is a great way to take control of your debit and credit cards. Download this app to set up alerts any time your card has been used, track your transactions and have the ability to turn your cards ON or OFF to avoid them being used for fraudulent purchases.
Protect your Social Security Number
- Do not provide your Social Security number to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. If a company requests it, try to complete a thorough assessment of the company to deem it legitimate.
- Always be cautious of your surroundings of who may be listening when speaking this information and any other personal information out loud. Try to be discrete and quiet about this as much as possible.
- Do NOT provide your Social Security number over the internet unless the website requesting it is secure and you know that the recipient will not abuse or give it out to others and never use your partial or full Social Security number as a PIN number or password.
- Do not record your Social Security number, driver’s license number or any other personal information besides what is already listed on your personal checks.
Securing Personal Information
- Minimize the amount of personal information a thief would be able to steal if they were to attempt this crime. Don’t carry an excessive amount of credit cards, Social Security card, birth certificate, passport or any other important documents that contain your personal information. Leave those documents in a sheltered place that only you have access to.
- Always shred forms with personal information on it such as your Social Security number, address, credit card numbers, etc. Do not just throw them away without completely blocking out your information, in trash cans as criminals can still obtain documents this way. Don’t leave important documents lying around. FACT: A significant portion of all identity theft is committed by relatives, friends, employees and other individuals who have access to your home or business.
- Promptly retrieve incoming mail and consider taking any outgoing mail to your local post office to avoid the chances of mail theft. If you are planning on traveling, call the U.S. Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 or go online at www.usps.gov to place a vacation hold on your mail.
- Never give out any personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call or know the reputation of the company you are speaking with. If you receive a call requesting your personal information, tell them to first send a written request. If they refuse or you are not comfortable with the phone call, simply state that you are not interested and hang up.
Closely Monitor Your Credit Report
Thoroughly looking over your credit report allows you to spot any mistakes and report any possible identity theft that has been attempted against you or the use of your personal information. Report any inquiries from companies you have not contacted, accounts you haven’t opened and any unexplainable debts placed under your name. Review all personal information listed under your credit report to verify that it is correct.
The law requires each major nationwide consumer reporting agency to provide you with a free copy of your credit report upon request, once every year.
Place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report with the three major credit bureaus. Also request to review your credit report for suspicious activity. A copy of your credit report is available free each year from https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.
– Equifax®: 1-888-766-0008
– Experian®: 1-888-397-3742
– TransUnion®: 1-800-680-7289
If you have specific questions about this breach, you can visit Equifax’s website at: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact the dedicated call centers at: (866) 447-7559.
More helpful Equifax information and how you can protect yourself from the recent breach. Please click on this link for more information.
There have been reports of a high demand in recent requests for credit freezes due to the Equifax breach. If you have or are planning on placing on freeze on your credit report, read this article for more information on whether it may be a delayed process and what steps you can take to protect your personal information during this time frame.