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Staying Safe When Shopping Or Banking Online


Banking and shopping online are modern conveniences we’ve come to rely on to make our lives easier and more efficient.

woman shopping online

We use our phones, computers and tablets, to manage everything from checking account balances, depositing checks and paying bills, to shopping for clothes and even groceries online.

While virtually anything can be done online in the blink of an eye, it is important to take a few extra minutes to protect yourself, and your money, from fraud or identity theft.

See our top 4 tips for keeping yourself safe online:

1. Choose Unique Passwords And Change Them Often

It is tempting to use a simple password you can remember, like your child’s name or pet’s name often followed by 1234. Many of us use easy passwords, and use the same password across multiple sites. In some cases we use the same password for years.

Passwords that can be easily guessed, or figured out by hackers, are more likely to get compromised. And in the event your password is compromised on one website, it is likely compromised across multiple sites.

While it might take a bit more work, choosing complex and unique passwords for each log in, and changing the passwords often, is a key step to protecting yourself online.

If you aren’t sure how to keep track of all your passwords, consider a professional level password manager. PC Mag Compares The Best Password Managers For 2021.

2. Don’t Save Credit Card Information For Easier Shopping

While this seems like an obvious tip, many of us save our credit card information on websites to make shopping easier - especially when we are shopping at home from our own computer or phone and the risk seems low.

But if your device is lost or stolen, your personal information can easily end up in the wrong hands.

In fact, a report from Kensington showed that 80% of the cost of a lost or stolen laptop computer was from a data breach.

It takes less than a minute to enter your credit or debit card information at checkout, so err on the side of security and opt not to save your card information online.

3. Avoid Automatic LogIns Across Websites

When setting up a new account online, many websites offer the convenience of connecting a pre-existing account, such as a Facebook, Google or Amazon account, to speed up the registration process.

Instead of taking the time to set up a profile on the new site, you can simply click a button and all your personal information is transferred to the new site for quick and easy access or shopping.

This isn’t a recommended practice, especially in cases where sensitive personal information is stored and will be transferred to the new account you are creating. This leaves you even more vulnerable to fraud if either of the accounts are breached.

Going back to tip #1 above, to protect yourself, create a new account with a strong password.

4. Sign Up For Fraud Alerts Or Notifications

Most financial institutions, credit card providers and social media sites provide an option to receive an alert when purchases are made or when trying to log into your account.

While this extra step might seem unnecessary when everything is going smoothly, receiving an alert your card was just used at a store you don’t recognize, or seeing an alert someone is trying to log into your social media account, can go a long way to provide piece of mind and stop protect you from fraudulent activity in its tracks.

In the event you do get this type of notification, report it immediately, then work just as quickly to change your password.

How Wanigas Keeps Members Safe

Wanigas Is Committed to Your Financial Privacy and Account Security. If you suspect a scam, call us directly at 989.799.9800 or 800.675.2285 to inquire about your account.

Please be aware that Wanigas Credit Union will never call, text or email you to request your personal sensitive information, such as your Social Security number, your credit/debit card number(s), or your Online/Mobile Banking username and password. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a financial institution or other organization requesting such information, you are most likely being contacted by an impostor. It is important that you never give out your personal credentials.

Read more about member safety.

Read more Fraud Tips in our Member Resource section

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