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Cybersecurity steps you can take to protect yourself

protecting yourself from fraud
December 20, 2017

By Alliant Credit Union

Any time a data breach occurs, it’s possible that consumer information could fall into the wrong hands. With breaches becoming more commonplace, it’s important to know what you can do to protect your own information.

How Alliant protects you

“At Alliant, member safety is a top priority,” says Bill Podborny, Chief Information Security Officer at Alliant. “The internal protection of our members remains very important.”

That’s why, in the event of a potential risk such as a large retailer data breach, Alliant sends email updates to remind members about potential phishing scams and malware.  

Member security is also the reason Alliant’s Information Security team stays in the loop on potential threats. Podborny says he and his team regularly attend conferences and training sessions on security topics and subscribe to security threat feeds and info sharing groups. This allows them to review potential threats on a regular basis and to take action if necessary to protect members.

While Alliant helps protect your sensitive personal information, there are a few safeguards to consider that can help you protect yourself:

Rotate your passwords

Change out your passwords on a regular basis. As a general rule of thumb, don’t use the same password across several different accounts. Also, try to use familiar phrases or quotes as your passwords or answers to security questions, instead of family or street names.

Keep your machine updated.

Be mindful of your environment and always try to keep up with your computer and mobile security updates. Turn on auto updates when possible to make sure you’re receiving the latest versions on your laptop and mobile phone.

“The majority of issues can be prevented by keeping up with your manufacturer recommended updates,” Podborny says.

Stay aware

Keep a close eye on your bank statements and turn on account alerts available through online banking. If you spot a suspicious transaction, call the number on the back of your card to report it. It’s also smart to utilize fraud monitoring services and to periodically monitor your credit report for suspicious activity.

“Any time you’re made more aware, the better off you are. The quicker you’re alerted, the quicker you can take action,” Podborny says.

As technology advances and social engineering become more commonplace, it’s important to recognize the potential for fraud. If you’re ever asked for specific financial or personal information through email or phone, make sure to validate the request. Do not reply to the request; instead, reach out directly to the institution supposedly soliciting the information to verify that it is, in fact, needed.

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