The current breach with Equifax is bringing to light how important it is to protect your personal information. We compiled some ideas that may help you. It is important to note, your VBSFCU account information was not breached. Equifax never had access to your VBSFCU account.

How can you help protect your VBSFCU personal information?

  • Regularly monitoring your accounts and credit card statements.
  • Update the telephone password on your account. If you are not sure you set one up, or what it is, stop by.
  • When not using your debit card, turn it off using home banking or the mobile app.
  • Set up text and/or email alerts for real time updates on your account using home banking.
  • Next time you are in a branch, ask if you can update your picture ID on file.

The below tips are specific to the Equifax breach:

  • Equifax is offering free credit monitoring if you are affected. Please visit equifaxsecurity2017.com or call 866-447-7559.
  • Other recommended steps to take in protecting your identity include ordering an annual free credit report each year from www.annualcreditreport.com (or calling 877-322-8228).
  • Placing a fraud alert and/or credit freeze with the credit reporting agencies. See the explanation below on this.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a blog posting on the Equifax breach (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do). In addition, the FTC  has a site dedicated to proactive steps to take if your personal information was compromised in a data breach and steps to take if you are the victim of identity theft (identitytheft.gov). Protecting your identity requires that you remain vigilant – now and in the future.

    It’s important to keep in mind the differences between a credit freeze and a fraud alert.

A credit freeze literally “freezes” your credit report and prevents potential creditors from accessing your credit report. If you purchase a home, a car, make another financed purchase, or want to take advantage of an in-store discount if you agree to open a credit card with that store, you would be required to instruct the credit reporting agency to “lift” the freeze to allow the creditor to check your credit and that may take several days. A credit freeze must be placed with each credit reporting company – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Please note that each agency may charge a fee for placing and lifting a credit freeze; however, Equifax is waiving the fee for placing a credit freeze for a short period of time.

A fraud alert is not as stringent and simply puts creditors on notice that you may be victim of identity theft and alerts them to notify you before new accounts are opened using your personal information. There are two types of fraud alerts – an initial fraud alert that remains in place for at least 90 days and an extended fraud alert (available if you have been the victim of identity theft) that remains in place for seven years. You may place a fraud alert on your file by calling any one of the three credit reporting agencies.

Members should consider these facts carefully before putting one of these alerts on their credit reports.

 

Credit Card Compromise and Data Breach

Credit/Debit card compromises are on a rise again.  Here is our response regarding the matter:  Data Security:  How Your Credit Union is Looking Out for You

The FTC offers up to date Scam Alerts and other great information on their webpage, http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts