Credit Union Marketers Can Share Cyber Safety Shopping Tips With Members

With “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” on the horizon, millions of consumers will whip out their credit and debit cards to buy holiday gifts. CUNA commissioned a survey by the Consumer Federation of America and found that 97% of Americans plan to spend this holiday season, and 60% of them will spend at least as much as they did last year.

Credit union members can shop with confidence and protect themselves against fraud by following some simple safety guidelines.

The Northwest Credit Union Association has stocked the Pro-Credit Union Messaging Resource Center with tips that credit union marketers can share with members.

“Use them for your media interviews,” said Lynn Heider, Vice President of Public Relations and Communications. “Cut and paste them into your regional news releases, share them on social media, and post them to your website.”

Tips are provided for both on-site and online purchases including:

  • EMV chip cards provide an extra layer of security when you buy on site (not online). Not all merchants have caught up with this technology trend. Ask the merchant if they have the chip system in place. If they don’t yet support it, use your card but continue to monitor your transactions daily. Take advantage of your credit union’s online account monitoring services. Report any suspicious activity to your credit union immediately.
  • Know that your PIN can be stolen in other ways. There is a heat signature left on non-metal keypads for several minutes after you use it. Infrared cameras installed on Smartphones can be used to measure this heat signature and obtain your PIN.  Stop this fraud by resting your fingers on other keys while typing in your PIN.
  • Do not use public wireless networks for online purchases.
  • Shop on sites with https:// in the URL, and be sure that an icon with a lock appears to the left.  The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates communication with that site is encrypted.

The full package of sharable tips can be found here.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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