Create a Strong Password
It’s hard to believe it, but one of the most common passwords people select worldwide is "password", and fraudsters know it. Choosing a strong password for any online account is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself. When choosing a password, remember:
- Never use dictionary words for your password
- Never use easily identiﬁable personal information (for you or your family) for your password
- Never share your passwords or write them down
- Never use the same password for different accounts
When possible, consider using a passphrase rather than a password. While passphrases are longer, they’re much easier to remember, and creating them is as easy as making a short sentence and adding numbers, special characters and varying capitalization provides for an even greater security level. You can also create an acronym from a longer sentence that is meaningful to you, or from an easy-to-remember piece of information. Substituting numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words will make it even more secure:
My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004 = Msbi12/Dec,4!
I love to play badminton = ILuv2Pl4yB@dm1nt0n.
Use Multifactor Authentication
First Tech is taking your Online Banking experience to the next level by giving members the option to use multifactor authentication to increase your account security. Multifactor authentication is an advanced way to make certain that you, and only you, gain access to your accounts and ﬁnancial information, and because it’s separate from your computer, it's not susceptible to viruses or fraud. Members who request this added layer of security for their accounts are given a security key (either a physical token, or an application for your mobile device) that periodically generates a random code that you can use to log in to your accounts.
We offer a Mobile or "Soft Token" for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices. Just follow the steps below to set up your new security key:
Hardware Security Key (”Hard Token”)
Mobile Device (”Hard Token”)
When you log in to Online Banking, you'll be prompted to enter a random 6-digit code generated by your Security Key in addition to your user name and password. Just enter that code, and you’re ready to go!
Install Anti-Virus (AV) Software
As you browse the Internet, certain web pages may install unwanted programs, cookies, spy programs, etc., to your system. Many of these can perform serious harm to your computer and can give the fraudsters “inside” tools to steal your information. We recommend you install both anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on your computer to help protect you. Avast is a great anti-virus program and MalwareBytes is recommended for anti-spyware. We strongly encourage you to keep them both up-to-date and scan your system often
Use a Personal Firewall
Personal ﬁrewalls are one of the best ways to protect your home computer / laptop from a virus or malware in today’s world of high-speed internet, open kiosks, free Wi-Fi access, etc. They monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic from your computer looking for attacks or suspicious activity, and then block those attacks before they can do any damage. Personal ﬁrewalls are easy to setup and use, and provide a much greater degree of security than just your anti-virus alone.
Update Your System and Applications
Just like your car, your computer needs regular tune-ups. Be sure to regularly check for updates and install security patches to ensure your operating system and applications are up-to-date and as secure as possible.
Browse the Internet Safely
Fraudsters will sometimes try to set up fake websites to trick you into giving them your information, so it’s important to make sure that you’re on the REAL First Tech Federal Credit Union website before you attempt to log-in. Look for green text or shading and a lock icon in the address bar, and verify that you’re at www.ﬁrsttechfed.com.
Financial websites aren’t the only websites that fraudsters try to fake, so be sure to check the address bar in your browser for these signs before you provide them with your information. You should also be careful what links you click on when browsing the internet, because some links can download malicious software (malware) such as a virus to your computer. While Internet Explorer is arguably the world’s most popular web browser, that also means fraudsters speciﬁcally gear malware to attack it. Consider using a secure web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.