All personal data sent to our servers from our website is encrypted. You can verify if you are logged onto a secure site in two ways.
- If you look in the address bar of your browser, you will see that the address begins with https://. Non-secure sites begin with http://.
- Most browsers will have a padlock icon in the bottom right or left of the browser window. You will be able to click on the padlock to verify the security of the site you are visiting. Please note that when you want to perform online transactions, you will be forwarded to a third party vendor that maintains our online banking program. When verifying the padlock for Members 1st Credit Union, you will be verifying for www.m1cu.org. When verifying the padlock for the online-banking program, you will be verifying for www.flexteller.net based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Members 1st Credit Union will never send an e-mail to you asking you to log onto our website and update your personal information. This is a type of fraud known as "phishing". If you ever receive an e-mail that appears to be from Members 1st Credit Union asking you to update personal information on a website, please report the e-mail to us right away and do not respond to the request.
Fraudulent text messages sent claiming to be from your credit union or a known business is commonly referred to as ‘Smishing’. They might offer a gift card or falsely alert you to a problem in an attempt to get you to click on links leading to malware, viruses, and even identity theft. Members 1st Credit Union will only send unsolicited text messages to notify members of fraud. If you think your Members 1st account has been compromised, please contact us immediately.
It is important that you use a strong password. A strong password is at least seven characters in length, contains at least one number, contains at least one capital letter, and contains special characters (e.g., !@#$%&). Failure to use strong passwords could allow your online account password to be easily guessed, breaching your online account.
Security Software Warning
It is important that you protect your computer from viruses, anti-spyware, and anti-malware programs. You can purchase software to help protect your PC from a local office supply store. It is also important that the software download updates on regular intervals. Failure to have protective software could allow a hacker to gain your online banking login credentials, breaching your online account. Failure of the software to updating itself at regular intervals could allow a hacker to use a new technique to gain your online banking login credentials.
Public Access Computers
Using a public computer to access your online banking account is not recommended. The public computer may contain software on it that could gain your online banking login credentials, breaching your online account.
If at any time you feel that activity on your account is suspicious, please contact the credit union right away at (530) 222-6060 or visit your local branch.
Unauthorized users who attempt to log on to this website will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Using your mobile device to access your account does come with some risks. Here are some tips to help alleviate those risks:
- Never leave your mobile device unattended.
- Use the device’s locking service on your mobile phone. Such services use a PIN or a trace pattern to unlock your mobile device.
- Never use the Remember Password function. If your mobile device is lost or stolen, allowing your device to remember passwords could allow unauthenticated access to your account.
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Be careful with the apps you download. Some apps may contain malware that will try to collect user names and passwords.
- Be careful when clicking on links. Fraudulent links can take you to fake websites that look legitimate.
- When providing sensitive data on a website, make sure the website is secure. A secure website address begins with https.
Anti-virus Software and Updating
Anti-virus software scans files or your computer’s memory for certain patterns that may indicate the presence of malicious software (i.e., malware). Anti-virus software (sometimes more broadly referred to as anti-malware software) looks for patterns based on the signatures or definitions of known malware. Anti-virus vendors find new and updated malware daily, so it is important that you have the latest updates installed on your computer. Once you have installed an anti-virus package, you should scan your entire computer periodically.
Updating Computer Operating Systems and Software
Updates are "patches" that fix problems in your operating system (the basic program that runs your computer) or in applications and programs that you use. Unpatched computers are especially vulnerable to viruses and hackers. Install all critical and security-related updates when your programs tell you they are available. If you've never been prompted to do this, your computer and applications may not be configured to notify you when updates are available.
- Windows users: Set your computer to download operating system updates on a regular basis. Look in your Control Panel and find System or Automatic Updates. You can also find Windows updates in the Tools menu in Internet Explorer, or by visiting Microsoft's Web site at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
- Mac users: Consult the "software update" pane in System Preferences to enable updates. Set it to check for updates as frequently as possible.
- Mobile users: Remember to sync often so you get available updates. Always install updates when your carrier tells you they are available.
- Everyone: Look in the menu of your applications and web browsers when they are running to see if there is an "update", "auto update" or "check for updates" option, or something similar. If so, select the option and set it to check for updates as frequently as it allows.
Restarting your computer:
Some updates require you to restart your computer for them to go into effect, and you may not be notified when this is the case. Whether your computer is being patched for you* or you do it yourself, shutting down or restarting your computer regularly -- at least weekly -- helps to make sure software and security updates are properly installed and are protecting your computer and information.
What are the Risks of Online Commerce?
Like anything we do on the Internet, online commerce has its risks:
- Online shopping can be too convenient: it’s easy to get carried away with the sheer variety of things available online.
- Beware of bargains: there can be many hidden costs to buying online such as shipping and duty charges.
- Scam artists offer deals that are too good to be true, selling goods that are counterfeit, damaged, stolen or simply nonexistent. Easy-to-use Web design software has made it easy for scammers to create entire fake storefronts. Well-known auction sites and marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy may be reputable (though you should always check to make sure you’re at the correct Web address), but it doesn’t mean the vendors or buyers always are.
- User information is sometimes archived by vendors. While this is said to be for convenience purposes (usually to make “one click shopping”) it’s risky to store personal and financial information online, and several online businesses have had their customer information hacked and stolen.
- Some sites will store login information and recent credit card details in cookie files in your browser’s cache.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Luckily, there are a number of tools and strategies that can help keep online shopping safe and trouble-free:
Use a credit card. Credit cards typically have robust protections against identity theft: it’s usually easy to cancel charges for purchases you didn’t make, and credit card companies keep a watch for suspicious activity on your card. You can also get a separate credit card with a low credit limit to use online, which will further limit your possible losses.
Make sure your data is encrypted. Your web browser will let you know if you are shopping on an encrypted site. The closed padlock icon or the prefix “https:” are intended to let you know that your transaction is secure (this does not, however, mean that your data is secure at any other time, only during the transaction itself).
Clear your cache. After purchases, print a copy of your transaction receipt or save it to your computer as a PDF. Then clear your browser’s cache to remove evidence of your transaction.
Keep your software up-to-date and your computer secure. It is important that your computer be updated with the latest security features and bug fixes. Security software that keeps your computer free of malware will help keep it safe to send your financial information over your computer.
Be wary of in-app purchases. Many of the apps you know and love on your smart phone and tablet devices include the possibility of upgrading the application, buying extra features, or purchasing media with the minimum amount of hassle. While this is convenient, it can also cause you to rack up unexpected costs. If you share your device with other people, make sure that you don’t have your account information saved on it so as to reduce the likelihood of accidental purchases. Purchases made in apps are rarely reversible.
Log out. On shared computers, it is important to get into the habit of clearing the information you would otherwise leave behind. It is also important to actually log out (via a “log out” or “exit” link) of online stores so that subsequent users don’t have access to your accounts, purchase information, and payment methods.
Get informed. Before buying from a website or doing business with another user, look into who you’ll be doing business with. Marketplace sites typically have user ratings and you can do a web search for reviews of products and services before buying them. If a given website or product has no reviews online, it may be worth waiting a little while to see what others say about it.
Look closely. Items can be described in various ways and the language used can some times alert you to what’s actually being sold: words like “refurbished” or “like new” are just ways of saying “used” (this isn’t a bad thing, but it is worth knowing what it is you’re buying). On some sites, scam artists will go so far as to state that an item is not actually the item in the photograph. This should give you pause.
Avoid knockoffs. If you are buying merchandise, look to make certain it is licensed and not counterfeit. There is a huge market online for counterfeit versions of high-end designer goods. Not only are counterfeit goods illegal, but they are usually of shoddy workmanship. It’s not impossible to find good deals online, but you should be wary of deals that make you want to run for your credit card.
Pay fair. Some of the most tempting bargains on the Internet are for goods that were stolen or otherwise acquired illegally. These deals are often covers for scams because the vendors know you’re unlikely to report the fraud: after all, a victim is far less likely to report being swindled to police if the item they were purchasing was a music album that hasn’t been released yet, or a DVD of a movie that isn’t even playing in cinemas. Even if the items are real, you could be breaking the law by buying stolen goods.
Report fraud. If you are a victim of online fraud, it’s important to report it so that other people can’t get scammed the same way. If you know about successful or attempted crime online, visit https://www.usa.gov/online-safety to report it.
Recommended WebsitesThe following websites are recommended by the Credit Union because they offer valuable information.
Kelley Blue Book
How much is that vehicle worth?
Ratings and recommendations on consumer products.
Credit Union National Association.
E-Commerce and the Internet
Federal Trade Commission offering consumer guidance for internet shopping.
The first step to protecting yourself against buying used cars with costly hidden problems. CARFAX searches its nationwide database and provides a detailed vehicle history report in seconds.
Identity Theft and the Internet
Federal Trade Commission offering consumer guidance in regards to identity theft.
Provides practical tips from the Federal Government to help you secure your computer, protect your personal information and be on guard against internet fraud.
Informational site created by the American Bar Association that will help you order safely when shopping online.