Protecting your computer & smartphone

COMPUTER SAFETY

TMECU will take all measures possible to protect your financial information although it is your responsibility to protect your computer from harmful and intruding software. Here are some reminders for computer safety.

  • While logged into online banking, never leave your computer unattended
  • Keep your passwords private and to yourself
  • Disable the automatic password feature on your web browser
  • Always “log out” from online banking, instead of just closing the browser
  • Do not open unknown email attachments
  • Keep your wireless router secure – make sure security features are turned on and change the default password
  • Use Anti-virus software- which is software that detects viruses and cleans your computer so that harmful viruses do not spread. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Some recommendations for anti-virus software include McAfee, AVG, Symantec, TrendMicro, and Microsoft.
  • Use Anti-spyware and personal firewalls software regularly, remember to always update when the program recommends to.

OPERATING SYSTEMS

Your computer's operating system needs to be up-to-date in order to defend itself from viruses and malicious software (malware). If one part of your operating system develops a virus, it leaves holes in your PC's security defenses and compromises the safety of the information contained on your computer.

Keeping your software up-to-date is one of the most important ways of staying safe online because it is much harder for viruses to infect an updated operating system and software. Hackers are targeting operating systems with new viruses all the time and software companies combat these efforts with security patches. You should always download the latest security patch as soon as it becomes available.

Your operating system lets you know when updates are available by notifying you there are new security features to download. You can also upgrade your operating system to the latest version available from the manufacturer; however, you should ensure your computer has sufficient hardware capacity to support an upgrade.

Remember to back up your data. To fully eliminate a virus that has infected your machine, the re-installation of your operating system may be required. Protect yourself against the permanent loss of important data by frequently backing up your files on an external hard drive so you'll have the data should you ever have a problem with your operating system.

BROWSERS

Web browsers are the gateways to the Internet. Similar to having an up-to-date operating system, upgraded browsers provide more features, stability, and security. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome or something else, stay safe online by using the latest version available.

The latest versions of web browsers have security features that can identify and block harmful and fake websites and pop-ups, and warn you if a site is flagged as unsafe. Some browsers also have a 'Private Browsing' feature, which conceals your browsing history from others. We suggest you update your browser. Now.

VIRUS & MALWARE

Viruses – Computer viruses are software programs that a designed to affect your computer’s operations in a negative manner. These programs can record, corrupt and delete data on your computer as well as spread to other computers. Here are some signs you might have a virus on your computer and that you should use your anti-virus software to remediate your computer.

  • Your computer runs slowly than normal
  • Your computer stops responding often
  • Your computer crashes and restarts often
  • Your computer restarts on its own and fails to run normally
  • Some programs do not work properly
  • You can print, receive error messages or have distorted menus on your screen.

Malware – Malicious Software or malware, spyware, worms or Trojans are destructive viruses with the intent to steal a person's information. These programs look for information such as account numbers, usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. They can be found in pop-ups that appear when you attempt to log on to online banking. Malware can most often be found on email attachments from unknown sources or through file-sharing programs.

FIREWALLS

A firewall protects your computer and home network from harmful websites and hackers. It sits between your computer and the Internet, scanning information that is being transmitted. It allows for safe browsing, while blocking unauthorized intrusions. Even though you may think you have no information of value on your PC, firewalls also stop your computer from being used by hackers to send malicious software to other computers.

Most computers now come with a firewall as part of the standard operating system. However, you can get the maximum protection for your computer by installing additional firewalls and ensuring they are kept up-to-date.

PROTECT YOUR MOBILE DEVICE

Browsing has never been easier on your smartphone, you can now surf, shop, and bank on the go. Make sure your information stays secure while you're on the move by following these smartphone – safe browsing tips.

  • Activate your phone's password feature, whether it be a fingerprint scanner, a number or pattern combination, set up the password feature on your phone with a code only you know.
  • Do not connect to unknown networks through Wi-Fi hotspots while making financial transactions
  • Be aware of "Smishing" mobile device phishing through text messages. Never download any media or provide account details from unknown sources. Install anti-virus software on your smartphone and update it frequently. When in doubt, do not respond to fraudulent texting.
  • Install location finding applications to help locate, turn on or turn off your phone, and wipe date if your phone becomes stolen or lost.
  • Updating your phone's operating systems to the latest version also helps against financial criminals.
  • Only download TMECU’s mobile app from Android or iPhones app store
  • Think twice before downloading an app, take a look at the privacy policy before completing the download. Do not accept applications from unknown sources.
  • Keep your Bluetooth connection switched off until you plan on using it to share information with others.
 

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