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If this process is unsuccessful, please call 325-677-2274 (or toll free 1-800-677-6770) during the hours of 9 am - 6 pm (Central Time) Monday through Friday. One of our representatives will gladly assist you with a password reset.

If you'd prefer to drop in, a Member Services representative at any of our locations can also reset your password.

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Resource Center

Resource Center

Online Security

While anyone can fall prey to fraud and identity theft, there are many ways to minimize your risk. Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union provides these security tips so you can guard against persons seeking to defraud you or steal your identity.

If you feel you may be a victim of Identity Theft, visit our What to do if You're a Victim section on this page for more information and a list of resources.


Keep Your Financial Information Private

  • Never give out personal information online or over the phone unless you have initiated the contact. ATFCU will never request that you submit confidential information over non-secure channels such as e-mail or the telephone.
  • Don't include information such as your driver's license or Social Security number on your pre-printed checks.
  • Do not carry a list of Personal Identification numbers (PINS) and online passwords in your wallet or purse.
  • Should you find it necessary to make a listing of PIN's and passwords, this list should be kept in a secure area of your home. This area should not be adjacent to your computer.
  • Avoid using easily guessed or learned information such as your birthday, your area code, or your middle name for passwords. Experts tell us that the weakest and most commonly used passwords are 123 and password. Please don't even think of using these.

 

Safeguard Your Accounts

  • Store unused checks in a secure place and shred unnecessary financial documents.
  • Avoid writing your account number on envelopes, receipts or other items that may be thrown away later.
  • Keep a full listing of your credit card and debit cards. An easy way to do this is to photocopy the front and back of all your cards.
  • Keep this list in a secure place in your home which is not adjacent to your computer. Should your purse or wallet ever be lost or stolen, you will quickly be able to cancel all the missing cards.

 

Protect Your Mail

  • If you unexpectedly stop receiving bills, statements, or other monthly mailings, contact the issuing company immediately. Someone may have placed a change of address request on your address in order to collect your mail.
  • Promptly collect incoming mail, and use a locking mailbox if possible.
  • Send outgoing mail from a secured mailbox or a post office. Try to avoid leaving outgoing mail in your home mailbox.
  • Shred all unwanted pre-approved offers for credit cards, convenience checks and/or loans.
  • If you'd prefer to keep these offers out of your mailbox, look for the "opt-out" toll free number which is shown near the bottom of the front page of these soliciations. It may take a couple of months, but by contacting these numbers, you should greatly minimize the number of offers you receive.

 

Passwords and User ID's

For each online vendor, you should have a different user ID and password. Try to create original yet easy to remember passwords. Security experts suggest that consumers use an entire sentence, including capitalization and punctuation, for a password. Remember to keep your passwords safe and private.

The following easily identifiable items should be avoided when creating passwords.

  • Your birthdate or a family member's birthdate
  • Names of family members or pets
  • Social Security number
  • Phone numbers
  • Dates of important events, such as anniversaries

Tips for creating strong passwords:

  • Use a combination of numbers, letters and punctuation
  • Longer passwords are better than short ones
  • It's best if your password is something you can remember without writing it down

 

Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs

Viruses can infect a home computer in many ways: through floppy discs, CD's, e-mail, websites and downloaded files. Anti-virus programs help protect your computer against most viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other unwanted invaders that can make your computer "sick." Viruses, worms and the like often perform malicious acts, such as deleting files, accessing personal data, or turning your computer into a "zombie" which will then infect other computers.

If a file is found to be infected with a virus, most anti-virus programs provide you with options of how to respond, such as removing the harmful item or deleting the file. Installing an anti-virus program and keeping it up to date is the best defense for your home computer. The annual cost to keep anti-virus programs updated is $25 to $35. This is a small investment when you consider what it would cost to repair your computer once it becomes infected.

 

Firewalls: What are They?

A firewall can generally be described as a security guard for your home computer.  This guard is a piece of software that helps protect your PC against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. With a firewall, you define which connections between your computer and other computers on the Internet are allowed and which are denied. 

Beginning with the Windows Vista operating system in 2007, all Windows systems have come with a one-way built in firewall called ICF (Internet Connection Firewall).  This ICF firewall is automatically active by default.  We recommend that you not disable it.

The operating system for MAC computers sold since 2002 also contains a built-in firewall but it must be enabled by the user.  To do this, open System Preferences, click Security, go to the Firewall tab and then click the 'Start' button. 

For earlier operating systems there are firewall programs, both free and available for purchase, that provide the capabilities you need to help make your home computer more secure.

 

What is Phishing?

There are many internet scams. One is the most common is the online scam known as "phishing"(pronounced "fishing"). Phishing involves the use of e-mail messages that appear to come from your credit union or another trusted business but are actually from imposters.

Phishing e-mails typically ask you to click a link to visit a website, where you're asked to enter or confirm personal financial information such as your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number or other similar data. Although these websites may appear legitimate, they are not. Thieves can collect whatever data you enter and use it to access your personal accounts.

How Can I Spot a Phishing Scam?

Look for the following warning signs:

Language and Tone: The message you receive may urge you to act quickly by suggesting that your account is threatened. It may say that if you fail to update, verify or confirm your personal or account information, access to your accounts will be suspended. The wording may be sloppy or contain misspellings.

Requests for Personal Information: Scam e-mails typically ask for personal or account information such as

  • Account numbers
  • Credit and check card numbers
  • Social Security numbers
  • Online banking user ID's and passwords
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Date of birth
  • Other confidential information

 

Non-Secure Web Pages: Clever thieves can build a fake website that looks nearly identical to an authentic one. They can even alter the URL (the Web address) that appears in your browser window. Watch out for non-secure Web pages that ask for sensitive information. Secure sites will typically begin with the letters https:// prior to the website name. 

How Can I Decrease My Risk of Being a Phishing Victim?

Be Suspicious of Demanding Messages: Messages threatening to terminate or suspend your account without your quick response should be treated as suspicious. A legitimate financial institution or business should not request personal information from you over an unsecured website. When in doubt, call the business' customer service number (available on your account statement) to confirm the status of your account. Do not use the telephone numbers shown on the suspected website.

Always Type in the URL of the Web Page You Need: Phishing scammers rely on embedded links that take you to fake websites. It takes longer but it's much safer to type the Web address directly into your browser so you know you're visiting the legitimate site.

Protect Your Password: Don't write down sensitive personal information such as your password or Social Security number. Change your password frequently.

Keep Your Computer Up-To-Date: Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union recommends that you install an anti-virus program to help keep your computer safe.  Keep the program updated.  New threats are discovered daily and old software will not be able to stop them.  It is typical for software companies to charge annually for software updates.  These charges are minimal compared to what identity theft can cost. 

Report an Online Scam

If you receive suspicious e-mail that appears to come from Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union, please notify us immediately by forwarding the e-mail to www.abileneteachersfcu.org Do not open any attachments or click on any links found in suspicious e-mail.

You may also want to forward it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

If you believe that you have provided personal or account information in response to a fraudulent website or e-mail, please contact the Accounting Department at Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union at 325-677-2274 or 800-677-6770. Also remember to contact the other financial institutions with which you have accounts.

 

Learn More About Online Security

The following are some useful resources:

 

What To Do If You're a Victim

  • Contact ATFCU immediately to alert us to the situation.
  • Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name.  It is not necessary to contact all three because they share fraud information. Here is the contact information for each bureau's fraud division:
    • Equifax
      800-525-6285
      P.O. Box 740250
      Atlanta, GA 30374
    • Experian
      888-397-3742
      P.O. Box 1017
      Allen, TX 75013
    • TransUnion
      800-680-7289
      P.O. Box 6790
      Fullerton, CA 92634
  • Contact all creditors about fraudulent accounts and follow up each conversation with a letter. This includes credit card companies, retailers, utility companies, brokerage companies and any other establishment with whom you have a financial relationship.
  • Close suspicious accounts and open new ones using new passwords and PIN's. 
  • File a report with your local police or the police where the theft took place. Make multiple copies of the report in case creditors need proof of the crime.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at the Identity Theft Hotline, toll free at 877-438-4338.
  • Ask your creditors if they will accept the Federal Trade Commission's ID Theft Affidavit. You can complet one by calling the FTC at 877-438-4338 or by following this link. The affidavit allows consumers to report identity theft to several companies simultaneously.
  • If it appears that someone is using your Social Security Number, contact the Social Security Administration to verify the accuracy of your reported earnings and your name. Call 800-772-1213 to check your Social Security statement.

 

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P.0. Box 5706, Abilene, Texas  79608