Common sense tips to keep identity thieves at bay.

Remember when mom said to keep private things private? She nailed it. The same holds true for protecting your identity. And with summer quickly approaching, it’s more important than ever to practice the following privacy tips so you can kick back and enjoy a safe and relaxing vacation:

Your Financial Institution knows you:

Your credit union or bank will NEVER contact you and ask you to verify your personal information by phone, text or email. Always remember that your credit union already stores your account number and other personal information in its system. If you receive a call and the caller asks you for this information, you should always assume this is a fraudulent call and hang up immediately.

Monitor what’s in your wallet.

For example, when paying with plastic, be conscious of who handles your debit or credit card and watch it throughout the transaction. Double check that you return your card to its rightful place when the transaction is complete.

Also consider converting what you carry in your wallet to an app on your smartphone. Or scan the items you carry, including your driver’s license, debit or credit cards, insurance information, and membership cards. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you’ll have immediate access to the information.

Sign up for mobile banking and alerts.

When you’re in touch with your accounts, you’re proactively watching out for fraud. At Advia, manage account information and transactions via online or mobile banking. Try online bill pay. And sign up for alerts to monitor balance levels or large withdrawals. For more information, visit https://www.adviacu.org/24-hour-access/mobile-text-banking/.

Keep your devices up-to-date, locked with a PIN.

You might even consider installing a remote lock-down or remote wipe feature on your smartphone. This option enables you to lock or erase your phone from anywhere if it comes up missing. If you’re an Android user, try Android Device Manager or for Apple, Find My iPhone.

Equally important: keep your phone’s operating system current and install reliable anti-virus software on your computer.

Never share your passwords.

This may seem obvious, but don’t give any password to a friend or family member, including passwords for your phone, debit or credit card or online account. Similarly, keep your password separate from the card or device it was intended to protect. If you have trouble managing passwords, consider an app – like LastPass.

Make passwords impressive.

At a minimum, try alpha-numeric combinations rather than the standard “1234.” Don’t rely on personal anniversaries, birthdays, or pets’ names that thieves can readily guess. For tighter security, keep a separate password for each device and change passwords every 90 days. And while it may seem convenient, avoid saving passwords to your devices.

Stay safe shopping online.

First, make sure the site is authentic before entering any personal information. Seeing “HTTPS” in the URL or web address is key. (The “s”means SECURE.) Also look for a closed padlock at the bottom of the screen to ensure the site’s security.

Say no to mail.

Or, at least, choose to reduce the amount of mail you receive. For example, eStatements from Advia are much safer than paper statements sent through the mail. They’re also a more convenient way to view your information. For incoming junk mail, solicitations or papers with sensitive information, shred before you throw them away.

Contact us anytime for help.

Like mom said, private is private, especially when it comes to your identity. See more about ID theft prevention at adviacu.org.

Contact us at 844.ADVIA.CU (844.238.4228). Deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 per account.