How to protect your money while traveling
Online fraudsters successfully struck a record 15.4 million Americans last year — up 16% from 2015, according to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research. These criminals are intent on separating you from your hard-earned money, but you don’t have to be a victim. Whether you’re away on a summer vacation or just doing errands on the other side of town, here are tips to help protect your money while on the go:
- Use the mobile apps provided by your financial institutions.
Studies have shown that credit card thieves often get away with stealing when the victim does not monitor their accounts frequently. While account monitoring doesn't stop financial fraud from happening, it does limit the damage that can be done to your account and credit score should fraud be perpetrated. By setting alerts to notify you of all account transactions, you can quickly spot unauthorized use and take immediate action to shut the account down and stop further loss. Download our Bethpage Mobile App today to access your accounts easily and securely, as well as manage account alerts and notifications, so that you are always in control and in the know.
- Use different passwords for every online account.
Using the same password for multiple accounts is like leaving your car doors unlocked with the keys inside. Even the most secure password can be used against you if it is used for everything from your checking or savings account to your Facebook profile. Using a unique password of at least eight characters with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols will protect your accounts and make them less vulnerable.
- Use a password manager.
Remembering multiple passwords is the bane of most people’s existence, which is why security experts encourage people to use a password manager to generate, store and automatically fill in passwords easily across all online accounts. While software vulnerability is a concern for many people, the prevailing theory is that a password manager offers a much better combination of security and convenience than not using one. If you still feel uncomfortable with the idea of storing all your passwords on one site in the cloud—no matter what the service promises about security measures — use a password manager that will store your passwords locally.
- Use a credit card control app.
Some apps allow you to essentially use your smartphone as a remote control to manage your credit card use and protect yourself from fraud. We recommend CardNav by CO-OP. With a few touches of the screen you can dictate when your cards can or cannot be used; block specific types of transactions such as an ATM withdrawal, online purchase, cash advance or transfer of funds; or even limit the geographic area where your card will work. This ability to turn the card completely off or limit where it can be used is far more protective than any fraud alert that you receive after the fact.
- Put your money with a financial institution you trust.
Your peace of mind is one of our highest concerns. At Bethpage Federal Credit Union, we provide a secure Debit Card with our Free Checking account to help protect your money, including up-to-the-minute statements and mobile alerts.
With your Bethpage Free Checking account, you can grow and protect your money with peace of mind.
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