Education is Essential

Protecting Your Identity

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. There are more than 556 million victims per year to cyber-attacks and Essential is committed to ensuring our members are not included in that statistic.

Essential has processes that identify risks, protect your assets, respond to potential threats and recover quickly. Protecting your identity is incredibly important to us. You can feel safe banking with Essential, and there are also proactive tips you can manage on your own to help protect your assets and identity:

  • Sign up for account alerts.  There’s no better way to stay in the know about your account activity than with alerts. It’s free with Essential and you can determine when to be notified, whether when your balance falls below a certain dollar amount, when your account is overdrawn, when there are more than X amount of withdrawals a day, etc.
  • Place a freeze on your credit reports. You can request that your credit be frozen where no new creditors can access your credit reports.  In order to apply for credit, you must go through additional steps to “thaw” your credit report.  If your credit report is frozen and a creditor tries to access it, the application is automatically declined.
  • Request that your social be removed from documentation such as on your driver’s license. At one time it was required to be on your ID, but you now have the option to have it removed. Some bank accounts use your social security number as your account number and if you have checks on that account, your social security number is right there on the MICR line!  Also, be sure not to give too much information on your checks like your social, license number, telephone number, place of employment, etc.
  • Do not reveal your passwords or have them written down in places like your wallet or purse, which can easily be stolen.
  • Never give out any passwords or PIN numbers to anyone over the phone or by email.  Reputable companies will never require for you to give this information over the phone or by clicking on a link within an email.
  • Go paperless
  • Check your Statements and Bank Accounts often.