How Can I Protect Myself From Phishing?

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Awareness is your best defense against scams, phishes, and hoaxes.

The information below provides an overview of internet safety and scams. It is not all inclusive and we encourage you to continue your education beyond what is provided here.

Perhaps the greatest threat to your account information is giving your member number and/or password to another individual. Please remember:

  • No one except a joint account holder needs to know your member number and/or password.
  • No employee of HVFCU will ever ask you for your Internet Banking password information. Call us immediately at 845.463.3011 / 800.468.3011 if any person, whether an HVFCU employee or not, attempts to learn your password.

Don’t Disclose Your Personal Information

Perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against phishing is to make it your policy to never respond to a request to disclose your personal account information. Ever. No matter how convincing it looks or what the email threatens to do if you don’t respond by some specific time. Always think of email as an unsecured, unverified form of communication because, at the present time, it’s too easy to fake and abuse. (Should you receive anything that appears to come from HVFCU you can also check our website, call our phone system to listen for an alert message, or call or email our Contact Center to confirm if a communication is legitimate.)

Online Tools

We have evaluated some online tools that can help protect you from phishing schemes. Below are some tools worth mentioning.

Anti-phishing Browser Capabilities

Most popular browsers now incorporate anti-phishing lookup capabilities. They do this by submitting the URL (aka the web address, such as www.google.com) that you type against a database of known phishing sites. A match will result in a warning message. Some people turn off this protection due to the perceived privacy issue of submitting your browsing habits. In truth, browsing habits can be tracked in other ways (including with cookies) and the benefits of checking the site you are going to against a known list of malicious sites is valuable. We recommend you leave this setting on. Consult the documentation for the version of browser you are using for more information.

In place of this, as well as in addition to this, you may submit a URL to VirusTotal to see if it is in their database. To do this, browse to www.virustotal.com – URL-submission. Results will not guarantee that a URL you submit is not malicious, but will let you know if it already known to be malicious.

Windows Defender

This free download is available through the Microsoft website and removes and blocks malware and spyware from your computer.

Sandboxie

This is another free download (available at http://www.sandboxie.com/), and it creates a protected environment that can prevent malware from installing on your computer.

Script Blockers

Many browsers support the ability to block scripts, such as Javascript, from automatically running in your browser. Javascript can be used maliciously and often is used by criminals on websites they control, including legitimate sites that they have hacked. Unfortunately, Javascript is used so frequently that a lot of sites would have broken functionality if you were to just turn off Javascript completely in your browser. There are several free plugins and add-ons for many browsers that put you in control of which sites can run scripts and which sites can’t. An example is “NoScript” for Firefox, but there are others for Firefox and other browsers, too. Utilities like NoScript allow you to NOT trust websites to run Javascript by default. You add in the sites that you want to trust, such as your financial institution. Other sites will result in a prompt message when you visit them. You can choose to trust a site permanently or temporarily. Many people find this annoying, but it can be a lifesaver if the site you are accessing is malicious.

    © 2014 Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union

    159 Barnegat Rd. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
    ph: 845.463.3011 / 800.468.3011

    Routing Number : 221979363