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In today's digital world, our devices are more than just tools – they're gateways to our finances, personal information, and even our homes. But with great convenience comes great responsibility, as cyber threats like malware and hacking are on the rise. As a trusted financial partner, Members Credit Union wants to empower you with the knowledge and resources to keep your devices safe and secure.

What are malware and hacking?

  • Malware: Malicious software that can infect your device, steal data, disrupt operations, or even take control. It can come in various forms, like viruses, worms, spyware, and ransomware.
  • Hacking: The unauthorized access or manipulation of a computer system or network. Hackers can steal data, install malware, disrupt operations, or even cause financial damage.

Here's how you can protect your devices:

1. Be a password pro:

  • Create unique, strong passwords: Avoid dictionary words, personal information, and common patterns. Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Aim for at least 12 characters when creating a secure password.
  • Don't reuse passwords: Each account deserves its own unique password. Consider using a password manager to keep track of them securely.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): This adds an additional layer of security by requiring a second verification step, like a code sent to your phone, when logging in.

2. Software savvy:

  • Software updates: Outdated software often has security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Enable automatic updates for your operating system, apps, and browsers.
  • Use antivirus and anti-malware software: Choose a reputable antivirus program and keep it up to date. Run regular scans to detect and remove any potential threats.
  • Beware of suspicious downloads and links: Don't click on links, email attachments, or downloads from unknown senders. Be wary of free software downloads, especially from untrusted websites.

3. Secure your network:

  • Use a strong Wi-Fi password: Avoid using the default password that comes with your router. Create a long, complex password and keep it hidden.
  • Enable guest network: If you have guests over, set up a separate guest network for them to use. This prevents them from accessing your main network and its connected devices.
  • Use a VPN for public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured. Use a VPN to encrypt your traffic and protect your data or use a private network.

4. Be mindful of your online behavior:

  • Think before you click: Be cautious of phishing scams and suspicious emails. Don't click on links or open attachments unless you're absolutely sure they're legitimate.
  • Beware of social engineering: Hackers may try to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links. Be skeptical of unsolicited calls, emails, and messages, even if they appear to come from trusted sources.
  • Regular backups for data: This ensures you have a copy of your important files in case your device becomes infected with malware or suffers a hardware failure.

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. By staying vigilant and following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to malware and hacking.

Additional resources:

We hope this guide helps you keep your devices safe and secure. If you have any questions about online safety or Members Credit Union's security measures, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe, stay secure!

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