You probably have a password for your email accounts, favorite online stores, and social media sites, not to mention countless more. At Tigers, we take the security of our members’ accounts very serious, but there is only so much we can do if your password is as simple as “password123.” As part of our series on online safety, we want to inform you about what makes strong passwords and how to use them securely.
Build a Better Password
Cyber criminals have gotten very sophisticated at stealing passwords by developing programs that expertly make educated guesses. They also use information that can be easily found on social networking sites or Google to hack your accounts. Beat them to it by not using common information such as birthdates or pet’s names. Create a more complicated code that includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. In fact, we recommend using a passphrase that uses multiple words or complete sentences.
Example: “time for coffee” can become Timef0rCoffee? or Time4Coffee!
Or take a favorite song or poem lyric:
Using Passwords Securely
- Make sure to have different passwords for every account. If you have too many passwords to remember, consider using a password manager.
- Never share your passwords with anyone else.
- Do not use public computers to log into a work or bank account. Anyone could infect these computers with a code and capture your data.
- Be careful when you are required to create personal security questions. Try to use questions where answers aren’t publicly found on the internet.
- If important information or passwords are kept on your mobile device, make sure you have a PIN set up to secure your phone in the event it is lost or stolen.
- If you are no longer using an account, be sure to close, delete or disable it.
Implement these tips into your daily online routine and stay on top of your credit and debit statements for suspicious activity. Remember that using a password with mixed case characters, numbers and symbols is far more secure than anything else. For more information about protecting yourself online, view our security training video library. And stay safe!
Earlier today, the Associated Press Twitter account was hacked, posting a false tweet about an attack on the White House. The fake tweet rattled quite a few feathers today, even causing stocks to briefly drop over 100 points. The twitter account has since been suspended, and they have been working to correct the issue.
After the incident, Mike Baker reported that the employees of the Associated Press received a phishing email about a half hour before the hack. Phishing emails use suspicious links or attachments to record your confidential information. If these hackers were able to bring the AP, as well as the stock market, momentarily to its knees today, think of the damage they could do to the rest of us. That’s why we’ve compiled these safety tips to help protect you from these kinds of attacks:
- Do not trust an email with grammatical and/or spelling errors.
- Look for your name. If an email contains a generic greeting or just uses your email as the greeting itself, this is a major red flag.
- Roll over links to see the actual URL. If it does not match up with what the text says or you’re unsure, don’t click on it.
- Don’t trust solicitations. Tigers does not send text messages or emails to members asking for credit card or personal information that could compromise the security of your identity and finances.
- If you are really in doubt, call the number on the back of your debit/credit card. Don’t trust any phone numbers contained in the email itself.
- Sometimes these emails will look very legitimate. We suggest you treat all email as suspicious. Think before you click on the link or attachment and use your better judgment.
For more information about online safety and protecting your identity, be sure to check out our security videos library.
Transferring your mortgage to a new lender can lower your interest rate, reduce your monthly payment or even let you to pay off your loan early. But, first you must determine if it makes sense.
First, look into loans with shorter terms. If you currently have a 30-year fixed-rate loan, refinancing to a 10-, 15- or 20-year term will lower the total amount of interest you will pay and let you to pay it off faster. Then look at rates. Generally speaking, if rates are lower by one percent or more, it may be a good time to transfer. But, when shopping for rates, be careful. Lenders offering no points and fees usually charge higher interest rates.
To figure out whether it pays to transfer, you must calculate refinancing costs and determine how many months will it take to break-even. You should consider transferring if you plan to stay in your home for more than the time it takes to break-even.
Remember, you can also transfer personal loans and credit card balances and save money. By transferring a loan to a new lender you can spend less money each month. So, no matter what kind of loan you currently have, you should check out your refinancing options with several different lenders. Check out our website for more information including our current rates and the various loans we offer. Remember, transferring a loan can help you squeeze more money out of your monthly budget and save more at the same time!
Transferring or refinancing a car loan with a different lender is one of the best kept secrets around for saving money, but most people never think of it.
Car refinancing is like mortgage refinancing – only easier, quicker and without closing costs. When you transfer a car loan, you pay it off with a refinanced loan from a different lender that offers some benefit, such as a lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR), longer payment term or cash offer. A lower APR can reduce the amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan. A longer term could help lower your payments. And, a cash offer can simply put money in your pocket.
However, if your current interest rate can only be reduced by a few points, transferring your loan probably won’t save you enough money.
Begin by researching lenders. Credit unions, banks, finance companies and online lenders refinance car loans, so be sure to compare rates. And, be prepared to research new lenders because most will not refinance their own loans. Be sure to visit our website for additional helpful information including our current rates and the many benefits we offer.