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Online Financial Safety Tips

Online Safety Tips

Be Smart Online

The internet makes many everyday tasks faster and more convenient, like shopping, researching products, banking, searching for health information, and communicating on the go.  Get tips for being safe and making the most of your time online.

Secure Your Computer

The internet gives you access to countless products and services.  At the same time, it can leave you open to scammers, hackers, and identity thieves.  Learn experts’ top tips for how to protect your information and your computer while online.

Protect Kids Online

Kids have lots of opportunities for socializing online, but they come with certain risks.  Parents can help reduce these risks by talking to kids about making safe, responsible decisions.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps you protect your children’s privacy.  Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), COPPA requires websites to get parental consent before collecting or sharing information from children who are under 13 years old.

Take advantage of your COPPA rights.  Your child’s personal information is valuable, and you can do a lot to protect it.

Credit Union Website Legitimacy and Share Insurance

When performing transactions on your credit union’s website, it’s wise to make sure that the website is legitimate and that your deposits are federally insured.  Here are some tips specifically designed for members to consider when performing credit union transactions over the internet.

Read key information about the credit union posted on its website.

Most credit union websites have an “About Us” section or something similar.  You may find a brief credit union history, its name and address, and information about its insurance coverage

Protect yourself from fraudulent websites.

For example, watch out for copycat websites that deliberately use a name or web address very similar to, but not the same as, that of a real credit union.  The intent is to lure you into clicking onto their website and giving personal information such as your account number and password.  Always check to see if you have typed the correct website address before conducting any business.

Check the credit union’s insurance status and website address.

To check a credit union’s insurance status, look for the official NCUA logo or the words “Insured by NCUA” on the website.  To independently verify a credit union’s insurance status or website address, you can check NCUA’s online database of credit unions.  From the “Find a Credit Union” page, enter the first letters of the credit union’s name or the city and state and click the “Find” button.

A positive match will display the credit union’s information, including website address (“URL”), on the screen.  The credit union type code also appears.  This code indicates whether NCUA insures the accounts at the credit union.  There are three different credit union types:

1.Federal credit union (NCUA-insured)

2.Federally-insured state-chartered credit union (NCUA-insured)

3.Non-federally insured state-chartered credit union (not NCUA insured)

Please remember that not all credit unions operating on the Internet are insured by NCUA.  Only federal credit unions and federally insured state-chartered credit unions are insured by NCUA.  Check with your credit union or NCUA if you are not sure of your credit union’s insurance status.

Realize that not all financial services offered via a federally insured credit union’s website are necessarily NCUA-insured.

Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to $250,000 per individual depositor.  NCUA is the independent agency that administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).  Like the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund, the NCUSIF is a federal insurance fund backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

The NCUSIF insures member savings in federally insured credit unions, which account for about 98 percent of all credit unions in the United States.  Deposits at all federal credit unions and the vast majority of state-chartered credit unions are covered by NCUSIF protection.

How Do I Know If My Credit Union Is Federally Insured?

NCUAAll federally insured credit unions must prominently display the official NCUA insurance sign at each teller station and where insured account deposits are normally received in their principal place of business and in all branches.  Federally insured credit unions are also required to display the official sign on their Internet page, if any, where they accept deposits or open accounts.  No credit union may end its federal insurance without first notifying members.

NCUA share insurance covers all types of deposits received at a federally insured credit union, including deposits in a share draft account, share savings account, or time deposit such as a share certificate.  NCUA insurance covers members’ accounts at each federally insured credit union, dollar-for-dollar, including principal and any accrued interest through the date of the insured credit union’s closing, up to the insurance limit.  This coverage also applies to nonmember deposits when permitted.

NCUA does not insure money invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities, even if these non-deposit investment or insurance products are sold at a federally insured credit union.  Credit unions often provide these services to its members through third-parties.  The non-deposit investment and insurance products offered by third parties are not insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).  In locations where non-deposit investment and insurance products are recommended or sold to members, credit unions are required to disclose that the products are:

  • not insured by NCUA;
  • not deposits or other obligations of the credit union and are not guaranteed by the credit union; and
  • subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested.

In addition, NCUA does not insure safe deposit boxes or their contents.  NCUA does not insure U.S. Treasury bills, bonds or notes, but these investments are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

Remember that non-financial websites that are linked to your credit union’s site are not NCUA-insured.  As an added convenience to their members, some credit unions offer online links to other sites.  An outside company’s products and services are not insured by NCUA, and your credit union may not guarantee the products and services.  As in everyday business, before you order a product or service online, make sure you are comfortable with the reputation of the company making the offer.  Only then should you give out your credit card or debit card number.  Never provide personal information to a third party unless you initiated the transaction.

Keep Your Transactions Secure

The Internet is a public network.  Therefore, it is important to learn how to safeguard your credit union account information, credit card numbers, Social Security number, and other personal data.


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