How to protect yourself from hackers

Have you ever wondered why anyone would want to hack into your email account?

Hackers are after far more than the sport of finding your secret recipes and the thrill of pranking all of your family and friends disguised as you. The reality is that there is a vast criminal network of individuals willing to hack for cash, and many underground crime rings across the globe that perpetrate fraud for profit.

Your email address is far more valuable than you think.

If a hacker can take over your email account, they are one step closer to accessing your contacts and a whole host of your personal information. An email takeover can lead to taking over other accounts such as credit cards and sensitive information associated with that account.

You can and should protect your email account. Here are a few safeguards you can put in place to shut potential hackers down:

Have a strong password

A strong password is not one that you can easily remember. If it is easily remembered, it is an easy target to be hacked. A strong password consists of at least six characters (the more characters, the stronger the password) that are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols ( @ # %, etc.). Strong passwords also contain letters in both uppercase and lowercase.

Create a unique strong password for each individual account you own

For your own sanity and security, consider using a reputable password manager so you don’t have to commit each one to memory.

Logout of your email account when you are not using it

If you’re not logged out, someone has the ability to request a new password and effectively take over your account. There’s less risk when you’re using your own computer, but for safety’s sake, remember that it’s always a good habit to logout.

Avoid accessing your email via public computers

Computers in hotel lobbies, libraries, internet cafes and airports can put you at risk. Never save your login information or leave sensitive information on the screen and always make sure to erase your tracks.

Take advantage of multi-factor verification whenever you can

Multi-factor verification adds an extra layer of security to accounts. In addition to your username and password, you’ll enter a code that is sent to you via text or voice message upon signing in. That makes it tougher for someone to guess your password.

Protect your computer

If your computer is wireless or does not use any antivirus software and is used not just by you, your email address and password are completely at risk. Investing in anti-virus software is imperative. Also, secure your internet connection by making sure you have a WPA key on your wireless internet connection.

A few small investments of time and software can go a long way in creating significant barriers in a hacker’s ability to gain access to your information.

You have our commitment that Travis Credit Union will only use your email to communicate with you about your TCU membership and accounts, and not for unintended purposes. To protect yourself against phishing scams, never reveal personal or account information online by responding through a link in an email. If you feel unsure about an email you have received from us, please contact our Member Service Center at (707) 449-4000 or (800) 877-8328 to determine if the email is legitimate.

How You Can Protect Yourself