Internet Security

To help safe guard your personal and financial information from fraud, we’re sharing tips on how to: 

  • Best practices for creating and protecting a strong Personal Access Code (PAC)
  • Protect your computer
  • Recognize and report fraud

Create a Strong Personal Access Code (PAC)

Best practices for creating and protecting a strong PAC :

  • Select a PAC that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess
  • Avoid using current phone numbers, birth dates or social insurance numbers
  • Choose a PAC that contains a combination of alpha, numeric and special characters
  • We recommend using a passphrase, and then replace letters with numeric or special characters
  • PACs are not case sensitive
  • Do not select a part of your ATM PIN or other passwords
  • Keep your PAC confidential and do not share it with anyone
  • Do not write your PAC down or store it in a file on your computer
  • Never disclose your PAC in a voicemail, email message, over the phone or online to anyone
  • Ensure no one observes you entering in your PAC

Protect your Computer

Our online banking platform is a secure channel for you, our members, to communicate with us. Once the information has reached your computer, it's up to you to ensure you’re taking the following steps to protect your information:

  • Never leave your computer unattended while using our online banking services.
  • Always exit online banking using the Logout button and close your browser if you step away from your computer. Your browser may retain information you entered during your online banking session the until you exit the browser.
  • Secure or erase files stored on your computer by your browser so others cannot read them. Most browsers store information in non-protected (unencrypted) files in the browser's cache to improve performance. These files remain there until erased. They can be erased using standard computer utilities or by using your browser feature to ‘empty’ the cache.
  • Disable automatic password-save features in the browsers and software you use to access the Internet.
  • Install and use a quality anti-virus program. New viruses are created every day, be sure to update your anti-virus program often. It is recommended you update anti-virus definitions weekly. Scan all download files, programs, disks and attachments and only accept files and programs from a trusted source.
  • Install and use a personal firewall on your computer to ensure others cannot access your computer through the Internet.
  • Install new security patches as soon as your operating system and Internet browser manufacturers make them available.
  • Install an anti-spyware program and check your computer regularly.

Protecting your information when using a public computer

You should be extra vigilant when using publicly available computers. Even if you adopt the tips above to protect your information, you need to bear in mind that even benign programs, like popular desktop search programs, can pose a security risk. Certain programs, such as Google Desktop, cache items that you have viewed so you - or potentially, an unwelcome third party - can easily search and find those pages later again.

To ensure a safe and secure Internet session, only visit reputable sites. If you visit any questionable web site beforehand, we recommend you close your browser and restart it before proceeding to use our online banking services.

Recognize and Report Fraud

Electronic identity theft can occur when you respond to a fraudulent email or text that asks for your personal banking information. Armed with this information, a person may be able to access your accounts or establish credit, pay for items or borrow money using your name. You can help protect yourself from electronic identity theft by following some simple precautions:

  • ACU will never ask you for your personal passwords, personal information or login information in an email. Legitimate financial institutions do not include links to their web sites in email communications to customers.
  • When banking online, check the address of any pages that ask you to enter personal account information. In the toolbar at the top of the page any legitimate Internet banking web site will begin with ‘https’ to indicate that the page is secure.
  • Look for the padlock found in the lower right corner of your screen. If the page is legitimate, by clicking on the padlock, you can view the security certificate details for the site. A fraudulent site will not have these details.
  • Type in our web address yourself to ensure you are transacting with our server.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements regularly to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.

Contact us immediately if you suspect someone has gained knowledge of your PAC/PIN, or if you suspect any loss, theft or unauthorized use of your account.

Since this section talks about recognizing fraud, I think it would be helpful to add some information regarding common phishing scams/techniques.

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What we are doing to protect your security

We take many precautions to protect the online banking environment and ensure your information is safe. Our online services offer you the best security currently available in a commercial environment so that your personal and financial information is protected while in transit between your computer and our server. This is done through the use of industry standard security techniques such as encryption. Encryption ensures that information cannot be read in transit or changed by scrambling the data using a complex mathematical formula.

We also ensure that only individuals who provide an authentic Personal Access Code can access your account information. To help you protect your information your online banking session will end automatically if there has been no activity for 15 minutes.

Access to our databases is strictly managed and systems are in place to ensure security is not breached, including the physical security of our computer hardware and communications.

For more information on the specific policies and practices that we use to safeguard your personal and financial information, please click here to view our Privacy Statement.


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