Be Safe Online and On Your Mobile Device
When sending emails, shopping online, using social media, or surfing the Web, remember to keep your account information and identity secure. These tips can help you to avoid compromising your information.
Online Security Tips
- Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password.
- Use a unique username and password for your Patriot eBranch account – DO NOT use any part of your email address as your username or password – and update them regularly.
- To change your Patriot eBranch password:
- Sign on to an online banking session.
- Click on the Preferences tab.
- Under My Profile, select Change Password
- Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone.
- Protect your answers to security questions. Do not write down or share your answers with anyone. Remember, Patriot will never ask you to provide answers to security questions via email.
- Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Make sure internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account. Look for secure transaction signs like a lock symbol and “https” in the address bar.
- Use a unique password for each account. Having separate passwords for every website helps thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal account and make sure that you critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
- When using social media, it’s a good idea to keep certain personal information private. Avoid sharing personal details that are used by financial institutions to identify you, such as your birth date, home address, mother’s maiden name, schools attended/mascots and pet’s name. These are common answers to security questions that fraudsters could use to help gain access to an account.
- Always carefully review the privacy options for any social network you join. The privacy options and tools for social networks can be complex and should be reviewed carefully so that there is no disclosure of information you meant to remain private.
Email Security Tips
- Be wary of suspicious emails. Never open attachments, click on links, or respond to emails from suspicious or unknown senders.
- If you receive a suspicious email that you think is a phishing attempt, do not respond or provide any information.
- If you respond to a phishing email with personal or account information, contact 1-888-777-9982.
Mobile Security Tips
- When you use a mobile device to access your accounts, keep these tips in mind:
- Use the security functions that come with your device, such as the keypad lock or phone lock function when it is not in use, or the “find my phone” or “wipe out memory” functions if it is lost.
- Frequently delete text messages from financial institutions and credit card companies, especially before loaning out, discarding, or selling your mobile device.
- Keep your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number and date of birth private. Never share your personal or financial information in a text message, phone call or email.
- If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, sign on to eBranch to remove the old number from your mobile banking profile or call our member service contact center at 1-888-777-9982.
- Avoid storing your online banking password or other sensitive information on your smartphone or in an app where it could be discovered if your phone is stolen.
- When you finish banking on your mobile device or using the Patriot mobile app, always log off and not just close the browser or app. For your security,
- Patriot’s mobile apps and mobile banking site will automatically log you off after several minutes of inactivity.
- To ensure the highest level of protection, keep your mobile operating system up to date and do not alter or “jail break” your mobile device. If you have concerns about an update to your mobile device, visit the company’s website to confirm that the update is legitimate.
- Be cautious when using public hotspots. Carefully consider your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection settings, even at a trusted retailer, as fraudsters can spoof the name of reputable hotspots.
- Download banking applications from reputable sources only to ensure the safety of your account information. Download the Patriot Mobile app by searching “Patriot Federal Credit Union” in your phone’s app store, or visit patriotfcu.org on your phone’s browser.
- If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a Patriot Mobile app, access your account through our mobile banking site at patriotfcu.org.
- Treat QR codes with the same suspicion as you would any URL or link you find in an email. Much like links in email, QR codes can be used by fraudsters to send you to websites that may request your personal and financial information or could corrupt your mobile device.
- Use caution on which QR codes to scan, as some may have been tampered with if placed in a public place.
- Use a QR code scanner from a reputable source that will check links for malicious content. This capability can be found in the app description before downloading.
Computer Safety Tips
- Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.
- Ensure your computer operating system, software, browser version, and plug-ins are current. Before downloading an update to your computer program, first go to the company’s website to confirm the update is legitimate.
- Install a personal firewall on your computer and keep anti-virus software installed and updated.
- Be wary of conducting online banking activities on computers that are shared by others. Use public computers with caution. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should be conducted, when possible, on a computer you know to be safe and secure.
- Configure your devices to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your devices or home network. For example, if you use a home wireless router for your home internet connection, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to configure the router with appropriate security settings.
For more tips to avoid Fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website:
For more information on common fraud schemes, visit the FBI’s website: