Identity theft is not a new topic. We communicate frequently to you about the importance of taking steps to safeguard your identity. The Equifax breach is a recent event that keeps this at the top of mind. Unfortunately, data breaches aren’t new, and they’re also not going to go away.
My hope today is not to scare you, but rather to share with you some of the things that we do to protect you, and also to remind you once more about what you can do to protect yourself.
At Reliant, we take the security of your information very seriously, and we have numerous practices and procedures in place designed to protect our members. Our staff is constantly trained and tested to ensure that they’re up-to-date on the latest security protocols, and that they’re consistently following those protocols.
When you visit a branch, if we ask for your ID—even if you’ve been to the branch many times before—it’s for your own protection. The staff member who’s helping you needs to verify that it’s really you standing in front of him or her. We are able to scan IDs into our system, so if you have your license or other photo ID scanned into our system already, you won’t be asked for that extra ID verification; we can see it on-screen and make sure it’s really you!
When you call our Member Service Center, our representatives will ask you a variety of questions, again to ensure it’s really you who’s on the other end of the line. Such questions can be time-consuming and frustrating, but there is a very important security reason for our asking those questions.
If you log into your account through online banking or the mobile app from a new device, you’ll be asked to go through a two-step verification process, once again as a way of ensuring that the person trying to log into your account is really you.
Even with all of our security protocols in place, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to adopt your own practices for protecting yourself from fraud. Here are a few simple things that you can do that can go a long way in fraud prevention and detection:
- Check your accounts frequently. When you use online banking and/or Reliant’s mobile app, you have access to your accounts no matter where you are, no matter what time of day it is. You know best what transactions you’ve truly completed, so you will know if you see something that’s amiss. If you do, always contact us immediately.
- Even with online access, it can be difficult to be vigilant about checking on your accounts when you have accounts at multiple different institutions, so don’t forget to monitor every account you have. Did you sign up for a store card to take advantage of a discount, and then you only used it that one time? It’s still important to keep tabs on that account to ensure no one else is using it.
- Sign up for email and/or text alerts. At Reliant, we offer account alerts through online banking, as well as credit card alerts—and I’ve heard some really great stories from members about how alerts have benefited them! Many have shared how much they love knowing when transactions occur, and I’ve even heard from a few who have been able to stop fraud in its tracks because of alerts!
- Change your account passwords frequently—and make them strong when you do! No matter how important this is, very few of us change our passwords as frequently as is recommended. If you use your phone as a taskmaster, consider setting up reminders for yourself right on your phone to help you remember to update your passwords every 60 to 90 days.
- Never give out your PIN. While we often think of fraudsters as faceless thieves lurking in the shadows on the dark web, the unfortunate reality is that we see fraud occur from family members and friends as well. As much as you may trust someone, please think twice before giving someone else access to your money by sharing your PIN.
If you’re concerned about your account security or would like some one-on-one guidance about what you can do to help protect yourself, our member services team is here to help! We’d be glad to sit down with you to help talk you through some additional precautions you can take.
As always, thank you for your membership— and thank you for taking diligent steps to monitor your account!
President & CEO