At UNIFY, we’re committed to the protection of your personal financial information. That means ensuring when you do business with us, either in person or online, leading security measures are in place to safeguard your transactions.
We sat down with Nate Howe, our Security Officer, to learn about the safety of UNIFY’s new eBanking platform and the many security features designed to protect your online account information.
Q: How can I be sure UNIFY’s website and eBanking are secure?
A: At UNIFY, we strive to implement online security that complies with regulations, is as strong as, or more robust than other financial institutions, and is consistent with the expectations of our members.
UNIFY’s ongoing policy is to perform security testing before websites or online services are made available to members. During these tests, an analyst performs skilled attacks, attempting to find online vulnerabilities before real attackers ever get the opportunity. UNIFY can respond to this testing by making necessary adjustments prior to offering online services to our members.
Q: In addition to a Password, why does eBanking require a Passcode?
A: UNIFY is now taking advantage of Multiple Factor Authentication—a significant security enhancement featured in eBanking. A current example of this type of security practice is an ATM withdrawal using a plastic card (in your possession) and a PIN (something you remember). Because the Internet is arguably a much riskier environment, the financial industry has been working to successfully integrate Multiple Factor Authentication to protect online banking.
UNIFY’s eBanking requires you to identify yourself with a second factor. If you have already registered your computer, the computer serves as your second factor because it has a stored cookie file. If you visit eBanking using a machine without this cookie (or have your browser set to automatically clear cookies), it generates a Passcode and sends it to you via a method that only you would have access to read, such as your mobile phone or personal email.
In this way, only our actual members login to eBanking while attackers are prevented entry. The presentment of a member’s custom image and phrase allow eBanking to prove to the member that they’ve arrived at the right website and are connected to the authentic UNIFY eBanking site.
Q: Other financial institutions I use don’t have this level of security or requirements . . . why does UNIFY?
A: Every organization will consider its risks and place a value on information protection. As a result, you may experience varied levels of security among the businesses you use. One thing is certain, however—the traditional model of username and password alone is quickly becoming outdated and does not offer you the most protection.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), a critical governing body for financial institutions, began publishing recommendations in 2006 to improve website security. The FFIEC called for multiple factor authentication and made recommendations for safely communicating a user password. Also, the FFIEC acknowledges that secret questions are becoming “guessable” as more of our personal history is available through social media. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which grants UNIFY’s charter to serve as a credit union, supports FFIEC guidance for improved security on the Internet.
Q: Why do I need to use these security features if I only login from my home computer?
A: UNIFY’s security features are designed to protect your information 24/7, regardless of where or how you choose to access your account. That means our online security features must always be at work for you, protecting your information to the best of our ability.
But, we also recognize that our members have different methods for doing business with us. If for example, you only access your account from a home computer, please consider registering your device within eBanking to make future logins a quicker process. If you frequently change devices, our security features are in place to provide greater protection from unauthorized activity.
Q: How secure is eBanking if I login from a mobile phone or tablet?
A: We certainly encourage you to use mobile devices when accessing eBanking. The security features we have in place for computers work just as well to protect you when doing business with us away from your desk. Please remember, you are responsible for the security of your own mobile devices. Wherever possible, take advantage of anti-malware utilities to scan your systems for viruses. Protect your mobile devices using complex passwords. And, when you do business with us online using mobile devices, be sure you sign out completely after you have finished your eBanking session.
Q: I get emails from time to time asking for my UNIFY account information. These aren’t from UNIFY, right?
A: You should be aware of suspicious or unsolicited emails and text messages asking for account information. These emails are almost always attempts to trick you into replying or following a dangerous link. For your protection, we have secure features within eBanking to exchange messages and chat in real time with our Call Center. These communication channels are encrypted for your protection. Please contact us if you are suspicious about a recent communication you have received.
Q: What can I do on my own to further protect my information?
A: We will always do our part to protect and operate eBanking and UNIFY websites responsibly. Our best advice is to be aware of current scams—attacks through email, text message, or phone calls. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Practice good security of your devices by installing software updates, using complex passwords that are not actual words, adding both numbers and special characters. Scan devices with anti-malware utilities and be cautious when “saving” passwords on your device. Remember, a device can be stolen or used by someone else in your household. Bookmark UNIFY’s website as a “Favorite” so you always return to the correct location when you visit us online.
Lastly, back up your information. You will be much better off after a virus infection if you can simply wipe and restore your device knowing your information is backed up elsewhere.
No problem. Just phone our Contact Center at 877.254.9328, available 24/7, and a UNIFY Representative will assist you.