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CUNA Releases Helpful Tips to Avoid Being Hacked
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:40 AM

To help consumers avoid fraud the Credit Union National Association released a list of helpful tips to keep their personal information out of the hands of criminals.

In 2014 there were more than 744 data security breaches, a 24.8 percent increase over 2013 with 596 breaches. CUNA's contains a list ways consumers can be vigilant about protecting their personal data when shopping in retail stores and online, including:

  • Don't respond to email, texts, or telephone calls asking for personal or financial information;
  • Frequently review account activity and immediately report unauthorized transactions;
  • Place an initial fraud alert with credit bureaus if fraud has occurred;
  • Enroll and opt-in for transaction monitoring;
  • Use card on/off switches (if available); and
  • Enroll in Verified by VISA/MasterCard Secure Code.

A recent poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News found that nearly half of all Americans have been notified by a credit card company, financial institution or retailer that their credit card information had possibly been stolen as part of a data breach.

"Arming consumers with tips to protect themselves is helpful, but what's necessary to change the state of consumer protection is a change in policy," said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle. "Merchants are not subject to the same federal data protection standards as financial institutions, making them more susceptible to attacks."

Nussle added, "The best course of action to reduce data breaches would be for Congress to establish federal data-protection standards for retailers that are equal to financial institutions under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act," he said.