Protecting Your Financial Information Online: A Comprehensive Guide

October 6, 2023 by Chevron Federal Credit Union

In today's digital age, the convenience of managing our finances online is undeniable. From online banking to shopping, the Internet offers a plethora of options to handle our financial affairs with ease. However, with this convenience comes the responsibility of safeguarding our financial information from potential threats. 

Use caution with links

One common way cybercriminals try to gain access to your financial information is through fraudulent links. These links can be disguised as legitimate websites, and unsuspecting individuals may click on them without realizing the danger. To protect yourself:

  • Be skeptical of social media links: Links shared on social media platforms can be misleading. Before clicking on any link, verify its source and legitimacy. Avoid clicking on links shared by unknown or unverified accounts.
  • Use caution around links via text or email: Scammers often impersonate banks and financial institutions, sending phishing emails or messages that lead to fake websites. Instead of clicking on these links, manually type the website address into your browser or use a trusted banking app.
  • Avoid links from unknown contacts: Don’t click on links sent by people you don't know, especially those promising financial opportunities or prizes. These links often lead to malicious websites or scams designed to steal your information.

Keep passwords safe

Your passwords are the keys to your online financial accounts. Creating strong and unique passwords is crucial to protect your sensitive information. 

  • Use complex passwords: Create passwords that are difficult for others to guess. Incorporate a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or common words.
  • Use password managers: Consider using a reputable password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely. Password managers can help you keep track of your login credentials for various accounts without the risk of forgetting them.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable 2FA for your online financial accounts. This extra layer of security requires you to provide an additional verification code, usually sent to your mobile device, making it much harder for unauthorized individuals to access your accounts.

Be wary of phishing attempts

Phishing is a deceptive practice where scammers impersonate trustworthy entities, such as banks or government agencies, to trick you into revealing sensitive information. 

  • Verify the sender: Check the sender's email address or contact information. Legitimate organizations often use official domain names for their communications. Be cautious of emails from generic or suspicious addresses.
  • Avoid clicking on questionable links: If you receive an email or message with a link that seems even remotely suspicious, do not click on it. Instead, visit the official website of the organization by typing the URL directly into your browser.
  • Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest phishing techniques and scams. Familiarize yourself with common tactics scammers use, such as urgent messages requiring immediate action or requests for personal information.

Use encryption

  • Look for HTTPS: When sharing financial information on websites, ensure that the URL starts with "https://" rather than "http://." The "s" indicates that the website uses SSL/TLS encryption to protect your data during transmission.
  • Public Wi-Fi caution: Avoid accessing financial accounts or conducting online transactions when connected to public Wi-Fi networks. These networks may lack adequate encryption, making it easier for hackers to intercept your data.

Don't use your primary credit or debit card online

Use virtual credit card numbers

Some credit card issuers offer virtual credit card numbers that can be used for online purchases. These numbers are valid for a limited time and have a set spending limit, reducing the risk of fraud.

Alternatively, consider using a separate credit card and set a lower spending limit for online transactions. This lessens potential financial losses in case your card information is compromised.

How Chevron Federal Credit Union protects your safety online 

Your credit union also takes steps to make sure you can bank, shop and browse safely online. 

  • Multi-layered security: Our online and mobile banking platform uses a multi-layered security structure to protect our applications and networks to try and prevent hackers and identity thieves from accessing your information.
  • Encryption: With our encryption tools, we ensure your online and mobile transactions are secured and prevent your data from being accessed by unauthorized parties.
  • Fraud monitoring: We have a dedicated, in-house team that exclusively focuses on protecting and safeguarding your accounts, transactions and data.
  • Ongoing education: We continue to inform our members of updated ways to be proactive to protect your information as well as training our employees to stay ahead of the game.

Your online safety is important to us. If you have questions, reach out to us anytime or visit Security Central to learn more. 


From everyday finance to life’s big money moments, it’s better when you belong.