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Online security and what to look out for

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With most Australians transacting on their smart devices, protecting your security online is more important than ever. 

In a time where we spend over 8 hours a day looking at our phones, it’s an assumption that your financial institution needs to have up to date access facilities and leading edge tech to help with you with your banking as much as the best mortgage rate around. In 2017 to date, Australians in NSW, including the Orange area and Central West regions, lost a total of $30,805,631 to thieves through scams. 

Total amount lost to scammers in Australia, 2017

Predominantly targeting victims with phishing emails, where you are invited to validate your personal or login information to fake (but very convincing) websites through an email invitation. An evolved version of the typical Nigerian bank email, phishing emails appear to be sent from Australian government departments, well-known local retailers or financial institutions including banks and credit unions. 

The ACCCs Scamwatch is a trustworthy resource for those living in Orange as well as the greater central west region to keep up to date on the latest scams and current hoaxes trying to steal your personal information. Aside from subscribing to their scam alert emails, Orange Credit Union advises that Orange locals stay vigilant with the follow tips to protect your identity online:

Keep in regular contact with your bank or credit union

If you are receiving emails from your bank or credit union and you’re not sure if they are genuine, contact your financial institution and ask them. Chances are, if emails from your bank or credit union relate to loans, refinancing, interest rates, mortgage or home loan rates or the like, they could very well be genuine. If an email appears to be from your bank or credit union, but the email isn’t the same quality, uses misshapen or grainy images or is asking you to provide your member number and internet banking password from within the email, contact your bank or credit union immediately. They should be able to verify if the email was genuine or not.

Never open an email from someone you don’t recognise or click any links in an email that you suspect is fraudulent

Hackers and scammers can attempt to infiltrate your machine and steal your personal information by loading viruses on your device. Emails that contain such viruses usually ask you to click on links or provide your personal information as verification of your identity. Downloading attachments from these emails can also deliver the virus to your device which can freeze your files or provide them remote access to your device. If you receive an email from an unknown person or an institution that you don’t bank with, delete the email immediately and then delete it from your deleted items. If you accidentally open an attachment or provide your information, contact your bank or credit union immediately.

Never keep a copy of your PIN with your card (or anywhere)

It is important to keep your PIN number safe and never to keep a copy of it in your wallet. Your PIN should never be shared with anyone and is a number that you can easily remember without it being directly related to your birthdate, birth year or anything else easily identifiable by others.

Look for https:// in the URL of your bank, credit union or any online retailers you shop with

Https:// (hypertext transfer protocol secure) is a practice for protecting users against evesdroppers from listening to information a user sends or receives online by encrypting messages between servers and browsers. This simply means that any information you enter online (your member number and Internet Banking password for example) is jumbled up before being sent to another server where it is decoded securely on the other side (allowing you to securely log into Internet Banking). Sites with https in their url use this method of data encryptions to protect your personal information from thieves. 

Check your transaction listings each month

It’s important to regularly check your account statements or transactions listing regularly so you can pick up any potentially fraudulent transactions as soon as possible. Even transactions from trusted companies like APPLE ITUNES AUSTRALIA can look authentic, but are fake. If there are transactions you are unfamiliar on your accounts, always feel confident in speaking with your bank or credit union. They are there to answer your questions from home loan interest rates, to everyday account enquiries like these. 

Our team is here to help

If you’d like any further tips or support with keeping your personal information safe with Orange Credit Union, contact our friendly team on (02) 6362 4466 Monday to Friday 9:15am to 5pm.

Request a callVisit our branchCall us

Image Source: Scamwatch,, accessed 6/7/2017.


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