Test Modules

TFCU Scholarship Applicant Information

 

Previous step

Application Responses

Student Activities and Leadership: List involvement in student activities which encourage development of leadership, citizenship, and personal/interpersonal skills, and which demonstrate initiative and positive contribution. Please do not write “see attached” on the application.

Community Leadership and Activities: Community activities are not related to school functions. List activities designed to improve or promote the quality of life in our community. Please do not write “see attached” on the application.

Work Experience: List your employment history including dates of employment and number of hours worked. Include any full-time/part-time employment, work study, as well as other experience obtained in the home or family environment. Please do not write “see attached” on the application.

Financial Need: Explain why you are applying for this scholarship and why you should be selected to receive the scholarship, any special considerations we should give your application, and what factors led you to choose the school you plan to attend.

Previous step

Essay

In a 250-word narrative, please address the following topic: If you had the attention of your community leaders (mayor, congressmen, city representatives, etc.), what would you suggest to make your community/El Paso better?

Please upload your essay below in a Word or PDF Format. Make sure you include your full name and contact information on the essay. 
Upload Essay

Please upload your essay below in a Word or PDF Format. Make sure you include your full name and contact information on the essay.

Transcripts and Additional Documents

Official Transcript

Please upload your official College or High School transcript below in a PDF or JPEG Format.

Additional Documents

Please upload below any additional documents (letters of recommendation, resumes, awards, etc.). All documents would need to be uploaded in one upload file only, PDF or Word Doc format only.

Application Certification

By filling out the electronic signature below I certify that all information provided on this application and attachments is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge. I authorize the Scholarship Committee to verify the information.

Electronic Signature

Please type your full name and email in the box below. For example: John Doe, johndoe@email.com

Documents List Module

Documents List

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Documents Table

List Module

Expandable List

Share Certificate Secured Loans

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Term Loans

Business Revolving Line of Credit

Business Bill Pay

Business Share Certificate

Business Insured Money Market Account

Business Plus Checking

Basic Business Checking

Business Share Savings

Business Deposit Accounts

Mastercard SecureCode®

Supervisory Committee

Board of Directors

Friendly Reminders

Careful what you click

Potential Dangers

Reduce your risk

Personal Security Online

Online and Mobile Banking Security

FAQ List

Share Certificate Secured Loans

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Term Loans

Business Revolving Line of Credit

Business Bill Pay

Business Share Certificate

Business Insured Money Market Account

Business Plus Checking

Basic Business Checking

Business Share Savings

Business Deposit Accounts

Mastercard SecureCode®

Supervisory Committee

Board of Directors

Friendly Reminders

Careful what you click

Potential Dangers

Reduce your risk

Personal Security Online

Online and Mobile Banking Security

Share Certificate Secured Loans

Share Certificate Secured Loans

TFCU’s Share Certificate Secured Loans allow you to borrow against what you have on deposit in a Share Account, so you get the lowest rate possible. The best part is the money in your Share Account continues to accrue interest!

  • Low fixed rates
  • Flexible terms
  • Quick turnaround time
  • No fees

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Commercial Real Estate Loans

Commercial Real Estate Loans

Business growth sometimes means getting a bigger space or purchasing your own property as opposed to leasing. TFCU is here to help with a Commercial Real Estate Loan!

  • Use for land, investment properties, office buildings, multi-family, warehouses, and strip centers
  • Low fixed rate financing available
  • Flexible terms
  • Refinancing is also available

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Term Loans

Term Loans

Get a Term Loan for your company needs. Use it to purchase equipment or a new vehicle… or just about anything else you need with ease.

  • Competitive rates
  • Flexible terms
  • Use for your business short & long term asset financing

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Business Revolving Line of Credit

Business Revolving Line of Credit

At TFCU, we don’t believe in growing pains. When it’s time for your business to expand, we make it easier for you to borrow what you need when you need it. That’s where a Business Revolving Line of Credit can help.

This Line of Credit gives you access to more cash for working capital, large purchases, or just daily business needs. Get approved for an amount, but only pay back what you use… when you use it.

  • Get secured and unsecured financing
  • Competitive rates
  • Pay interest only on what you borrow

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Business Bill Pay

Business Bill Pay

Your small business can be a seamless operation starting with how you pay bills. With Business Bill Pay from TFCU, you can pay your business expenses anytime, from anywhere. Easily make any company or individual a payee and schedule your payments with just a few clicks. With Business Bill Pay, you can keep track of your business finances all in one place.

  • View and approve pending payments
  • Track payment history up to 18 months
  • Create audit trails
  • Multi-tiered authority levels so you can delegate payment functions
  • Same-day and next-day payments
  • Extended daily cut off window to submit payments
  • Pay multiple invoices with one payment
  • Newest security technology to keep your information safe

Enroll in Business Bill Pay

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Business Share Certificate

Business Share Certificate

In business, nothing is guaranteed—except a Business Share Certificate from TFCU. Get a guaranteed return on your investment and a higher dividend yield. At maturity, you can roll into another term, or transfer into a different deposit account.

  • As low as $500 to open
  • Flexible terms from 3 months to 5 years
  • Earn dividends that compound monthly/quarterly

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Business Insured Money Market Account

Business Insured Money Market Account

If you need a safe place to keep your savings and also want to have it available when you need it, then a Business Insured Money Market Account is for you. Get a higher dividend yield than a regular Business Share Account with check writing abilities—so you can use your money when you need it.

  • Dividends earned and compounded daily
  • Tiered dividends
  • Competitive rates
  • Money is liquid with no withdrawal fees
  • Check writing abilities

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Business Plus Checking

Business Plus Checking

Business Plus Checking is a solution for businesses that have a higher transaction volume and liquidity. If that’s your business, you’ll earn dividends, too.

  • $2,500 balance requirement
  • Just $250 to open
  • Earn dividends when average daily balance is $2,500 or more
  • No monthly service fee with $2,500 average daily balance
  • Free debit card
  • 75 free debits per month
  • Only $.25 per item after 75 debits
  • Low $.25 per item debit fee
  • Free Online Banking
  • Free eStatements
  • Free overdraft from Savings

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Basic Business Checking

Basic Business Checking

Keep it cash flow positive while keeping track of the money coming in and going out with Basic Business Checking. Perfect for small businesses that don’t have a lot of transactions.

  • No balance requirements
  • Low $10 monthly service fee
  • 25 free debits per month
  • Only $.30 per item after 25 debits
  • Open with just $100
  • Free debit card
  • Free Online Banking
  • Free eStatements
  • Free overdraft from Savings

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Business Share Savings

Business Share Savings

Have a safe place to keep all those profits… and watch them grow! Business Share Savings offer you an account that’ll earn dividends and access to your money anytime.

  • $25 to opening balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Free Online Banking
  • No minimum balance requirement

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Business Deposit Accounts

Business Share Savings

Have a safe place to keep all those profits… and watch them grow! Business Share Savings offer you an account that’ll earn dividends and access to your money anytime.
  • $25 to opening balance
  • No monthly fees
  • Free Online Banking
  • No minimum balance requirement

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Basic Business Checking

Keep it cash flow positive while keeping track of the money coming in and going out with Basic Business Checking. Perfect for small businesses that don’t have a lot of transactions.

  • No balance requirements
  • Low $10 monthly service fee
  • 25 free debits per month
  • Only $.30 per item after 25 debits
  • Open with just $100
  • Free debit card
  • Free Online Banking
  • Free eStatements
  • Free overdraft from Savings or Line of Credit

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Business Plus Checking

Business Plus Checking is a solution for businesses that have a higher transaction volume and liquidity. If that’s your business, you’ll earn dividends, too.

  • $2,500 balance requirement
  • Just $250 to open
  • Earn dividends when average daily balance is $2,500 or more
  • No monthly service fee with $2,500 average daily balance
  • Free debit card75 free debits per month
  • Only $.25 per item after 75 debits
  • Low $.25 per item debit fee
  • Free Online Banking
  • Free eStatements
  • Free overdraft from Savings or Line of Credit

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Business Insured Money Market Account

If you need a safe place to keep your savings and also want to have it available when you need it, then a Business Insured Money Market Account is for you. Get a higher dividend yield than a regular Business Share Account with check writing abilities—so you can use your money when you need it.

  • Dividends earned and compounded daily
  • Tiered dividends
  • Competitive rates
  • Money is liquid with no withdrawal fees
  • Check writing abilities

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Business Share Certificate

In business, nothing is guaranteed—except a Business Share Certificate from TFCU. Get a guaranteed return on your investment and a higher dividend yield. At maturity, you can roll into another term, or transfer into a different deposit account.

  • As low as $500 to open
  • Flexible terms from 3 months to 5 years
  • Earn dividends that compound monthly/quarterly

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Business Bill Pay

Your small business can be a seamless operation starting with how you pay bills. With Business Bill Pay from TFCU, you can pay your business expenses anytime, from anywhere. Easily make any company or individual a payee and schedule your payments with just a few clicks. With Business Bill Pay, you can keep track of your business finances all in one place.

  • View and approve pending payments
  • Track payment history up to 18 months
  • Create audit trails
  • Multi-tiered authority levels so you can delegate payment functions
  • Same-day and next-day payments
  • Extended daily cut off window to submit payments
  • Pay multiple invoices with one payment
  • Newest security technology to keep your information safe

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Mastercard SecureCode®

Mastercard Secure Code®

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Extra Layers of Protection

Each of our credit cards come with Mastercard Secure Code®, a free security feature that protects your card from unauthorized use at participating online merchants by adding additional layers of passwords and identity verification. It’s free and fast to enroll. Just log on to Mastercard Secure Code’s website and register. You can also register at any participating merchants website check out, anytime.

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Supervisory Committee

Rene Vargas - Chairman

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John Alarcon - Member

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Heber Moya - Member

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Richard Romero - Member

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Board of Directors

Lillian Crouch - Chairman

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Lillian Crouch has served on the El Paso Area Teachers Federal Credit Union’s Board since 1992 and has held several officer positions to include Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Board Liaison to the Supervisory Committee.

Mrs. Crouch was a public school employee for the El Paso Independent School District for 29 years. During her career, she was an elementary teacher and junior high school principal. She retired from the district as the Executive Director or Human Resources. She currently serves on several community boards and is the recipient of several community awards.

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Art Jordan - Director

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Art Jordan joined the TFCU’s Board in March 2003 and has held the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary during this time. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Jordan served on the Credit Union’s Nominating Committee for five years.

Mr. Jordan retired in 2008 as the Executive Director of Research, Accountability, and Assessment for the El Paso Independent School District. He began his career with EPISD in 1982 as a math teacher at Bowie High School. He also worked for 12 years as a part-time math instructor at El Paso Community College and 1½ years as a program evaluator for the Head Start Program. Mr. Jordan is an independent educational consultant and is very active in the community.

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Armando Novoa - Secretary

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Armando Novoa recently joined the TFCU Board after serving over 15 years with the Board of Directors for Golden Key FCU, with the last five years serving as Chairman. Mr. Novoa worked for Safeway for 25 years and at Montana Beverage for 5 years. For the past 15 years, Mr. Novoa has been working in the automotive customer service industry.

Mr. Novoa is very involved in the community having served on the Curriculum Advisory Board at David L. Carrasco Job Corps for three years and part of the Head and Neck Cancer support group at Providence Outpatient Hospital.

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Richard Perez - Treasurer

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Richard Perez has been a member of TFCU for over 42 years. Prior to his Board appointment in July 2006, he served on the Credit Union’s Nominating Committee for three years. He retired from the El Paso Independent School District after a 30-year career as a teacher and administrator. He is currently an independent test administrator for several schools and businesses, and a part-time adjunct professor for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University.

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Alberto Lopez, Jr. - Vice-Chairman

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Alberto Lopez, Jr., has served on the Board of El Paso Area Teachers Federal Credit Union since 1998. During this time, he has also held the position of Board Secretary.

Mr. Lopez is the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement for University Relations at the University of Texas at El Paso. His 29-year career in education began as a high school teacher in Sherman, Texas.

Previous positions include: Executive Director for UTEP's office of External Relations, Director of Recruitment and Scholarships, Assistant Director of External Relations at UTEP, Admissions Counselor for New Mexico State University, Field Researcher for System Development Corporation and other college counselor and director positions.

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Charles Hart - Director

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Charles Hart, Jr. has served on the El Paso Area Teachers Federal Credit Union’s Board for 14 years. He is the Board Parliamentarian and serves on the Personnel Committee.

Mr. Hart retired from a 41-year career in education as a classroom teacher and administrator. Prior to his retirement, he was the interim Superintendent for Socorro Independent School District from 2006-2007, and the Superintendent for Canutillo Independent School District from 1997-2005. Mr. Hart is the recipient of many awards to include the 2001 Superintendent of the Year for Texas. He continues to be very involved in several community organizations.

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Rene Vargas - Director

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Rene Vargas, a native El Pasoan, graduated from Riverside High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served with the Marine Corps Air Wing Division. He was honorably discharged after serving six years of active and inactive duty. Upon returning home, he acquired an associate’s degree in electronics and began his career as an electronic technician.

He also attended UTEP and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration concentrating in accounting. He has over 20 years experience in accounting and business and is currently employed by Socorro I.S.D. as the Accounting Officer. Mr. Vargas has been a member of TFCU since 2000 and has served on the Credit Union’s Supervisory Committee since January of 2007.

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Rene Chavez - Director

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Rene Chavez has been a member of TFCU for over 30 years and served on the credit union’s Supervisory Committee from July 2007 to October 2015 before becoming a Board Member. Mr. Chavez attended UTEP and the University of Phoenix and has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Organizational Management. He worked for Socorro ISD from 1997 to 2010 where he served as a Compensation Officer, a Payroll Manager and 8 years as a Director of Human Resources.

In August of 2010 Mr. Chavez was named the Director of Human Resources for the Clint ISD and in 2017 was named Chief Human Resources Officer for Clint ISD. He continues to work in this capacity today. He has also taught business management and organizational behavior courses at the University of Phoenix.

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Greg Lucas - Director

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Gregory Lucas has served as a Board of Director for Golden Key FCU since 2010. He held the position of secretary and also served on their ALCO committee. He recently joined the TFCU Board of Directors and will bring over 18 years of experience from the retail grocery business from Safeway Foods, Inc. and Furr’s, Inc.

Mr. Lucas is currently on his 24th year at Frito Lay as District Manager.

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Friendly Reminders

INFORMATION YOU SHOULD NEVER SHARE

Keep your personal information, personal. The more information you post, the more risk involved.

  • Social Security Number
  • Phone Numbers
  • Passwords and PINs
  • Bank Account and Credit Card Information
  • State Where You Were Born
  • Home Address - Careful to not post pictures of your home that may include street names or house numbers, because you never know who might see them.
  • Your Current Location - This can give anyone with bad intentions the ability to track you down.
  • Vacation Dates - Posting about upcoming vacation dates let viewers know that you will not be home, giving them an opportunity to break in.

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USE YOUR RESOURCES

Privacy settings are there for a reason.

  • If your social network can do the tough work, let them. Learn about and use the privacy and security settings for your social networks.

Keep your security software current.

  • Always use the latest virus protection software updates from your security software provider.

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BECOME A PASSWORD PROFESSIONAL

The stronger the password, the harder it is for hackers.

  • Use a unique password or each of your accounts such as your email or online banking.
  • Using the same password for more than one account can be risky. If someone figures out a password to one account, they could potentially hack several other accounts.

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Careful what you click

HACKERS MOTIVES

Hackers use every trick in the book. They send out links that lead to malicious sites in hopes that you will click and fill in the personal information.

  • Trick you into giving personal information such as account passwords and social security numbers in hopes to steal your identity.
  • Trick you into installing software that will give them control over your computer.
  • Trick you into sending them money

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AVOID MALICIOUS LINKS & DOWNLOADS

Hackers may imitate major news outlets to spread dangerous links, and get you to carelessly click. Here are things to look for before you click.

  • Shocking headlines to links that appear randomly. (ex. "You won't believe what they just discovered on Mars!")
      If you want to know about a certain topic, search on your own terms.
  • Strange usernames or questionable account pictures.
  • The "too good to be true" statements. (ex. "Click here and you can win 1 million dollars!")

Don't Always Download

  • Clicking on unknown downloads may take you to a website that infects your computer with a "malware" or "virus."
  • The virus could capture everything you type into your computer including passwords or credit card numbers.

If you find yourself questioning, don't click!

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU CLICK

Unfortunately, there are times when our fingers click faster than our brains tell us not to. In these cases, it is important to know what steps to take next.

  • Disconnect your device from the Internet by unplugging the Internet cable.
  • Back up all your files.
  • Have your computer checked for malware either by a professional or do it yourself if capable.
  • Change your online usernames and passwords.
  • Set up a Fraud Alert.

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Potential Dangers

SOCIAL ENGINEERING

What is it?

  • Social engineering is the practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulation of legitimate users. A social engineer will commonly use the internet to trick a person into revealing sensitive information or getting them to do something that is against typical policies. By this method, social engineers exploit the natural tendency of a person to trust, rather than exploiting computer security holes.
  • Tricking you into divulging bits of personal information (passwords or bank information) in efforts to gain access to your computer or accounts.

Who are social engineers?

  • A social engineer can be anyone, but typically include those who are in need of money, seek revenge on someone else or want to fulfill some sort of self interest or entertainment.

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HOW IT CAN HAPPEN

Since it is easier for criminals to exploit your natural inclination to trust than it is to discover ways to hack your software, it is common for hackers to appear as someone or something trustworthy.

  • Email from a friend (or so it appears) that includes the following:
    • A link or a download.
    • An urgent message asking you for help.
    • Asking you to donate to their charitable fundraiser or some other cause.
  • Phishing attempts- A phisher sends an email, comment or message that appears to come from a legitimate, popular company, bank, school or institution.
    • The message may notify you as a "winner."
    • The message may ask you for help.
    • The message may state there is a problem, and ask you to verify specific information.
  • Facebook quizzes:
    • This can be a powerful tool for companies to collect your data and even your money, often in ways you might not notice.
    • Without even realizing, you may be sharing important information (about you or your family), like the hospital/state in which you were born or your date of birth, that may help hackers gain access to other accounts you may have or your identity.
    • Be cautious when asked to click on external links, you never know if they will be legitimate or not.

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WAYS TO AVOID

  • Sharing various details about your personal life on social media can be pieced together and used against you. Stay away from sharing unnecessary information.
  • Slow down- Pay close attention to the fine details in emails and messages.
  • Do not provide personal information or information about your company/organization.
  • Update and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls and email filters to reduce the risk of attracting hackers.
  • Never download email attachments from unknown sources.
  • Do your research- If you are unsure if an email request is legitimate, try verifying with the company directly.

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Reduce your risk

Baiting

What it is: When someone makes accessible an electronic device such as a USB drive that is preloaded with malware with the intent that you will use the device and allow them access into your computer.

How to protect yourself: Do not leave your computer unattended and do not use preloaded devices unless you know they are from a trusted source.

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Botnets

What it is: Botnets are groups of computers (robot networks) that work together without your knowledge to scan computers for vulnerable software holes and access important information. Each computer added to the robot network increases its overall strength.

What it does: If your computer is vulnerable and becomes part of the botnet, it may attack through keylogging; spam or phishing scams; click fraud (activates viruses through clicking other sites); denial of service (using numerous infected devices to access a single website causing it to become unresponsive); and stealing, storing, or propagating warez (Illegally obtained or pirated software).

How to protect yourself: Protect yourself by using updated anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Disconnect online when you are not using your computer to avoid activity while you’re away. It’s also best not to click on sites you don’t trust, monitor your 'Sent' and 'Outgoing' email boxes for messages you didn’t send, and be cautious about opening email attachments regardless of who they are from.

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Keylogging

What it is:
Keylogging uses a device (hardware) or program (software) to track and record what you type. If it’s in a software program, a file is created and sent to a specified recipient. If it’s in hardware, the person who installed the hardware must retrieve it in order to access the information gathered.

What it does:
Keyloggers are typically used maliciously to gain account numbers, PINs, usernames and passwords. A keylogger can be installed undetected via a virus or spyware, which then uses trojans to execute. The program also can use email to direct you to respond or click on an attachment and enter personal information. Keyloggers sit on various websites waiting to install themselves on unpatched or unsecured machines that hit their site.

How to protect yourself:
In addition to the tips found on the Computers & Laptops section on our Electronic Device Security page, you can protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Make sure all the programs running on your computer are ones you recognize. If you do not recognize a program, get advice immediately to determine if it should be uninstalled.
  • Be wary of emails from banking or financial institutions (whether it is one you use or not), and Pay Pal. Do not respond if you believe the email is fraudulent – remember never send personal or financial information via email.
  • Visually inspect the back of the computer. Look specifically for a small connector device between the keyboard wire and the computer.

A word of note:
Keylogging also has constructive purposes including software development. The examination of keystrokes will indicate any errors, which developers can easily correct. Some employers use keylogging to determine the productivity of employees, or to ensure work computers are used for business purposes. Law enforcement officials may use keyloggers to circumvent applied security measures and obtain passwords or encryption keys. Concerned parents might use them to monitor their children's online activity.

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Phishing

What it is:
Phishing is an email scam that asks you to verify personal information using replicas of existing web pages. 

What it does:
Since the pages appear to be legitimate, many people are deceived into entering personal, financial or password data. Phishing scams often try scaring you into action by threatening to close accounts if you don’t respond.

How to protect yourself:
If you are suspicious of phishing based on the sender or subject details, don’t open the message. If you do open it, do not open attachments or click links and don’t respond if prompted to verify your information. Updating your virus protection software and your computer operating system also will be helpful against these scams.

Common phishing scams:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gives these examples of phishing messages:

  • "We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity."
  • "During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."
  • “Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund.”

Click here to read more about what the FTC advises to avoid phishing.

Also be aware:
There is a second type of phishing known as “spear phishing” where a user receives a fake email from a hacker posing as a colleague or friend. The email contains a dirty link or file corrupt with malware. If you receive an email from someone you know that seems out of the ordinary (misspellings when there typically aren’t any, they are not making sense, they make an unusual request, etc.) or an email containing only a link, do not open it or respond. In this type of scam, the fake email may even appear as the exact email you typically receive from this person.

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Pharming

What it is:
While phishing requires victims to voluntarily visit a fraudulent site, pharming simply redirects victims to fraudulent websites without assistance.

How to protect yourself:

Pharming is only successful when software or server vulnerabilities exist; otherwise, the criminal needs an insider to make unauthorized changes in order to redirect site visitors.To prevent these scams, we work diligently to manage and update our server software while maintaining a high standard of security

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Smishing

What it is:
Smishing uses phishing tactics through SMS (text message) communication and attempts to obtain sensitive information by impersonating a trustworthy source. It is especially dangerous because, on rare occasion, these scams can infect your phone with a virus, too.

How to protect yourself:

If you are suspicious of smishing based on the sender or subject details alone, don’t open the message. If you do open it, do not open attachments, click links or call phone numbers and don’t respond if prompted to verify your information. Use your usual log in processes to check your account and call the company directly

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Trojans & Spyware

What it does:

Trojans attempt to gain information from your computer by disguising as a trusted program. Spyware attempts to gather information about you and your browsing habits in order to send you targeted ads via spam email. Both are often hidden inside other programs (e.g., screen savers, time and date updaters, weather updaters) and infect your computer when the program runs.

How to protect yourself:

Avoid these by being aware of what you install on or download to your computer. If you are unsure of its legitimacy, search for reliable information regarding the program before adding it to your system. Updated anti-virus and spyware detection programs also are helpful in protecting your computer.

If you think you’ve been infected, update all virus definitions and run a full scan with your anti-virus software. If your system still appears compromised, fix it and change your password again. Also, check your online accounts (email, bank accounts) and change those passwords in case they have been compromised.

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Vishing

What it is:
Vishing uses a combination of VoIP (Voice over IP, i.e., phone calls through web) and phishing to identify key strokes or phone tones to gather personal information.

What it does:
It takes advantage of comfortable and secure methods used by financial institutions to deceive consumers, and often uses local area codes to make it seem more legitimate.

How to protect yourself:
Be skeptical of anyone contacting you and attempting to obtain your private banking or personal information. TFCU will never ask you for this information over the phone. Contact us immediately if you receive such a request.

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Current Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) frequently updates their list of scams that consumers may fall victim to. To view this list to better protect yourself, visit the FTC’s site here.

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Personal Security Online

Your Home Network(s)

Wireless connectivity has increased the ability for others to gain access to networks, or even access information on your computer. Here's how to secure your network:

  • Make sure your router is encrypted, make your router’s identifier unique, and set a strong password.
  • Turn off identifier broadcasting. Most wireless routers have a mechanism called identifier broadcasting. This is how you see a list of nearby wireless networks when connecting to Wi-Fi. You do not need to broadcast this information. You can instead disable the identifier broadcasting mechanism if allowed by your wireless router and connect manually with the SSID name, which can be found on your router.
  • Use Anti-virus and anti-spyware software paired with a firewall will help safeguard your system from being accessed.
  • Allow only specific computers to access your wireless network. Every computer that is able to communicate with a network is assigned a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. Wireless routers usually have a mechanism to allow only devices with particular MAC addresses access to the network. Hackers can mimic MAC addresses, so do not rely on this step alone.
  • Turn off your wireless network or your wireless adapter at times when you know you will not use it.

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Public Network Security

Public Wi-Fi and computers allow us to remain connected almost everywhere; however, they can create security vulnerabilities. Use the following tips to stay safe:

  • Do not assume that public "hot spots" are secure. Many cafés, hotels, airports, and other public establishments offer wireless networks for their customers' use. These "hot spots" are convenient, but they are typically not secure. Ask the owner what security measures are in place.
  • Be wary about sending or accessing information from a public wireless network. To be cautious, you may want to assume that other people can access any information you see or send over a public wireless network. Unless you can verify that a hot spot has effective security measures in place, it may be best to avoid sending or receiving sensitive information over that network.
  • Look out for "shoulder surfers" who will try to watch you type your password, and never leave your laptop or device unattended.
  • Avoid checking any financial account information or sensitive personal information on a public computer or public Wi-Fi network.
  • If you are unable to use your own electronic device or home network to access sensitive information, see if you can use a friend or relative's computer before you resort to using one at a public place.
  • If you use a public computer, make sure your login is secure.
  • After using a public network, use your home computer to change the password on any accounts that you accessed from the public systems to help safeguard your information
Monitor accounts you accessed on the public computer for the next few weeks for unauthorized access.

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Online Shopping

Because of today’s technology, shopping online is easy. Here's how to do it safely:

  • Know from whom you are buying by getting contact information from the seller and checking with the Better Business Bureau to verify there are no complaints logged against them. Not every retailer you see online, especially those on social networking sites like Pinterest, is legitimate.
  • Review the online retailer’s privacy statement before entering your personal information. If there is no privacy policy, expect that all your information will have no safeguard, and consider going to another seller.
  • Before purchasing, look for signs of encryption to make sure your transaction is secure, and be aware of how the transaction is conducted.
  • Never provide your sensitive information via email to the seller.
  • Confirm that the seller has a return policy. Also determine if you are responsible for shipping and handling if you do need a return and if there are restock fees. Read all the fine print for warranty and service information regarding your purchase as well.
  • Know exactly what you are buying, how much it will cost. Understand the seller's description of the product and read all the fine print. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Factor in all charges, including shipping and handling. Be sure to comparison shop other sites to validate the cost.
  • Pay with a credit card in case you want to dispute charges for goods you never received, ordered, or that were misrepresented to you.
  • Print and save records of all online transactions and the associated details.

If you have problems with an online shopping transaction, try to reach a resolution directly with the seller of the product or director of the auction site. If you can’t resolve the issue, contact and file a complaint with one or more of the following:

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Extended Validation Certificate

At times, individuals try to mimic legitimate sites to gather personal information for fraudulent use. Guard yourself by understanding what to look for when visiting websites. Extended Validation (EV) certificates are an authentication method that shows you are visiting a legitimate website. With an EV certification, it's more difficult for an imposter site to appear authentic. When you visit sites through an EV-supported browser, your address bar may change colors to indicate its security level. A green bar notes that TFCU, for example, controls the site you’re visiting. A yellow or red bar means there may be a problem validating the site. The lock icon on your browser also will indicate encryption is in place for your safety

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VOIP

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a method for converting audio signals, such as the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet.

As VoIP becomes more popular, users need to be aware of the security threats in order to maintain good phone service and minimize vulnerabilities. As with computer and internet security practices, VoIP users must take the proper precautions to ensure their voice communications are safe and provide the cost savings they expect. To secure your systems against potential threats, employ the following security measures:

  • Follow the tips on creating passwords on our Electronic Device Security page when setting up both your username and password on VoIP accounts (e.g. Skype and Google Voice)
  • When selecting a VoIP provider, ensure that they take security precautions and use high-tech firewall installations on their hosted VoIP equipment.
  • Install anti-virus programs on your own computer and keep them updated.
  • Make sure that your VoIP application is using the most recent software update or security patch. The same goes for any VoIP routers, switches and firewalls. Check for these update these on a regular basis. See the vendor website for each product as needed.
Check your billing statement with care as unusually high charges may signal a hacker may be committing toll fraud on your account.

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Additional Tips

  • Verify the connection to a site is secure by confirming the URL starts with https:// (the "s" means secure). You should see a small padlock icon on the address bar, too; if either of these are missing on any site that holds your sensitive information (like who you bank with or an online retailer), contact the company.
  • Don’t use email or text links asking for verification unless you have triggered them to be sent (i.e., when you create an account on a website).

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Online and Mobile Banking Security

How TFCU Keeps You Secure

TFCU already has a few safeguards in place to aid in secure online banking:

  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption (using highest level of 128-bit) scrambles data during transmission to protect it from being deciphered.
  • Enhanced Login Security for Online Banking identifies you as the “owner” of your accounts.
  • If your password or computer isn’t recognized (i.e., you logged in from a public computer or one not used before), you’ll be asked to receive a one-time passcode (OTP) either via phone call, email, or text to confirm your identity.

TFCU will never contact you to request your member number, username or Online Banking password; if someone does, it’s probably a fraudster. Additionally, we will never contact you and ask for your debit/credit card numbers or PINs. Unless you contact us regarding your account, always refrain from giving this information to anyone attempting to identify themselves as a credit union employee who is trying to verify your account information via phone, text or e-mail.

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Suspicious Activity

If you notice suspicious activity within your account or experience a security-related event (such as loss of confidential financial information, compromised PIN or password, know or suspect infection of computer or network by viruses or malware, etc.) please contact us immediately! We will help you with your situation.

Avoid clicking links sent to you in emails, text messages, and other online media from unfamiliar sources directing you to any mobile banking sites. If you notice our mobile site looks different, or if you see significant spelling and grammar errors, close your browser and call us.

Our mobile site is secured using industry-standard technologies (SSL, WTLS, and PKI), including security certificates (256 bit encryption), Multifactor Authentication, short time-out periods, and a secure log out feature that removes cookies from the mobile device.

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Mobile Banking

Avoid clicking links sent to you in emails, text messages, and other online media from unfamiliar sources directing you to any mobile banking sites. If you notice our mobile site looks different, or if you see significant spelling and grammar errors, close your browser and call us.

Our mobile site is secured using industry-standard technologies (SSL, WTLS, and PKI), including security certificates (256 bit encryption), Multifactor Authentication, short time-out periods, and a secure log out feature that removes cookies from the mobile device.

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Fradulent Purchases

TFCU is required to follow specific rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; one of those rules, known as Regulation E or Reg E, covers consumer electronic transactions. It covers all kinds of situations revolving around transfers made electronically.

Under the consumer protections provided under Reg E, you can recover online banking losses according to how soon you detect and report them.

If you report the losses within two (2) days of receiving your statement, you can be liable for the first $50. After two (2) days, the amount you can be liable for increases to $500. After sixty (60) days, you could be liable for the full amount. Details on your rights and obligations regarding electronic transfers are contained in our Privacy and Disclosures

In addition, your account statement includes information on how to report errors or make inquiries about an electronic transaction.

For business accounts, Reg E consumer protections do not apply; so it is important for business owners who use online services to use enhanced controls that include:

  • conducting periodic assessments of internal controls;
  • use layered security for system administrators;
  • initiating enhanced controls over high-dollar transactions; and
  • providing increased levels of security as transaction risk increase.

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Additional Tips

  • Protect yourself and your sensitive information by accessing online banking only from your own devices to avoid unsafe settings or viruses.
  • Verify the connection to the site is secure by confirming the URL starts with https:// (the "s" means secure).
  • You should see a small yellow padlock icon on the bottom status bar, too; if either of these are not found, contact the financial institution.
  • Don’t use email or text links asking for verification. Forward those to the financial institution if you receive them.
  • If something seems off, close the browser and call the financial institution.
  • Create strong, complex passwords for all of your online accounts, especially those containing sensitive information like your online banking account.
  • If you think you may have visited a website with malware or if you think your computer may be infected with a virus, do not access your online banking or other sensitive logins until you have scanned your computer and know it is clean and virus-free.

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