Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Password Best Practices for Members

As more services are offered online, members should take increased security measures to protect their information.  One area of online security which could be improved is diligence in the use of strong passwords when going on-line.  These simple measures will help to protect both individual members and the credit union as a whole.  Even if Internet users have the best intentions when it comes to password security, their actions typically do not follow suit, putting their accounts at increased risk for loss. Please consider and implement the following suggestions for making your online passwords more secure:

  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use unique passwords. Do not use passwords on any common password lists, such as SplashData’s annual list of worst Internet passwords.
  • Use passwords with a variety of character types (i.e., use passwords that contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and special, non-alphanumeric characters). The more uncommon the combination of letters, numbers and symbols used in a password, the safer it will be.
  • Use passwords that are at least eight characters long. The longer the password, the stronger it will be.
  • Use password generators to create random passwords.
  • Do not use passwords that are based on personal information (e.g., birthday, Social Security number, nicknames, names of family members, etc.).
  • Do not use single dictionary words for passwords. Such passwords are susceptible to dictionary attacks.
  • Use pass phrases instead of passwords.
  • Do not use passwords derived from strings of sequential numbers or letters (e.g., 123456 and qwerty).
  • Do not use standard number substitutions (e.g., p455word instead of password).
  • Use multifactor authentication when available. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter all offer multiple layers of authentication.
  • Change passwords periodically, especially for major accounts such as those for banking and shopping sites.
  • Keep computers and browsers patched, updated and malware free

If your read some of the above suggestions and found that you are doing some of the things which it suggests you "not do", make changes now to improve your password security.  As we evolve technologically as a society, we all need to change bad habits and be more vigilant with online security.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making a difference...one sole at a time!

We at Nebo Credit Union wear the badge of service...and we wear it proudly!  We carry a tradition of promoting good, and encouraging responsible corporate behavior.  In keeping with that tradition we annually participate in a program called Warm the Soles.

From the subtle play on words you may have gathered that Warm the Soles has something to do with shoes.  It certainly does!  The program provides shoes to children in need.  Each year, credit union members may defer loan payments in the months of November and December by donating $40 to our Warm the Soles fund.  Others contribute simply to promote a good cause.  We work with local schools to determine children who are in need of shoes, then utilize the funds donated by our members to purchase shoes; any shortfall of covering the cost of the shoes with donated funds is made up by the credit union.   Students from local high schools even volunteer their time to individually wrap the shoes. The shoes are then delivered to the respective schools for distribution to the children.  It is a wonderful program which blesses the lives of all involved--givers and receivers alike.

So may I say "Thank You" to all who have contributed to this worthy cause.  From our 2011 participation in the program we collectively helped to provide 381 pairs of shoes to students in need, impacting students in 39 schools.  The results of this program is just one of the many advantages of the cooperative spirit inherent in credit unions.  As members of Nebo Credit Union we are all better off because we work together through our cooperative effort to promote the greater good.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It Takes a Village!

A few years ago I thought I had raising children figured out, then something happened...my children became teenagers. I noticed that they began listening less to me and more to others. At that time I realized how important the influence of others on my children was becoming... and how I hoped that those influences were good and positive. I came to understand more fully the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". I realize that as a parent I don't stand alone. There are wonderful people who influence and teach my children: from coaches, teachers, neighbors, good friends, employers, ecclesiastical leaders, the list goes on and on. Each has their influence and makes a difference.

As I go through life I realize more and more that "it takes a village" to get through life! We are all interdependent on each other. This thought was powerfully illustrated to me the other day when I was watching a show where a man in attempting to climb Mount Everest got altitude sickness.  He became comatose and was left for dead by his hiking party to be picked up later by a rescue team. Miraculously he came out of his comma, but awakened all alone on the mountain without his gear and supplies. He was in the advanced stages of hypothermia and was delirious when a last group of hikers came upon him. This last group of hikers forced the man down the mountain and in the process saved his life.  The man lived through the experience because and ONLY BECAUSE of others who came to his rescue and helped him down the mountain.

Similarly, Nebo Credit Union operates with the same principles of community and interdependence. Members pool their money and loan it back to each other. As employees we are dependent on member support for our jobs.  Members are dependent on the credit union and credit union employees to service their financial needs.  As a credit union we are focused on service, both to members and service to our community at-large.  At Nebo Credit Union this is what we are about and this service and sense of community is what helps make what we do meaningful.

I have worked in the credit union industry for over 20 years and during that time I have come to appreciate this sense of community and the strength that comes when we pool our interests and work together for a common good. We are all inter-dependent on each other, so as the saying goes: Making Our Way Through Life Takes a Village!