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Headlines about the Heartbleed Bug give us the chance to tell you about our security and put your mind at ease. San Mateo Credit Unionís online presence is not vulnerable to this bug. Please be assured that we regularly review, scan and test our systems for security threats such as this and are active in early warning groups so we can respond quickly when necessary. But, viruses such as this remind us about being safe with passwords and internet security and remembering the following basics:

  • Donít re-use your password between sites.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Be sure you trust a site before entering your personal information.
  • Run virus software on a regular basis.
  • Watch out for emails asking you to click a link. When in doubt, go to the website directly.


Fraud and Identity Theft Awareness Tips

We've all heard of identity theft.  It seems like someone else's problem until suddenly it's not. It can happen to anyone.
Identity theft is more than just a lost credit card. Criminals can weasel their way into all of your accounts.  They can suddenly become you. This happens every 3.3 seconds of every day to someone.

We've got some suggestions that can help.  We talked to the FBI and some of the shrewdest defenders and we've got a simple starter list of things you can do:

1. Go paperless.  It's much more secure than having anything mailed to you.

2. Shred.  Don't just dump your old bills into the recycling bin and feel good about it.  Feel better when those documents with your name on it are shredded.

3. Simplify your wallet.  If you have a wallet or purse filled with every credit card and ID card in your world, you are asking for trouble.  One swipe when you're not looking and you have a nightmare for months or years.  Please, just take with you what you need, like one credit card and your driver's license. Do you really need more than that?

4. Copy your entire wallet on a copier machine. Both sides.  Then you have the 800 numbers at the ready if anything ever happens.  You can instantly cancel everything.

5. Turn your firewall on.  Make sure your computer is safe.

6. Never get cash from a free-standing ATM that says "ATM" at some gas station or convenience store.  Those are identity theft centers. Use us, or the CO-OP Network.

7. Put a fraud alert at all three credit bureaus. They'll contact you if anything suspicious starts happening.

8. Never reply to an email asking for your information, especially those clever ones that tell you your Visa card is stolen or that Apple needs to update your iTunes password. Really? Think about it.

Finally, here's some outside resources that we found useful:

The Federal Trade Commission has quick and smart instructions:

The Department of Justice. Many things here including a quick quiz to check yourself: 


What is a DDoS?

Essentially, a DDoS—or Distributed Denial of Service—is a method of flooding an Internet connection with messages so the website is unavailable for normal business.

While it may sound scary at first, the only real problem caused by a DDoS is a spike in Internet traffic that would prevent us from returning a web page to you in a timely manner. It would not affect the security of your SMCU accounts or personal information in any way.

We are sharing this information with you because we want you to remain aware and educated about the availability of the SMCU online systems at all times.

As always, we will do everything in our power to ensure uninterrupted service to our members.

Please call or email us if you have any concerns.