Protecting Your Family

Staying safe online is a big job, but these guidelines and trustworthy resources can help.

Internet Service Providers

When choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP), make sure it's a reputable company. Check with friends and co-workers for references or use these tips from OnGuard Online [EN ESPAÑOL].

Before you decide on an ISP, ask what spam blockers and virus protection are offered. Both can help eliminate some risks of identity theft.

Social Networking

Do not give personal information if you do not know the other person. Also,

  • Be wary about revealing your complete name.
  • Do not give out your home address or phone number.
  • Guard your personal information — financial account numbers, Social Security number, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).
  • Remember anyone can see what you post, and posted information cannot be completely erased.
  • Understand how a social networking site works before using it.
  • Be careful about meeting online friends in person. If you decide to meet in person, do so during the day in a safe, public place.
  • Know that criminals can use social networking to defraud.
  • Do not post pictures of your credit or debit cards.

These websites have info about being wise while online.

Also, visit the Social Networking Sites section of OnGuard Online for information on helping kids socialize safely online.

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Email is a great way to communicate but take precautions to keep your identity safe.


  • Reply to messages about the status of your bank or credit card accounts.
  • Open emails or attachments unless you know who sent them.
  • Respond to unsolicited emails, even to have your name removed from a list.
  • Pay for something that is supposed to be free.
  • Send money if requested from a person you do not know.
  • Reveal personal information, like an account number, in a non-secure email.
  • Follow links in unsolicited emails.
  • Forward chain letters or virus warnings.


  • Use filters to help protect from unsolicited email – spam.
  • Type a known web address into your browser rather than following email links.
  • Do business only with companies you trust.
  • Create secure passwords and change them periodically.
  • Read the small print before you respond to any offer.
  • Beware of emails using foreign languages or words that have been jumbled in order to bypass spam filters.
  • Check email scams [EN ESPAÑOL] to evaluate any questionable email.

Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true; requests personal information, such as your PIN; or requests information urgently, do not respond.

If you do respond to an email and provide personal account information, contact CEFCU immediately.

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Read a company's privacy policy before doing online business with it. The policy should include:

  • What information is collected
  • Purpose for information
  • How information is collected
  • Registration process, sweepstakes, feedback form, etc.
  • How information will be used
  • Possible third-party distribution of information
  • What is disclosed, why it's disclosed, relationship to the third party
  • Choices available for collection, use, and distribution of information and how to exercise them
  • Consequences, if any, of your refusal to provide information
  • Steps taken to ensure data quality and access
  • Statement of commitment to data security
  • Accountability mechanisms
  • Internal or external reviews or privacy audits
  • How and whom to contact with privacy related questions or concerns
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Kids & Teens

It's fun to surf the web and meet people, but not everyone you meet online is honest, so protect yourself.


  • Give your complete name, address, phone number(s), school name, or other personal information.
  • Choose a screen/user name that tells too much about you.
  • Agree to meet face-to-face without a parent's permission or a parent going with you.
  • Answer messages that have bad words or seem strange.
  • Reply to emails or instant messages from people you do not know.
  • Send a picture without a parent's permission.
  • Call people you meet online without a parent's permission.
  • Post anything you do not want seen by anyone, anywhere.
  • Flirt with strangers you do not know.
  • Give out any of your passwords, screen names, or user IDs — even to close friends.
  • Pretend to be older so you can register at restricted sites.
  • Add people to your friends/contacts list if you do not know them.

Let your parents know what sites you are visiting. Always remember, if you are uncomfortable about anything you see or read online, leave the site right away and talk to your parents or a trusted adult about it.

If you're in grade school, middle school, or high school, you can find more valuable information on Googolplex.

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Parental Guidelines

Know what your children are doing when they are online.

  • Set clear guidelines, time limits, and restrictions for them.
  • Do not allow Internet access in their bedrooms.
  • Explain not everyone online is honest, so they should be cautious.
  • Check to see if Web access at school is monitored by responsible adults.
  • Go online with your kids, see what they have posted.
  • Review your children's profiles with them.
  • Maintain access to their online accounts.
  • Consider installing blocking software for explicit or violent content.
  • Ask questions about what they do online, who their friends are.
  • Get to know their online friends and contacts.
  • Do not let them claim to be older so they can register at age-restricted sites.
  • Let them know to talk to you if anything makes them uncomfortable.
  • Check the history of websites they have visited.

Visit the links below for more information about keeping your kids safe online.

Contact CEFCU for more information, to report a lost or stolen card for a CEFCU account, or to report a suspicious email.

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