Why Are Security Access Codes Important?

Passwords, codes, more passwords… they’re required on almost every electronic device we use… and we’re periodically asked to change them. It can be a lot to keep track of! Why so many passwords and codes… and why are they important?

Protections like username and password are intended to keep unauthorized people out. It’s an example of single-factor authentication: something you know. But, there are two other kinds of authentication to add more layers of protection to keep your information safe. The other kinds of authentication are:

  • something you have (e.g., access to an email account or phone number)
  • and, something you are (biometrics).

Using more than one method of authentication increases your security and is required by regulation. These methods are sometimes referred to as multi-factor authentication or 2-factor authentication. Security Access Codes (SACs) help confirm you are really you when you log in to CEFCU® On-Line®. No access to the SAC — no access to your account.

The SAC is a randomly-generated, six-digit number delivered to you via text, phone, or email. Each time you log in to CEFCU On-Line from an unregistered device, CEFCU adds an extra layer of security by sending a new SAC to a contact point we have on file for you (e.g., by phone, text, etc.). As soon as you receive your SAC, enter it. For security reasons, the SAC you receive is only valid for 15 minutes.

Should I Register My Device?

  • It’s safer if you don’t. If the device itself is hacked, the hacker will have access to your account from that device with just your Login ID and password. You remove one layer of protection surrounding your CEFCU On-Line access when you register a device.
  • If you’re willing to risk it for a faster login, you may choose to register devices which allows you to skip the SAC authentication step when logging in. Registering a device allows CEFCU to recognize it along with the browser to help ensure it’s really you. Once you’ve registered your device and/or your browser, you will not need a SAC. If you use multiple devices or browsers, you need to register each one separately.

    IMPORTANT: If you clear your cookies and cache, your browser will be unregistered, and you will be required to get a new SAC the next time you log in. If you’re asked to enter an SAC to login from a previously registered device, it may be because:
    • Your browser is set to reject all cookies. To avoid this, make sure your browser is set to “allow cookies.”
    • Certain anti-virus or PC cleaning programs delete cookies from your computer. There is usually an option to protect certain “trusted cookies” so they’re not deleted.
  • Do NOT register a public computer or shared device (like at a library, Internet café, or hotel). Public computers are more likely to be infected with malware that might capture your keystrokes — like your Login ID and password. Registering the device gives hackers everything they need to impersonate you and gain access to your account through CEFCU On-Line.

To further protect your account, make sure your email and cell phone passwords are different than your CEFCU On-Line login password. Login IDs, usernames, and passwords to financial accounts should never be used anywhere else.

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is not the edible kind, although the idea is similar to a leaving a trail of “cookie crumbs” (in the form of data) that follow the websites you visit. The data (or cookies) are saved by your web browser and store information, such as a login ID, for a specific site you visited. For example, if you check a box on a website that says, “Remember me on this computer,” the website will generate a login cookie. So, each time you revisit the website, you may only need to enter your password. The logic behind cookies is to improve your online experience by following your browsing history and interests.