Protecting Yourself Online, Part 2

April 20, 2007

Since the credit union has implemented Multi-Factor Authentication I thought I would take the opportunity to remind us all of some basic online security practices.

As stated in our previous post “Protecting Yourself Online“, MFA will make it more difficult for online thieves to create a Piedmont CU look-alike website designed to steal user names and passwords. Here are just a few more tips for protecting yourself online:

  1. Before entering your password or personal information on any secure site look for the padlock graphic either in the address bar or in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser window. Note: PCU NetBranch addresses always start with “”.
  2. Do not click on a weblink that is inside of an email claiming to be from your credit union, bank, financial firm, or anyone that you give personal information to. Instead type the address in by hand.
  3. For sites that you visit regularly like NetBranch,, or even PCU Member Connect, make a bookmark to the site and always use the bookmark to get back to it. PCU Member Connect has a nice live feed feature that can be bookmarked by clicking the little orange icon in the address bar.
  4. Update your web browser. The most modern web browsers such as Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7 have anti-phishing capabilities built-in. Use them.
  5. Use MFA to your advantage. Unless you are using a foreign computer it should not ask you to answer any security questions. So if you are using a computer you always use to access NetBranch and it all of a sudden it prompts you to answer a security question, please take note and verify the address and the pad-lock icon that we talked about in step 1.

If you are ever in doubt about any Piedmont Credit Union site just give us a call, email, or even a comment on this site. Sometimes this site even gets checked on the weekends! So far no one has had any problems with MFA that we know about. Please contact our office directly if you have experienced any problem with it. Thank you for using NetBranch and thank you for being part of Piedmont Credit Union.


Protecting Yourself Online

March 15, 2007

Next month Piedmont Credit Union’s NetBranch will get a security upgrade. If you have used NetBranch since March 14 then you have undoubtedly seen a notice about this. I promise that the pop-up will not become a permanent feature of our site! I thought I would use this forum to give a little more detail about this thing called Multi-factor Authentication. It is all designed to protect our members from Phishing. Phishing is when an Internet thief creates a website or an email that asks you to put in some type of your personal information. You might say “But I would never do that!” But it is easier to get scammed than you might think. According to, a website devoted to fighting this type of theft, eight of their top ten copied websites were bank websites. The reason thieves do this is to try and get bank customers to enter their logons and passwords into a “fake” bank website. The thieves in turn take that stolen info and attempt to steal other information or gain control over the accounts. Our new MFA upgrade will completely change the way we login to our NetBranch so that the possibility of such a thing ever happening to PCU is virtually eliminated.
-Dan Veasey
Piedmont Credit Union