- Personal Loans
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October 11, 2023
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Five Tips to Avoid Online Scams
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. With the average financial loss caused by an online data breach reaching an all-time global high of $4.45 million in 2023, it’s never been more important for individuals and organizations to take proactive steps to enhance their cybersecurity.* Let’s talk about ways you can stay safer online.
Use strong, unique passwords.
Stolen or compromised credentials were responsible for a whopping 15% of data breaches in 2023, and this type of incident took the longest to resolve — nearly 11 months on average.* Using a strong, unique password is a key step to protecting yourself online. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
Why? Imagine this: A website you use for something fun, like word puzzles, experiences a data breach, and fraudsters gain access to your email and password combination. The next thing they’ll do? Attempt to log in with that combination of credentials on email platforms, social media sites and financial institutions. Limit the damage from data breaches by using strong, unique passwords. Learn more about creating strong passwords.
Double up on security with MFA.
Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA requires more than one method of authentication from independent sources to verify a person’s identity. In other words, it adds a second layer of protection from fraud by requiring an extra step, like a text message confirmation code, before you can log in.
Protect your computer.
Make sure to protect your devices with updated security measures, including keeping the firewall on, using antivirus software and keeping your software updated. It’s easy to forget to keep computer software updated, so in the spirit of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, take the time to do so today. For more details, check out the FBI’s Internet Safety: Protect Your Computer resource.
Be wary of attachments and links.
Phishing, the top method of online fraud in 2023, targets your personal information by pretending to be an organization or individual you know, like a bank, retailer or medical provider.* Whether it’s an email or a text message from a sender you don’t recognize, use critical thinking about the source before clicking. Don’t open attachments or links in emails or text messages unless you’re certain they’re safe. Links in emails might contain spyware or malware, which can give hackers access to your personal information. When in doubt, verify the information by contacting the supposed sender directly through other means, like calling their company’s main phone number. Learn more about protecting yourself from common online scams.
Report fraud quickly.
Do you think you’ve been the victim of an online crime? File a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) as soon as possible, and let your financial institutions know so they can be extra vigilant when it comes to your accounts.
It’s important to protect yourself online, not only during Cybersecurity Awareness Month but all year long. Learn more about preventing identity theft.
*IBM. Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.ibm.com/security/data-breach
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733