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Ten Tips for Secure Holiday Cyber Shopping In 2014

by Heath Combs on November 26, 2014

Don’t forget that it was the first three weeks of the 2013 holiday shopping season when hackers stole the data from 40 million credit and debit cards of unsuspecting customers who visited Target stores. In August, the retailer reported the breach cost them a quarter of a billion dollars.

It’s also worth keeping in mind the cost to consumers. By May, costs to credit unions and community banks to reissue more than 20 million cards were estimated at $240 million.

In a year that’s seen more than its fair share of data breaches, it’s important to stay vigilant while protecting your online accounts from data thieves. The National Cyber Security Alliance offers the great list of tips below to keep your online identity safe this holiday season. We’ve added a few other tips in addition to protect yourself. HolidayShoppingCyberSecureInfographic

1. Keep a Clean Machine: All the devices you use for shopping ‐ including smartphones and tablets ‐ should have up‐to‐date software including security software, operating systems, programs and apps.

2. When in Doubt, Throw it Out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.

3. Think Before you Act: Be wary of communications that offer amazing deals that sound too good to be true, implore you to act immediately ‐ including those about a problem with an order or payment or ask you to view the website via a provided link.

4. Get Savvy about Wi‐Fi Hotspots: Don’t share personal or financial information over an unsecured network (a connection that doesn’t require a password for access). Using the direct web access on your phone (via a 3G/4G connection) is safer than an unsecured wireless network when on your mobile device.

5. Make Sure the Site is Legitimate: This includes a closed padlock on your web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured. For new sites, check online reviews.

6. Protect your Personal Information: Be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure the information requested is only that needed to complete the transaction. Only fill out required fields on checkout forms. Check the website’s privacy policy. Make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.

7. Use Safe Payment Options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what was ordered. Credit cards may have a limit on the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying. Never send cash through the mail or use a money‐wiring service.

8. Keep a Paper Trail: Save records of your online transactions, including the product description, price, online receipt, terms of the sale, and copies of email exchanges with the seller. Read your credit card statements as soon as you get them to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges. If there is a discrepancy, call your bank and report it immediately.

9. This tip comes from Brian Krebs, whose Krebs On Security blog offers vast multitudes of information on identity theft. If you’re racking up credit card “rewards” points take note – some cyber thieves find less robust security on redemption sites. And they’re swooping in to empty them.

10. Be on the lookout for mystery shopper scams playing on the credibility of retail stores this holiday season. If you receive a mysterious check asking you to wire money outside the U.S. – or to give your account information in order to cash it – don’t fall for it.

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Truliant Offers Credit Union Membership In Mint Hill

by Heath Combs on November 19, 2014

Last week we held a ribbon cutting for Truliant’s newest Member Financial Center, located in the Mint Hill Pavilion Shopping Center on Brighton Park Drive.

If you don’t know much about Mint Hill, it’s on the outskirts of Charlotte in the southeast quadrant of the I-485 loop; it was rated the 13th safest city in North Carolina earlier this year and they’ve got an active historical society. The town was founded in 1750 and it’s been called “the quintessential all-American town.”

Driving into Mint Hill, you can’t help but be struck by how much this town is really bustling.

Our new 2,300-square-foot Mint Hill facility (near the Harris Teeter) supports continued expansion of membership in the Charlotte area and is our sixth Charlotte-area Member Financial Center. We’re working hard to give Charlotte area residents access to a better banking alternative and growing future and existing partnerships with local businesses.

So, if you live, work or worship in Mecklenburg County, or the areas surrounding Mint Hill, you can become a member.

This location is also our third new MFC opening of the year. This year’s openings include Whitaker Square in Winston-Salem and a new Elon branch location in Burlington. The Mint Hill branch continues our rollout of a new MFC format, with a goal of making sure we give Truliant members the financial management tools, technology and service driven by their needs.

The facility extends a new branch design that does away with traditional teller lines, and instead focuses on unique teller pods designed to provide an enhanced side-by-side, more personal member service experience. It also provides the convenient accessibility and offers a freestanding 24-hour drive-up ATM.

Our members can also use enhanced services here like DocuSign, which streamlines common financial paperwork by allowing electronic loan signing. Members are able to gather binding signatures from other parties to a loan, simply by using their computer, tablet or smart phone.

We’ve been in Charlotte for nearly three decades with area locations that include Tyvola, Uptown, University, McAdenville and Matthews. Make sure to stop in and say hello to our manager here, Catherine Sweeney, who’s working hard to make sure we earn the right to call Mint Hill home.

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Community Mini Grants Offer Funds To Worthy Causes

by Heath Combs November 7, 2014

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This year at Truliant we added a new twist on our Community Mini Grants program. We’ve given away about $160,000 to 150 non-profits in the program’s six-year history.
This year, we’re crowdsourcing voting through our Facebook page to allow anyone to vote for the 20 community-based nonprofit organizations that will receive $1,000 in grant funding [...]

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Credit Unions Truly Listen, Then Act, On Your Needs

by Heath Combs October 16, 2014

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President’s Message: The Banker’s Dilemma

by Heath Combs October 3, 2014

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Truliant President and CEO Marcus Schaefer wrote this message for our quarterly newsletter released in October.

Oh Happy Day! The bankers are interested in selling services to consumers and small businesses again in the Carolinas and Virginia. A regional leader for a megabank in the trillion dollar asset range announced last week that bankers in Charlotte [...]

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You Can Star In Truliant’s 2015 Ad Campaign

by Heath Combs September 15, 2014

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At Truliant, we’re committed to always putting your best interest first. So when it came time to cast for our 2015 advertising campaign, our own stars are the first people we thought of.
That’s right! Your family could be featured in our 2015 advertising campaign. Our goal is to help you build something worth having, strengthen [...]

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Snap A Photo For A Chance To Win $250!

by Heath Combs August 29, 2014

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From beach vacations to amusement park outings, we want to see how Truliant has improved your life.
Our 2015 Member Calendar Contest is your chance to share photos displaying the ways your membership with Truliant has benefited you. We’re accepting submissions from now until Sept. 21, 2014 and will open voting on Oct. 1, 2014 [...]

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The Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

by Heath Combs August 20, 2014

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What exactly is the credit union experience? The following editorial was written by Truliant Chief Operating Officer Todd Hall for the Summer edition of our TruInsight quarterly newsletter.
Banks and credit unions are two very different animals.
Coming to Truliant Federal Credit Union with a business perspective shaped by two decades at regional and community banks, the [...]

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Truliant Building Convenient Branches of the Future

by Heath Combs August 12, 2014

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The following editorial was written by Truliant President and CEO Marcus Schaefer for the Summer edition of our TruInsight quarterly newsletter.
Not another red light! It’s scorching hot outside, traffic is backed-up. I’ve got maybe twenty minutes to stop by the Truliant branch to deposit a couple checks, get some cash and ask about a [...]

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Summer on Trade for Free Entertainment Each Saturday

by Heather August 4, 2014

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The rain on Saturday didn’t keep a crowd that was ready to dance away from Summer On Trade. This early August weekend Envision kept a big crowd on the asphalt dance floor with soul hits.

If you’ve been looking for something to do this summer that doesn’t require a lot of cash but is a [...]

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