As technology has continually been integrated into the fabric of society, credit union members have increasingly come under a barrage of fraud threats — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. From phishing emails to scam phone calls, members are only ever one mistake away from compromising their entire identity. Credit unions have a duty to educate their members on how they can better protect themselves against these ever-changing financial threats.
Here are just few education strategies your credit union can implement:
Establish Best Practices
Credit union leaders must ensure that all members have a firm grasp on the totality of incoming fraud threats as well as how they can begin to properly protect themselves. As such, credit unions should establish a best practices document containing foundational principles that describe what the threats are, how the threats manifest and what members can do to defend themselves. When drafting this document, do your absolute best to make this complex information as digestible as possible. Once you have finalized best practices, leaders should institute a process to distribute a guide and other educational materials to existing members as well as incoming members joining the credit union.
Connect Members With Resources
The best practices guide will arm most of your members with the necessary information and tools to protect themselves against fraud threats. However, some members may have unique circumstances that make them more susceptible to being targeted by cyber criminals. Consequently, credit unions must make themselves available to provide the necessary guidance to mitigate the chances attacks are successful. There may be times when the circumstances are outside of the purview of your credit union’s capabilities. In those situations, be sure to connect the member to other resources on fraud prevention, including governmental agencies and nonprofits.
Institute a Culture of Learning
To be able to advise your members properly, leaders have to foster a culture that values continuous learning amongst employees as well as IT professionals. Credit union leaders must leave no doubt that understanding new and emerging threats is a critical function of your institutions’ services. Credit unions should be willing to invest in training opportunities and resources that will keep your employees up to date on the latest fraud threats that could directly impact your members.
Continuously Update Members
Cyber criminals are constantly innovating new approaches and strategies to infiltrate your members’ sensitive information. Consequently, it is essential that you create a mechanism by which to inform members of these threats and what actions they can take to protect themselves. For example, your credit union could create a newsletter or webinar that explains the necessary information. When determining which communication mechanism to implement, be sure to take into account the communication path that will best reach and resonate with your specific member base.
The above education strategies are essential to establishing a sold framework that can help your members understand and defend against fraud threats. Educating your members not only aides their fraud prevention efforts, it also benefits your institution. By offering education services, credit unions will differentiate themselves from other financial institutions that fail to recognize this critical need for their customers.
Jami Jennings is Director, Digital Channels at EPL, Inc. She can be reached at 205-408-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.