How can I protect my personal information from scammers?

At StellarFi your online security and privacy is a high priority. Safeguarding your personal and account information is a shared responsibility. You too play an important role in keeping your personal information secure to thwart identity theft. Although no security practice is foolproof, you can, however, help to protect your personal financial information by following these best practices to secure your personal computer and other internet-enabled electronic devices. 

  • Secure your personal computer and other internet-enabled devices from viruses and hackers. 

Malicious code, such as viruses, worms, keyloggers, and Trojan horses, can indeed infect and compromise your personal computer, and thereby allow attackers to gain access to your personal information for unauthorized use and abuse. To protect your information online and when using a computer or other internet-enabled electronic devices (collectively referred to as “device or devices''), we recommend that you use these tips to secure your personal network:

  • Install and maintain anti-virus and anti-malware software to protect, detect, and repair attacks against your devices

Make sure the software is up-to-date with the most recent virus/software signatures and is turned on. Make sure the software is configured to automatically scan and apply updates. Consult your provider for more information on configuration settings. If your anti-virus software detects a threat on your computer, consider changing the password for any accounts you may have accessed while the computer was "infected." 

  • Install and use a firewall to protect your home network from malicious attacks as well as a password manager

Firewalls are systems designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network; firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized internet users from accessing private networks connected to the internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall. Many anti-virus providers support firewalls. Also, many computers and routers have built-in firewall capabilities. Consult your anti-virus software provider and computer manufacturer for more information. Ensure that your firewall is turned on and up-to-date. 

Consider using a password manager. A password manager is a computer program that allows users to store and manage their passwords for local applications or online services such as web applications, social media or other online activities The main purpose of password managers is to alleviate becoming overwhelmed from having to remember multiple passwords for multiple services, as well as which password is used for what services. Typically, password managers require a user to create and remember one “master” password to unlock and access all information stored in the application. Password managers also may assist in generating passwords, storing passwords, usually in an encrypted database. 

  • Apply security updates regularly to ensure that your device’s operating system is up- to-date

Every major operating system vendor will periodically publish security updates. Each operating system is different in how they will notify you. When possible, turn on auto-update for your operating system. The following links provide more information regarding security updates. 

  • https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/9367166?hl=en
  • https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222
  • https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/how-to-update-windows-security-11e85d24-9f2c-16f9-af6d-c23cb1a473fe

Older devices are harder to protect, especially those that do not receive regular security software updates and may have difficulty operating newer software, thereby increasing the vulnerability of these devices to fraudsters.

Update your web browser periodically

All major web browsers offer updates periodically, some of which may address discovered security issues. Be sure to either permit your device to install these updates automatically or check for updates periodically. This will help make sure that you are using the latest technology for secure communication over the internet. 

  • Use caution with public Wi-Fi or public computers. 

Although communications between you and StellarFi are protected through encryption, public Wi-Fi networks may not have the security required to protect your information. If you are unsure of the network's security, do not send or access sensitive information, and consider using a VPN. Do not leave your devices unattended when traveling or in public areas. 

Be very cautious when using public computers (especially when traveling abroad and those found at libraries, internet cafes and schools). These computers may have malware or keyloggers installed. If you use a public computer to access your StellarFi account, be sure to log out and fully shut down the browser when you are done. 

Periodically review your credit report. Review your credit report every month for unauthorized activity. A number of free credit monitoring services are available - you may have one through your bank. These services will email you any time there is a change to your credit report - make sure these emails go to your inbox, and investigate unexpected lines of credit or inquiries immediately.

Your information could become available to those with malicious or nefarious intentions if you do not properly protect your information on the internet. We recommend that you use strong passwords and follow these best practices to protect your information from unauthorized users:

  • Create strong passwords to protect your online accounts. 

Strong, complex passwords help to protect your information by reducing the risk of unauthorized access to accounts. Use a different password for every online account that you create, and never re-use passwords for sensitive financial accounts. This way, if your password is stolen from one website, it cannot be used to login to your accounts on another.

  • Use a combination of lower and upper case letters and numbers. Also use special characters. Longer passwords are stronger and more secure.
  • Change your password for financial and other sensitive accounts on a regular basis. 
  • Avoid using any easy-to-guess phrases such as “Password” as your password.
  • Avoid using your birthdate, spouse’s name, child’s name or pet’s name.
  • Avoid using the same password with multiple accounts.

Also remember these tips. Never give out a password over the telephone or send it via email. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords. Do not share your user ID and password with anyone.

Please note: StellarFi passwords must be at least 8 characters long and contain a combination of letters, numbers, upper and lower case characters and symbols. At no time will StellarFi EVER ask for your user id and password. 

  • Verify website security. Make sure the website has the proper encryption by first verifying that the web address or URL begins with https://. Mouse over the padlock image (depending on your browser) in your web browser to verify that the connection is secure.
  • Log off and close your browser. 

After accessing your account information online, you click “Log off” at the top of the page and close your Web browser. Some of your account information can stay in your browser’s memory until the browser is closed. 

  • Protect your personal information when using social media. 

Making your personal profile private will help protect your information from people you may not know and others with the intention of stealing your identity. Carefully consider whether you want to share personal information, such as relatives, date of birth, hometown, as these could be used to impersonate your identity. Never send personal information, such as a SSN or account number, through social media websites, like Facebook and X (formerly Twitter). 

  • Enable security features on your smartphone or other wireless technology. 

Many smartphones or similar wireless telephone technologies have the capability to use a password to lock the device. Use passwords or screen locks, if applicable, on your mobile phone as a layer of protection in case it is lost or stolen. Exercise similar password protection practices with your mobile phone or similar wireless technologies as you would for your device and accounts. 

  • Know the computer you are using. 

If you use a public computer, always end your online sessions by logging out of your account and closing the web browser. Only use a computer that you trust to access your account. 

Was this article helpful?
7 out of 9 found this helpful

Articles in this section

Our helpline hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm CST Monday to Friday
Follow us on Twitter
Get the latest news and updates first