Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ensure your home computer is secure before venturing online

Internet banking through CU@Home is one of many ways we strive to making banking easier and more accessible for members. By providing convenient, 24-hour access to your accounts from the comfort of your own home, CU@Home is understandably popular among many members.
But it’s important to remember that while CU@Home is a tremendous tool for members, it’s essential that you ensure your home computer is secure before using Internet banking.
Think of your computer as the digital equivalent of your wallet. Just like you wouldn’t leave your wallet lying around in the open where someone might grab it, you shouldn’t leave your computer open to attack from criminals looking for vulnerability to exploit.
There are several things you can do to ensure your computer is secure. To begin with, check your anti-virus software and make sure it’s up to date. It’s also a good idea to set up a firewall if at all possible.
Once that’s taken care of, check the version number of your Internet browser and make sure it’s not out of date. If it is, upgrade to the latest version of a browser that offers 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption (examples include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari).
Some more tips:
• Install any security updates that may be issued for your computer’s operating system.
• Always use the logout button when you’re done banking on CU@Home.
• Empty your browser’s cache after each session.
If you have more questions about securing your computer before using CU@Home, please contact the credit union.

Exercise your democratic rights as a member

There are many reasons to be a credit union member, and we’d like to think that our competitive rates, leading edge technology and commitment to friendly, personal service are part of what convinced you to become a member. But one of the other big advantages of being a credit union member is that you have a say in the direction of your financial institution.
Like all co-operatives, credit unions adhere to the seven international co-operative principles, the second of which is Democratic Member Control. That principle stipulates that co-operatives are “democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.”
Democratic control and the accountability that accompanies it ensure that your credit union puts the best interests of all members first. It’s why your credit union — and all credit unions — remain committed to the communities they serve.
We would encourage you to exercise your democratic rights by taking an active role in your credit union. This could include attending the annual general meeting, voting for the board of directors and perhaps even consider running for the board yourself. Getting involved is a great way to learn more about the way decisions are made at the credit union — and a chance to have your voice heard.

Courtesy of CUCM

Despite challenging year, credit unions continue to grow

Amidst a global recession, a cooler provincial economy and an extremely competitive financial services industry, Manitoba’s credit unions continued on a path of strong and steady growth in 2009. Across the province, credit unions posted significant gains in deposits, loans, assets and memberships over the course of the year. As a result, the Manitoba credit union system’s total assets are now nearly $16 billion and more than 566,000 Manitobans are credit union members.
The province’s 44 credit unions are also the number one providers of loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises and farmers in Manitoba, reflecting the member and community focus of credit unions.
Credit unions are also increasing their physical presence in the province. There are currently 23 more branches in Manitoba than there were 10 years ago, and in 68 of the 118 communities they serve, credit unions are the sole financial services provider in town.
At the national level, credit unions are also enjoying success in 2009. The combined system assets of the affiliated credit unions and caisses populaires across Canada now equals $121.9 billion, an increase of 7.1 per cent for 2009. Meanwhile, the total number of Canadian credit union and caisse populaire memberships now exceeds five million.

Courtesy CUCM

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