Earning money is one thing. Protecting it is another. You want to be certain to secure what you’ve worked for and earned through your life. Meridian Trust offers you tools and advice, everything from protection against identity theft to free document shredding. So you can keep what you have.
Identify Theft Education
You have a higher chance of being a victim of Identity Theft than you do of being involved in a violent crime, having a heart attack, or even getting into a car accident. That's why it's important that you get the protection you need to prevent someone from hijacking your identity and creating havoc in your personal and financial life.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft is a crime in which someone obtains key pieces of your personal identifying information and uses it against you for their personal gain. Identity thieves can access your personal information by stealing your wallet or purse, going through your mail, sifting through your garbage, infecting your computer with a virus, phishing for your information online, or hacking into your personal information which is stored on hundreds and thousands of databases across the country. Every year your personal information is shared with companies everywhere, large and small. You give your personal information out freely when you go to the doctor or hospital, and when you make purchases at retail stores.
Meridian Trust's Identity Theft Protection service called Fraud Defender can help you and is available in three different packages: Basic, Preferred and Premium.
With Basic Protection, you get a cost-effective and fundamental solution to guard against Identity Theft. This includes fully managed recovery, along with lost document replacement, internet black market monitoring and credit monitoring, all designed to protect and preserve your good name. You'll also receive reimbursement on out-of-pocket expenses incurred by recovering your identity up to $1 million. A professional recovery advocate works with you and on your behalf to resolve all issues. Basic Protection is just $2.95 per month for an individual or $5.80 per month for a family.
Preferred Protection provides a more comprehensive solution, with all of the same features of Basic Protection, with the added benefit of a "credential vault" which securely stores information for up to 50 credentials, such as credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loan information, passport, retirement accounts and more. This package also includes an annual credit report, credit score and credit monitoring. You'll receive alerts anytime information on your credit report is updated. Preferred Protection is just $6.95 per month for an individual or $13.70 per month for a family.
With Premium Protection, you get all of the features above, plus 3-bureau credit monitoring, and ID monitoring of public records, which monitors millions of public database records to identify changes to your personal information. This includes changes to your name, address, Social Security Number and phone numbers as well as other key identifying information. Premium Protection is $12.95 per month for an individual or $24.90 per month for a family.
Learn more or sign up for Identity Theft Protection.
Meridian Trust is dedicated to protecting your security and account information. We use the latest security and intrusion software and firewalls to protect our members. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that meet and exceed federal regulations to guard your non-public personal information.
Website and Online Banking Security
Our numerous safeguards to protect your personal financial information when using online banking include:
Encryption - Our website home page is protected using Veri sign security. This security option is in place to ensure our website is authentic and protected. Online Banking uses 128-bit secure sockets layer (SSL) encryptions as well as additional security procedures.
User Names and Passwords - Online Banking requires strong user names and passwords to protect your account. Meridian Trust recommends you always select strong user names and passwords.
Multifactor Authentication - Online Banking uses an additional layer of security that asks you identity questions when we do not recognize the computer you are using.
Secure Email - Email sent to Meridian Trust using our Secure Email Portal is sent securely to protect your personal information.
Meridian Trust Email Messaging
Meridian Trust FCU will never ask you for any personal information, including any account information or Social Security number via email. Email is a responsible way to deliver product and service offers, regulatory information and rate updates.
Fraud Alerts and Scams
Our security team has systems in place to monitor suspicious activity. We will share information about scams, phishing and other fraudulent activities that may affect members.
With tax season in full swing, many people are falling victim to scams saying they owe the IRS money and cannot file or receive their refund until it is taken care of immediately. They are requesting to be paid in gift cards. Read more about IRS Scams and how you can prevent being a victim.
By now, almost everybody knows that the right thing to do is to shred financial documents that are no longer needed. Simply tossing them into the trash simply is not sufficient enough.
You can protect your privacy thanks to Meridian Trust's Free Shredding Service.
Meridian Trust cares about you and your privacy. We want to help you protect your identity.
One of the benefits of being a member of Meridian Trust is that you can bring in up to 25 pounds of confidential, personal documents to either of our Cheyenne locations anytime during normal business hours for free document shredding.
So what should you shred? Here's a list of items to consider destroying:
- Credit union statements
- Credit card statements
- Monthly bills
- Cancelled checks
- Blank checks
- Investment information
- Financial statements
- Medical records
- Income tax records
- Credit reports
- Credit card offers
Really, anything you wouldn't feel comfortable having someone pick up and read, you should shred.
Criminals need very little information to steal your identity. Once your financial information hits the trash, your identity is floating among the refuse, just waiting to be stolen. Shredding is a minimal inconvenience and a free service provided by Meridian Trust compared to the alternative, which would be the costly, time-consuming and worrisome process associated with becoming an identity theft victim.
How long should you keep documents? It's entirely up to you whether you choose to be a pack rat or a tosser, but here are some general guidelines for you:
- Keep any tax-related records for seven years
- Keep records of IRA contributions permanently
- Keep quarterly retirement/savings plan statements until you receive an annual statement. If the numbers match, shred the quarterlies and keep the annual summaries permanently.
- Shred unimportant credit union records after one year; keep the rest permanently
- Keep brokerage statements until you sell the securities
- Most of the time you can shred bills once you get a cancelled check. Keep bills for big items permanently.
- Keep credit card receipts to reconcile with your statements, then keep the statements for seven years
- Paycheck stubs should be kept until you receive your end-of-year tax statements
- Keep house records permanently