Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Safeguard Your Members’ Confidentiality

By Bob Bouvier
Data breaches, hacked, stolen data and identity theft are all terms weve become accustomed to hearing
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to repair the damage these can cause to your reputation -- especially if data compromises occur with social security numbers, birthdates, addresses or account numbers.

Credit unions can 
perform a review of daily practices to help minimize the risks and protect member information from fraudsters. Unfortunately, member information can be easily compromised, and it often happens inadvertently. It can leak during business-hour conversations in public areas, through after-hours access to information. And, sometimes, it's even leaked right in front of members. 

To help keep your members’ confidentiality secure, consider these tips
  • Keep member information confidential. Don’t leave member loan files, account cards or deposit slips on your desk or at your teller stations.
  • Keep private conversations about members private. Avoid discussing members business in front of other members or use the other members names.
  • Maintain detaileddocumented procedures for identifying members over the phone and online.
  • Enforce a clean-desk policy to help prevent after hour compromises, and be aware of who has access to the credit union after hours (for example, cleaning and maintenance crews, tech consultants, etc.). Be sure loan files and account information is always secured whenever not in use.
  • Place documents for shredding in a locked, shred bin at the end of the day, not a small container under your desk. When the shredding company comes to unload the bins, they should do the shredding onsite while a credit union employee observes to ensure all the documents are destroyed.
  • What happens at the credit union stays at the credit union. Reinforce with staff that they should always maintain member confidentiality when off the premises.
  • Develop and provide policies regarding what staff can and can’t share on social media. An innocent picture or comment posted to social networks can unintentionally share confidential information. 
Member confidentiality is a critical component to maintaining your members’ trust. Be sure you are continuously protecting your members and your credit union’s data: Enforce policies and train staff to carefully handle information and keep it confidential.