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What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

FAIRWINDS will NEVER contact our members and request for them to provide their online banking credentials. This includes, but is not limited to, by mail, phone, email or in-person.

Business members are encouraged to perform a risk assessment and control evaluation periodically of your business accounts and online access.

We recommend you use the E-mail feature within FAIRWINDS Online when asking specific questions about your account(s). Sending secured E-mail through FAIRWINDS Online is a safe way to communicate with FAIRWINDS and protect the security of your account information.

In the event you do identify suspicious activity on any of your accounts or believe the security of your personal information may have been compromised or breached, please contact FAIRWINDS immediately at 1.800.443.6887.


FAIRWINDS supports case-sensitive passwords with a minimum length of 6 characters and supports a maximum of 32 characters. We require that all our members use a strong password to protect their online account access. A strong password consists of a variety of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.

How to create a strong password that is easy to remember.
Come up with a simple phrase that's easy for you to remember. Maybe your favorite sports team, dream car or dog. Now replace each the "a" with @ or ^, each "s" with $ or 5, any space with %, each "o" with 0, and each "i" with !.

Phrase Password
Sports Team: Tampa Bay Bucs [email protected]@%[email protected]%Buc$
Dream Car: Porsche 911 P0r$che%9!!
Favorite Dog: Great Dane Gr8t%[email protected]

These passwords would be hard to guess, but easy for you to remember.


Because of the constant evolution of online threats, it is in your best interest to use a current computer operating system, web browser and antivirus software. It is as equally important that you make sure they are current with all updates.

Software companies are constantly reviewing their latest software for possible vulnerabilities that can be exploited, and as they are identified, updates are released to address them. However, most companies usually only support the most recent versions of their software. If you are using an old or unsupported version, you run the risk of using software that is susceptible to security vulnerabilities.

We recommend avoiding public or unfamiliar computers to access your account since the security of that machine is unknown and could introduce a risk.

Keep It Personal

You should take appropriate steps to protect your passwords and account information. In addition, you should take precautions to protect your personal identification information, such as your driver's license, Social Security Number, etc. This information by itself or together with information on your account may allow unauthorized access to your account(s). It is your responsibility to protect personal information with the same level of care that you protect your account. Business members should also review the Security Procedures section of Article VII of the Business Online Access Agreement.

Unfortunately, risk also comes from someone you trust. A friend, family member or employee who you gave permission to access your account online may use this opportunity for activity beyond the original purpose.

Identity Theft, Phishing, Fraud & Scams

Know the Difference: Identity Theft vs. Identity Fraud

Identity Theft: Identity theft is when a fraudster/thief/person takes over your personal and financial information to obtain credit or open bank accounts fraudulently. Personal information used to obtained credit or bank accounts include Name, Social Security number, Date of Birth etc. This is often not caught immediately. This is usually discovered when new credit is applied for or creditors/collectors attempt to call or mail you collection letters. If not handled properly and quickly this could affect your credit report and credit score.

Fraud: Identity fraud is usually limited attempts to steal funds from an existing bank account or through a credit/debit card transaction. An example of identity fraud is when a thief impersonates you at your financial attempting to cash a stolen check or withdraw money from your bank account. This usually does not affect your credit report or credit score if reported in a timely manner.

How to Identify Fraudulent eMails

  1. Opening Greetings - If you have received an email from FAIRWINDS in the past, all of them will be identical to past opening and closing greetings.
  2. Misspellings/Incorrect Use of Grammar - If it doesn't look like it is professionally typed on purpose, it probably wasn't. Certain words such as "Fraudulent" or "Account Lockout" are often misspelled to bypass email spam filters to get to your inbox without any problems.
  3. Uncommon Links - When you roll the mouse curser over certain hyperlinks, you may notice the web address in those links are unfamiliar and are often links to 3rd party sites where information is viewable and obtainable.

Always remember! FAIRWINDS will never ask members to login into their account through an embedded link contained in an email or text message asking for Personal or Financial information.

Login Frequently

Periodic review of your accounts can help identify suspicious activity early.

Lock It Up

Keep sensitive and personal documents in a safe and secure place.

DO NOT provide your full social security number unless it is deemed necessary such as a new application for credit.

Carry only what you need on you such as a debit card and an ID. If you're only going to the grocery store, it is not necessary to take all your credit cards and social security number with you.

Shred Sensitive Documents

Shred all incoming documents with personal and financial information on them. This will lower the chance you will become a victim of dumpster diving. Dumpster diving occurs when fraudsters dig through trash to gather personal information such as addresses, credit card and bank account numbers and use them as they please.

Go Paperless

Switch to electronic statements if offered by your utility company, employer or current financial to reduce the risk of having these statements stolen from your mailbox.


Establishing an instant alert for certain transaction types or dollar amounts can help you stay aware of activity on your account. FAIRWINDS also provides real-time reporting and pending debits on all accounts. Periodic review of your accounts can help identify suspicious activity early.

Investigate & Report

IMMEDIATELY investigate and report any suspicious activity

  • Notify your local law enforcement agency immediately and file a report with them.
  • Contact the social security fraud hotline: (800)-269-0271.
  • Notify all financial institutions you conduct business with so your accounts can be flagged to warn you of unusual or suspicious activity.
  • Fill out the Identity theft affidavit packet at any of our FAIRWINDS CU service centers immediately.
  • Contact the 3 main credit bureaus to put an identity theft alert on your credit report so that financials and lenders will proceed with caution before a new credit account is opened using your social security number.

    Equifax Fraud Unit: 800.525.6285
    Experian Fraud Unit: 888.397.3742
    TransUnion Fraud Unit: 877.438.4338