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Preventative Measures and Best Practices for a Safe 2017

Preventative Measures and Best Practices for a Safe 2017

With today’s technology it is vital that you develop a security conscious mentality. Here’s some preventative measures you should be taking to protect yourself.

  • If you’re emailing sensitive information make sure you are sending it encrypted, or that your email platform encrypts sent emails for you.
  • Know that almost all file types can be malicious.
  • Properly secure sensitive information.
  • Keep computer software up to date. Whether that be your Operating System (Windows, MAC OS, Mobile OS, etc.) or anti-virus software.
  • Stop, Look, and Think before you click.
  • Focus on password length rather than complexity.
  • Be mindful of scamming attempts. If suspicious of any communication then resume said communication using any trusted source.
  • Do not re-use passwords across multiple accounts and avoid writing down account credentials. Instead use a password management software, many of which are free.
  • Be cautious of Social Engineering, which is the act of influencing people so they give up private information.
  • Confirm that your personal Wi-Fi network is password protected and not configured to be unsecure.
  • Password protect your devices and refrain from using auto login options.

For those paper items, make sure to:

  • Use a shredder to properly dispose items that contain personal information
  • Use a secure lockbox to store all personal sensitive data, a fire proof lockbox is the most ideal.  

Work as a household to keep your personal network safe by deploying the above methods.

Categories: Community, Credit Union Info, Personal, Sioux Falls Fed Culture

Tips for Smart (and Safe) Online Credit Card Use During the Holidays

Tips for Smart (and Safe) Online Credit Card Use During the Holidays

The holiday shopping season is underway, and that means many of us pull out the credit cards. Not only is it an easy way to pay for what you want, when you want it, but credit cards also offer you a chance to earn rewards while you engage in holiday shopping.

Using a credit card for the holiday shopping season can be a savvy move, but you need to make sure you are truly being smart and safe with your card. Here are some tips for smart and safe credit card use during the holidays.

Categories: Community, Credit Union Info, Personal

Balance Transfers: How Much Could You Really Save?

Balance Transfers: How Much Could You Really Save?

If the arrival of your credit card statement leaves you in a panic, a balance transfer just might make opening the mail a little less painful.  But that doesn't mean that any balance transfer offer will do, nor does it mean there aren't some additional factors to consider. Before you sign up for a new balance transfer card, check to see: 

  • Is there a balance transfer fee:  Keep in mind, most financial institutions charge a balance transfer fee which could be 3% or higher of your total balance in order to process the transaction.  The Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union Better Rate and Better Rewards Visa credit cards have no balance transfer fee.   
  • Is there is an annual fee:  Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union Better Rate and Better Rewards Visa credit cards have no annual fee. 
  • What will the annual percentage rate be after the 0% APR introductory offer

So, how much could you really save?  The reality is, your savings depends on a few factors:  

  • What is your current annual percentage rate, or APR
  • What is your current outstanding balance

Let’s take a look at how a balance transfer would look in the real world:

As you can see, 0% intro APR balance transfer offers can be a smart move.  And if you're struggling under the weight of high interest debts, a balance transfer offer can provide some welcome relief.  With some basic planning and self-discipline, you could not only save money on interest, but you may get out of debt much faster than you think.

If you are ready to start saving, get more information here

Categories: Credit Union Info, Personal

How to Teach Personal Finance to Kids

How to Teach Personal Finance to Kids

Back when my siblings and I were younger we were often jealous of our friends who got an allowance. Our parents raised us on the mindset that they had the money and we were dead broke. Our allowance was the roof over our head and the food on our table. I could ask for five dollars to bike to the store with my friends, but that didn’t mean I was going to get it. I now have a good understanding of money, as do some kids who grew up with an allowance.  Both schools of thought can be effective in teaching kids about financing, as long as a respect for money grows along the way. No matter which approach you choose, here are some tips for better teaching your kids about money.

Pay your kids their allowance
If you decide to give your kids an allowance, it is important that you make sure they earn it. Discuss why they are getting money, and what is expected of them. Help your children develop a healthy respect for earning. Some experts believe that giving allowance for the completion of chores is one of the best ways to teach children about earning money.

Give your kids a chance to earn
In my house doing chores was part of your contribution to the family, but we still had an opportunity to earn. Having a list of “jobs” apart from normal chores was our way of making some extra money. Even if you give your kids a “free” allowance, writing out a list of extra work with a visible payout will increase their respect for money. On more than one occasion, my friends would invite me to lunch while I was low on cash and I would beg my mother if I could wash her car to put a few bucks in my wallet.

Encourage budgeting
There are many ways to approach budgeting with your kids, like discussing how to make the allowance last more than a day or even using an app to help them map out their money. Budgeting can be taught at any age, and your kids may surprise you. Next time your young child asks for something at the store, tell them you will give them ten dollars to spend on whatever they want, but not a cent over. If they are anything like I was, they will go into Will Hunting mode, run the numbers and come back with nine dollars and ninety-nine cents if not a flat ten dollar in loot.

Help them open a bank account
Once your child reaches an age in which you feel comfortable letting them keep their own money, take them to open a credit union account. During this process, answer any questions they have. Show them how to use the services that come with an account to help track spending, make payments, and earn interest.

Encourage your teens to get a job
Turning sixteen is a big deal for teenagers in a lot of states, because that means they can get their driver’s license. The day I turned sixteen I upgraded my permit to a license and drove around applying at any place with a help wanted sign. Getting work experience at an early age has countless benefits, not the least of which is the financial lessons that will be learned. Many of you like myself know that working for minimum to low wages can provide a new take on earning and spending. A new pair of shoes no longer has a dollar value, it now costs ten and a half hours of work.

Don’t bail them out
Once your kids are earning a good bit of money, chances are they are going to do a good bit of spending as well. Not all of the spending is bound to be savvy shopping and if they find themselves in a hole, do not dig them out. Even if you don’t normally employ the tough love approach in parenting you have to think about their financial future. When you don’t bail them out you are teaching them a much needed lesson about living within their means. I learned what was beyond my means from a six-hundred-dollar cell phone bill. Apparently the phrase “free nights and weekends,” didn’t register with me.

Article written by Tyler Atwell, courtesy of CU Insight. 

Categories: Credit Union Info, Personal, Sioux Falls Fed Culture

Section 179 Deduction

Section 179 Deduction

If you have been thinking about buying or leasing new equipment and/or software for your business, the Section 179 Deduction is a tax incentive that is easy to use, and give businesses an incentive to invest in themselves. 

Categories: Business

Keeping Your Accounts Safe

Keeping Your Accounts Safe

We’re constantly watching for suspicious activity or spending on your accounts. But, have you ever wondered what you can do to keep your account safe?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Review your statement each month and look for any suspicious or unusual account activity. This can be done easily through online or mobile banking.
  2. Sign up for eAlerts through online banking. You can set alerts based on events, balance, transaction, and more. Click here to learn more about eAlerts.
  3. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date. This includes your phone number and email address. To update your contact information visit any of our branch locations or call 605-334-2471 to speak with a friendly Member Service Associate. 

Thank you for helping us keep your account safe!

Categories: Credit Union Info, Personal

Business Loans: Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

Business Loans: Fixed Rate vs. Variable Rate

When taking out business loans, borrowers have the option of choosing between a fixed interest rate and a variable interest rate. Both rates depend on the market interest rate, the borrower's credit score, the term of the loan, and the overall amount of the loan. Both rates are contracted between the lender and the borrower and can differ between lenders. Although similar in certain aspects, fixed interest rates and variable interest rates carry different advantages and disadvantages for the borrower. 

Categories: Business

Understanding Balance Transfers

Understanding Balance Transfers

A balance transfer is where part or all of the debit balance (debt) from one high interest credit card is moved to another credit card, most likely a card with a lower interest rate. It’s one way to possibly reduce and manage credit card debt and consolidate your debts into just one payment.

Categories: Credit Union Info, Personal

Traveling with Your Debit or Credit Card

Traveling with Your Debit or Credit Card

If you're planning to take a trip, here are a couple of helpful tips:

Categories: Credit Union Info, Personal, Sioux Falls Fed Culture

Sioux Falls FCU Receives Four Diamond Awards

Sioux Falls FCU Receives Four Diamond Awards

Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union was recently honored with four Diamond Awards which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.

Categories: Business, Community, Credit Union Info, Personal, Sioux Falls Fed Culture

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