Security: Freezes, Fraud Alerts and More

July 28, 2023

Now more than ever, it's important to stay vigilant to keep your financial information secure.

Here are some options to consider if you're worried about identity theft.

Credit Freeze

The main goal of a credit or security freeze is to keep fraudsters from gaining access to your credit report information and opening new accounts in your name.

Once you freeze your credit, you can go on using your open accounts as usual. But it's important to know that if you apply for a job requiring a background check or want to apply for new lines of credit or a loan, you'll need to lift the freeze — either for a set period or for specific inquiries. The credit bureaus will provide a PIN to unfreeze it online; or you can make a request by mail. Typically, credit freezes last for seven years and are lifted automatically, so you'll have to set a reminder to keep it going. You can also order free annual credit reports with a freeze in place.

Credit Report Fraud Alerts

Placing fraud alerts on your credit reports is a free option that requires your creditors and any potential lenders to take additional steps to verify your identity. An initial fraud alert protects your credit report for at least 90 days. If you're a victim of identity theft, you'll want to place an extended fraud alert that protects you for seven years. Once you place an alert with one credit bureau, the alert is added to the other credit bureaus.

Credit Monitoring Services

Credit monitoring services track your credit activity and let you know if any changes have occurred on your credit report such as a new credit account or credit inquiry. It also monitors your credit score and provides information for why it may be higher or lower, which is very helpful if you are looking to improve your score or keep it tiptop. Fees for this service vary; most credit cards offer free credit monitoring services.

eAlerts for Your SchoolsFirst FCU Accounts

Our eAlerts can be activated for text-enabled mobile devices and via email to help you keep on top of your financial accounts.1 In addition to getting customizable notifications on things like available balances and payment due dates, you can also get these fraud alerts:

  • Suspicious Activity Alerts warn you when a suspicious debit card transaction is identified.
  • Declined Transaction Alerts tell you when your debit card has been blocked after a suspicious transaction is declined.

It's easy to sign up for eAlerts.


  1. Data and messaging charges may apply. Check with your mobile provider.