SIU Credit Union Blog

All You Need to Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is evolving like an uncontrolled virus. Don’t be the next victim! Here’s what you need to know about ransomware:

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a subset of malware that isolates a victim’s data and then demands a payment for release. It is often embedded inside seemingly harmless software and applications. It activates as soon as the user launches the program. Devices can also be infected through email links or malicious websites.

How does a ransomware attack work?

There are two primary types of ransomware: locker and crypto.

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Sending a Kid to College? 8 Credit Card Tips That Can Help

It’s no secret that college can be expensive and that parents often incur major costs to send their children there. It’s not just tuition. Purchasing additional supplies — books, laptops, electronics, furniture, groceries and more — can lead to some hefty charges for mom and dad.

Here are eight credit card tips that can help you optimize your back-to-school shopping when you send your child off to college in the fall.

1. Explore cards with long 0% APR periods

For big-ticket items like laptops and furniture, consider opening a credit card that will let you pay off those purchases without interest during the card’s promotional period. Be sure to confirm that the card doesn’t just defer interest until the end of the introductory annual percentage rate, or at least determine whether that’s an option you’re OK with. Continue reading

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Budgeting for New Homeowners: Plan for Additional Expenses

The stress and excitement of buying a house has come and gone — it’s time to hang a welcome sign and call it home.

But a new journey in budgeting begins once you’ve paid the closing costs and tipped the movers. Now it’s time to learn to budget as a homeowner.

If you’re new to budgeting, buying a home marks a good time to start. The 50/30/20 budgeting approach is a good foundation, where 50% of your household income goes to needs, 30% to wants and 20% to debt repayment and savings. See how your income breaks down using a budget calculator or a budgeting worksheet with pencil and paper.

Even if you’re not new to budgeting, there are many additional things to consider now that you own a home. Start with the following.

Account for new regular expenses

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Do Your Kids Have Virtual Shopping Smarts?

Did you know that 73% of millennials questioned in a Bazaar Voice survey do all their shopping on their smartphones? It’s not surprising. The world of commerce is constantly becoming more digitized as retailers focus on improving their online presence to cater to cyberspace shoppers.

Online shopping has its downsides, though, mainly in the form of surprises when the item arrives, costly shipping expenses and impulse buys that are made too easily.

Fortunately, it has its upsides, too. Comparing prices between stores is a lot simpler when all it takes is clicking through a few sites instead of traipsing all over town. Couponing is now also just a matter of seconds, with no need for tedious clipping and saving.

Teach your kids to make the best of online shopping with this fun, educational activity. All you need is a computer!

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Beware The Make-A-Wish Charity Scam!

Did you know that Americans donate a collective $373 billion to charity every year?

Generosity makes the world go round. Whether it’s helping out an established organization like the Red Cross or donating to a smaller charity through crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, charity is wonderful.

Except when it’s not. Because, sad as it may be, there are hundreds of crooks who hide behind the security of a charitable organization to rob victims of their money. These scammers impersonate well-known charities or create a bogus one, then solicit funds and pocket the cash.

Most recently, scammers have used the Make-A-Wish Foundation as cover for luring victims into losing huge sums of money. This incredible organization is dedicated to granting the most longed-for wish of each terminally ill child. They can make anything happen, from a Disney trip to a baseball that’s autographed and personally delivered by Kris Bryant. Sadly, scammers are now abusing the Make-A-Wish Foundation and our desire to do good to con people out of their money.

Beware of fraud and do your research before donating.

Beware of fraud and do your research before donating.

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