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Peggy Linn, President of Lubrizol Employees Credit Union, recently launched her new website with integrated home banking. Visit her new site at .

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Maintaining Your Privacy on the Internet
By Marc Lafitte

Without a doubt, the Internet is the most versatile and indispensable tool of our modern times. With a click of your mouse, a world of services and information instantly becomes available to you. But, did you realize that every time you surf, bank or shop online, you could be leaving a trail of personal information behind you? Obviously, you would not knowingly share your personal or financial information with just anyone. But everyone from online retailers to the people who share your computer can access all kinds of information about your Internet usage, including what sites you visit and what purchases you make, as well as personal information you leave behind, like your Social Security or credit card number.

Many people are now reluctant to give personal information to legitimate companies such as retailers, financial institutions, and travel agencies to obtain your information online, due to the fact that important privacy safeguards are not always in place on their sites. So, how do you surf, bank or shop online and still keep your private information private? We have put together a common sense list of guidelines to help you navigate safely (and privately) through your Internet experience.

Tip #1: Ask your Internet Service Provider if they have a "no-share" policy. TOTAL/1 has "no-share" agreements with its ISP carriers, which ensure that your information will not be given out to third party vendors or retailers. This step makes it very difficult for unauthorized individuals to obtain your personal or financial information.

Tip #2: Make sure your ISP has a firewall program installed. TOTAL/1 uses the Checkpoint Firewall-1 product, which ensures that no one will be able to "hack" into your computer and access your private information.

Tip #3: If you share a computer with others, remember to close out of all transaction screens and exit your Internet program at the end of your session. Combined with the proper Internet option settings, this will clear your personal information from any screens you opened during your session.

Tip #4: Visit for programs that block "cookie-dropping" banner ads. Companies use cookies to monitor the various sites you visit online, track the ads you respond to and note the purchases you make. These companies then use the information to build a user profile on you for their own use.

Tip #5: Set your “Accept Cookies” option to “No”. This will give you the opportunity to check a box that prevents the company from gathering information about you and your online habits. Take advantage of this opportunity and check it! For more tips and information about online privacy, contact your TOTAL/1 Customer Service Representative.

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