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Multifactor Authorization FAQ

These are Frequently Asked Questions about Multifactor Authorization. Click on each question to view the answer.

1. What is the Personal Icon & Caption about

Having a personally chosen icon/picture and caption provides added safety by helping ensure that only you can access your 121 Financial account. The picture and caption you choose is a shared challenge between you and 121 Financial.

When you see the picture you chose and the caption you wrote you can be confident that you are at the legitimate 121 Financial web site, not an imposter site. Make sure you see your icon & caption before you enter your PIN (Personal Identification Number).

In addition, this security feature remembers which computer(s) you normally use which prevents potential fraudsters from logging into your account even if they somehow acquire or guess your account number and PIN.

2. What is Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-Factor Authentication relies on more than one type of authentication. A PIN or password alone is representative of single factor authentication. Adding additional authentication mechanisms - such as the icon/caption results in Multi-Factor Authentication.
3. Why do I need MFA
MFA is an enhanced security feature that helps protect you while you access your online account. On the Internet today, fraudsters attempt to steal your identity by impersonating the web sites you trust. We are committed to proactively protecting you, the member, against such attacks; this helps us!
4. How does it work

When you visit a 121 Financial Branch, you know our faces and we know yours. MFA does the same thing over the Internet. It is a new method to identify us to you and you to us. You will select a challenge picture and caption known only to you. Whenever you log-in we will show you this picture so you can rest assured that you are accessing the real 121 Financial web site and not an imposter web site.

We also check the computer(s) or device(s) that you are using to access the web site. Typically, you will access the web site from one or two computers, such as your work and home machine. This new security feature remembers your computer. Should you need to log-in from a different computer, such as an Internet café, we will take additional steps to verify your identity, such as ask you to provide the answers to challenge questions to which we both know the answers.

This new security feature remembers your computer and assigns a unique identifier to each computer you use to access the 121 Financial web site using standard secure cookies. The cookie is used to store the identification information only. No personal or private data is stored in any way.

5. How is Multi-Factor Authentication more secure
Multi-Factor Authentication protects you from accidentally revealing your account number and PIN to a fraudulent web site. In addition, if someone does somehow get your account number and PIN, he will still not be able to access your account because he is not at your registered computer.
6. What keeps somebody from stealing my icon & caption
We only show you your icon & caption and caption when you log-in from your own computer, or after you have answered the challenge questions. So, it is not possible for an unauthorized person to get access to your picture.
7. Why am I being asked a question when I try to log-in

We ask you at least one of the three challenge questions you set up when we detect that you are trying to log-in from a new computer. This is to prevent someone with a stolen PIN from logging into your account. Since only you know the answers to the questions, we will know it’s really you. Generally, you will be asked to answer at least one the three challenge questions only when you log-in for the first time from a new computer.

After you answer the questions, you will be asked whether we should remember this computer for future log-ins. If you are using a personal computer, you should answer “yes”. If you are using a public terminal, you will want to answer “no.”

8. Can I access my account from multiple computers
Yes, you can still access your 121 Financial account from any number of computers. If you log-in from a new computer or a public terminal, you will just need to go through one extra step of answering challenge questions. This helps protect you by keeping unauthorized people from accessing your valuable information. There is no limit on how many different computers you can use to log-in to your 121 Financial account.
9. I am not an Internet expert. Will having an icon & caption make logging into 121 Financial CU more complicated
This is extremely simple for anyone. You don’t need to memorize anything new—just use the web site as usual and look for your icon & caption at login.
10.I share my computer with someone who has their own 121 Financial account. Can both of us still log-in from this machine
Yes, you can both use the same computer to log-in to your individual 121 Financial accounts. There is no limit on how many people can login into the 121 Financial web site from the same computer.
11.What happens if someone steals my PIN (Personal Identification Number) How will having an icon & caption keep them from accessing my account
When someone tries to log-in using your stolen account number and PIN, we will recognize that they are logging in from a different computer, and ask them the challenge questions. Since only you know the answers to your challenge questions, they will not be able to give a correct answer and therefore will not be able to login.
12.Can I change my icon and caption
Yes, you can change your icon and caption at any time. To make the change, go to the preferences then security settings link after you login to your account.
13.How do you know I am logging in from my own computer
When you log-in for the first time from a new computer, we put a secure (encrypted) cookie on your computer. This cookie contains a randomly generated unique number that identifies your computer. The cookie is visible only to the 121 Financial web site and does not contain any of your personal information. When you log-in after that, your web browser sends us this cookie. This lets us know that this is your computer. If you clear your cookies, you will need to answer the challenge questions the next time you log on and choose “yes” to remember the PC again.
14.What is Phishing
Recently, there have been attempts by fraudsters to trick people into revealing their personal information, such as a PIN, by creating fraudulent web sites that look very much like the web sites of legitimate financial institutions. They send out emails randomly with links to these fraudulent web sites. This phenomenon has been called Phishing, (pronounced “fishing”). Please see Fraud Alerts for more information on this.
15.I am trying to log-in from my own computer, but the 121 Financial web site is not showing me my icon & caption. Instead, it is asking me a question(s). What is happening
This might happen in rare cases if you have deleted all cookies on your computer. Before answering the challenge questions or entering your PIN, make sure that you are going to the legitimate 121 Financial web site. The easiest way to ensure this is by typing the URL of 121 Financial ( directly into your web browser then click on the Private PC login. Then, after you answer the security questions, you should see your icon & caption next to the PIN field. If your icon & password is there, you can be confident that you are at the legitimate 121 Financial web site and can enter your PIN.
16.What is a Trojan or Key Logger
Some fraudsters have been putting programs on random computers in order to harvest account number and PIN used to log-in to web sites. They collect this information and challengely transmit it to their own computers and attempt to log-in to your account. These are called Trojans (short for Trojan Horse) or Key Loggers (for logging your keystrokes).
17.How does having an icon & caption protect me from a Trojan or Key Logger
Once you have an icon & caption and have registered your computer, even if a fraudster steals your account number and PIN, his computer will not be registered and he will not be able to log-in as you; thus, protects your identity and your account.
18.I only use public computers, can I still use Private PC

Yes! You can continue to use public computers to access your account. The only thing that we ask you not to do is register the public computer. When you first log on from a public computer, you will be asked to pick an icon/picture and caption, choose and answer three “challenge” questions, and then you’ll be asked to enroll. It is okay to do this from a public computer. What you should NOT do is “register” the public computer. That is the last question – “Do you want to register this computer ” Answer no.

Each time you log in on a public computer you will be asked your challenge questions. Once you have answered them, you will see your icon/picture and caption. We understand this is a small inconvenience, but your account security is important to us and this new security is mandated by the federal government. You will be seeing it implemented on all Internet banking sites in the near future.