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What are security questions?

Security questions are special questions we ask you to create and answer when you setup your online banking profile for the first time. Answering these questions allows you to access online banking from a computer or device we don't recognize as one you've previously used to access Online Banking.

If you know your security questions but would like to change them, simply sign into online banking and click on the Settings link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Scroll about half-way down the page where you'll find the place where you can edit your security questions. You'll have to answer your previous questions once more since you'll be making a security change to your online banking profile.

If you have forgotten the answers to your security questions, please contact STCU or visit a branch during regular business hours, to have an STCU Member Service Representative assist you.

Why are security questions required?

Why am I required to answer security questions to access online banking?

When you set up your STCU online banking profile, we ask you to pick five secret questions and provide answers to them. We give you lots of choices - a total of 40 questions (five batches of eight questions) from which to choose. None of the questions are particularly easy - most ask about your most or least favorite things, or about things from your younger years.

Why such a complicated arrangement? Because regulators lay down strict rules to govern the security of a financial institution's online banking system:

Passwords aren't enough
Regulators dictate that your username and password isn't enough. They insist that we employ additional measures to protect your accounts from unauthorized access.

We've got to mix it up
For institutions like STCU that use secret questions for extra security, these questions must be "dynamic." That means we must have multiple questions and answers on file for each user each with their own unique answers (they can't all use the same answer), and users can't be presented with the same questions over and over. We have to mix up these questions.

We've got to make it tough
For institutions like STCU that use secret questions, the questions must be pretty hard. We're penalized if we offer questions like "what's your father's middle name?" It's too easily figured out by bad guys looking on Ancestry.com or similar websites. The same goes with questions about hobbies or current interests that might be posted on your Facebook page. Regulators even discourage letting members create their own custom questions - average folks almost always create questions that are way too easy for bad guys to guess. So, we have the questions we do because those are the ones that are the best of what's left.

Do I have to answer those security questions every time I access my accounts?

No; you don't have to answer those security questions every time. When answering your security questions, you can choose the option to "Remember me on this device," and then name the device profile before continuing.

Note: We recommend that you only remember your personal or private computers and devices (e.g., personal devices, office computers, etc.). We strongly discourage the practice of remembering public computers (e.g., library computers, hotel computers, etc.)

By completing this step, we'll store an internet cookie in your device's browser so it will be remembered in the future. You can view and manage your list of remembered devices within online banking (from the Profile tab of the Settings page, go to the "Authenticated Devices" section). You can also forcibly un-remember any device by simply clearing your browser's internet cookies.

Device issues.

Why do I still have to answer security questions after telling the system to remember my device?

If you are being prompted to regularly answer security questions from the same device and browser, the issue is likely the result of how cookies are handled on your device. Try the following sequence of steps until your device can be successfully remembered.

  1. Start from a clean slate: We suggest you first clear your cookies so you're troubleshoot from a clean slate (more advanced users are welcome to just clear the cookies issued by stcu.org or my.stcu.org). After clearing your cookies, try signing back into online banking and remembering the device once more. After doing so, log out and log back into online banking again. Did it successfully remember your device? If so, the cookie that facilitates the remembering of your device had likely become unusable and so deleting the cookie solved the issue. If this did not solve the issue though, continue to step 2.
  2. Ensure cookies are enabled and being retained by the browser: Make sure cookies are enabled on your browser and that your browser is keeping them saved after the browser is closed. Cookies are required to facilitate the remembering of your device (more advanced users are welcome to just set exceptions in their browser to always allow cookies from stcu.org and my.stcu.org). After ensuring cookies are enabled, try signing back into online banking and remembering the device once more. After doing so, log out and log back into online banking again. Did it successfully remember your device? If so, your device will remain remembered so long as your cookies do not get deleted. But if you're finding later on that you're having to remember the same device, read on to learn why your cookies might be getting deleted.
  3. Perhaps your cookies are getting deleted periodically? The deletion of cookies can usually be traced to one of three possible sources: (A) your browser's settings, (B) some type of Internet security or anti-virus software that is periodically deleting your cookies, or (C) you or someone else using your computer are periodically deleting your browser's cache and/or cookies.
    1. Think it might be your browsers settings? Make sure you've carefully followed the steps to ensure cookies are enabled on your browser.
    2. Think it might be your anti-virus software settings? Contact the maker or provider of your anti-virus software for troubleshooting information. STCU isn't equipped to assist in the configuration of your anti-virus software.
    3. Think someone else is deleting your browser's cache and/or cookies periodically? Ask them nicely to stop doing that, as it will force you answer those security questions next time you sign in.

Why am I getting the message "The device name provided already exists" when trying to remember my device?

When you use the "Remember me on this device" option, you cannot enter the same device name as you used for a different device. For example, if you saved your home desktop with the name "Desktop", you cannot also save your work desktop with the name "Desktop". Each device requires a unique name. Consider being more specific with each name, such as "Home Desktop" and "Work Desktop" in the example above.

Are you certain it is the same device?

Keep in mind that each browser is perceived as a unique device and must be remembered separately. So, if for example you like to use both Firefox and Chrome browsers on your home desktop computer, you cannot use "Home Desktop" as the device profile name for both browsers. Instead, consider being even more specific with each name, such as "Home Desktop Firefox" and "Home Desktop Chrome" in the example above.

Are you certain it is the same browser?

Its possible your browser was recently updated. When this happens, it can carry the perception as being a unique device. If you can't decide on a different and unique name for the device, consider deleting the previously saved device from your online banking security profile.

  1. Sign into online banking without remembering the device.
  2. Go to Settings (upper right-hand portion of the screen).
  3. From the Security tab, scroll down to the Remembered Devices section.
  4. Find the device that matches the name you want to use, and click Delete.
  5. Then sign out, and back in, this time remembering the device with the desired name.

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