Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Holiday Gifts Online

Want to avoid long lines and large crowds this holiday season? Shopping online lets you zip through your list with just a few clicks.
Before whipping out your plastic, however, you'll want to make sure you're shopping on a secure site. Use these tips to keep your data safe.

1. Look for the padlock symbol

Don't check out at a website unless you see a padlock symbol on the browser bar of whatever device you're using. This symbol means that the page has extra security to prevent others from viewing your sensitive information.
Another way to tell a website is secure is that it starts with "https" instead of just "http." The "s" means the site is secure.

2. Be cautious around public Wi-Fi

If you need to check your online banking account while you're away from home, avoid public Wi-Fi networks. Many retailers provide free Wi-Fi as a convenience to customers, but you can't be sure who's able to see the data you send on the network — including private information.
Instead, consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, a service that lets you encrypt the information you send over the internet. That way, others won't be able to access your data even if they can access the network. You can also send data over your personal cellular provider's network, which bypasses Wi-Fi.

3. Use a credit card instead of a debit card

Credit cards offer better consumer protections than debit cards do. If someone steals your credit card information and uses it to make unauthorized purchases, you'll be liable for $50 at most, depending on how quickly you report the loss.  If your debit card information is stolen, you could lose all the money linked to your checking account.
If you're unhappy with an item you bought on a credit card — say it was damaged when you received it or it was never delivered — you don't have to pay until the dispute is resolved. But if you're unhappy with a debit card purchase, you'll need to file a dispute with the retailer and possibly your bank to try to recover the money after the fact. That's because debit card purchases automatically withdraw funds from your bank account.

4. Change passwords regularly  

Even if you take steps to shop securely, a hacker could steal your user name, password or other sensitive information from a retailer's database. Protect yourself by changing the passwords of your online accounts every three months or so. That way, if hackers do breach a retailer's software, there's a good chance they'll have access only to an old password.

5. Update anti-virus software

If you shop from a home computer, keep your security software updated. Anti-virus software companies frequently release security updates to address newly discovered security loopholes.
Follow these tips and you can take advantage of the convenience of online shopping while also protecting yourself from online fraud.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ready for Road Trip? Like Waterfalls?

It’s that time of the year.  Fall is here.  The mornings have that nice little nip in the air, which means the trees will start turning colors soon.  This is the best time to take a ride and check out our great north woods.  Wisconsin is the perfect place to see magnificent, cascading, bubbling, beautiful waterfalls.

Did you know that Marinette County is considered the Waterfalls Capital of Wisconsin?  My husband and I took a ride up there this past weekend and checked out a couple of these wonderful waterfalls. 
Marinette County is such a short drive that you can make a day or a weekend out of it.  If you want to venture further north or west, you can make a week out of it.  Make sure to bring your walking shoes,  a picnic lunch and a camera.   There a terrific photo opportunities at every turn.  Through the years the kids and us have checked out most of the waterfalls that are in Wisconsin, the UP, the upper Minnesota area and into Canada.  

If you want to start closer to home, check out the 30 foot Fonferek Falls.  This is just a short drive south on Highway 43 to County Rd MM.   After that head up north and check out Dave’s Falls, right off of Highway 141 and further up are Smalley Falls and Long Slide Falls.  If you head west on Highway 8, look for the signs for Four Foot, Eight Foot, Twelve Foot and Eighteen Foot Falls and a few more along the way.  Check out the Travel Wisconsin web-site, and  you can find links to maps and other information. 

So get yourself out there and visit Wisconsin’s waterfalls.  Be prepared to do some hiking and be safe.  Some places are pretty scary.  For me anyways, my husband will venture out on any rocks he can.  Have fun exploring Wisconsin.  

Written by: Karen S. 

Random Acts of Kindness 2016

During the month of October all of the employees at Horizon Community Credit Union participated in a challenge to get 84 random acts of kindness. The number comes from the number of years our credit union has been serving the community.

Each employee was given a set of cards with a note to "pass along" the random act of kindness. They were asked to get out into the community and do things for others that may have brightened their day, such as holding a door or buying a cup of coffee for someone!

Here is a list of all of the random acts of kindness our team has done over the last few weeks:

1. Held the door open for man who was pushing his wife in a wheel chair.

2. Bought the person behind me their food at McDonalds.

3. Was a designated driver for someone.

4. Let someone go ahead of me in line at the store.

5. Made chicken noodle soup and passed it on to others.

6. Let someone go before me at a four way stop.

7. I brought licorice to work for my coworkers.

8. Bought coffee for the person behind me at McDonalds.

9. Gave my tickets to WWE away.

10. Picked up garbage around the Eastman building.

11. Took books to the free library.

12. Brought candy into work for the members.

13. Picked up bread and buns on the floor in the isle at the grocery store.

14. Bought pumpkins and added an extra $10.

15. Call the mill to inform them a car had their lights on.

16. Gave cookies to the delivery guys.

17. Left $1 off coupons at the grocery store.

18. Returned cart at grocery store for elderly lady.

19. Brought cat food to a no-kill shelter.

20. Visited with my neighbor.

21. Bought the coffee for the person behind me at Starbucks.

22. Gave someone shopping at Old Navy my $10 Old Navy Bucks to use.

23. Brought items to the Humane Society to donate.

24. Left $1 taped to the vending machine at the mall so someone could buy a drink.

25. I let someone go ahead of me in the checkout line at the grocery store.

26. Left a tip for the housekeeper at the hotel that I was staying at.

27. Gave a donation to the boy scout troop that was selling popcorn in the grocery store.

28. Bought treats for my co-workers.

29. Visited a friend who was going through a tough time.

30. Gave up my corsage at a wedding for the groom's grandmother because they were short one.

31. I helped an elderly woman push her cart back inside the store.

32. I paid for movie tickets and a large popcorn to see Finding Dory for a family of 3. It was dollar movie tickets at the movie theater, so the popcorn costed more than their tickets.

33. Returned our bowling balls back to the rack after my family and I were done bowling for the evening.

34. I made sure to say please and thank you when I ordered food in the drive-thru.

35. Reminding my neighbor that it was recycling week.

36. Wrote to my "coach" praising her for mentoring and guiding me.

37. Gave some event tickets to a friend that was having a tough time.

38. E-mailed my in-laws to let them know how thankful I am for their constant support and friendship.

39. Was in the mall parking lot and an elderly woman seemed to having difficulty finding her vehicle….helped search and find it. It was a bit of a distance away.

40. Thanked a police officer for all that they do and let them know the support that they really have.

41. Paid for someone’s pumpkin at the pumpkin patch.

42. Helped an elderly lady load groceries in her car at Walmart.

43. Paid for someone’s coffee inside McDonalds.

44. Gave a coupon away I was not using at Target.

45. Tipped extra during a meal because she was a great waitress.

46. Donated some of my son's clothes to a non-profit organization.

47. Brought donuts into work for breakfast.

48. I was in Kohl’s and a person looked confused, so I said is there something I can help with? She was looking for a tie for her 16 year old son and was having trouble finding the right color, I am hoping I helped.

49. We babysat for someone, and refused to take money.

50. Delivered the mail to the mailbox on my lunch when it was over full.

51. Gave unwanted (already purchased) dog treats to someone at the pet store.

52. Donated books to Voyager free library.

53. Donated clothes to Good Will.

54. Donated 10 cans cat food to a local animal shelter.

55. Bought the person behind me in line their soda.

56. Helped someone save $4 in coupons and earn a $5 gift card.

57. Bought the person behind me at McDonalds their breakfast.

58. Wrote “Thank you” cards to my kids’ teachers for their hard work.

59. Donated goods to a local food pantry.

60. Gave our mailman a $5 gift card to Starbucks to “stay warm this fall”.

61. Complimented our waiter at a restaurant for doing an amazing job with our orders and being friendly.

62. Paid for shipping on a persons Thirty-One order.

63. Paid for personalization on a persons Thirty-One order.

64. Made cookies for a neighbor.

65. Let somebody check out before me at the store.

66. Donated a few items I no longer needed.

67. Helped a lady put her groceries on the belt at the store.

68. Gave a lady, who was walking in the rain, a ride home.

69. Gave someone a hug when they really needed one.

70. Bought eggs and bread for someone who needed it.

71. Gave a jar of homemade pickles to my sister.

72. Gave a person a ride home from the hospital.

73. Took my daughter and granddaughter to a concert.

74. Bought my coworker a soda.

75. Left $5 at Culvers for next drive up.

76. Made dinner for my neighbor.

77. Bought a pumpkin and a Halloween trick or treating bag full of candy for a kid who could not go trick or treating this year.

78. Helped an elderly woman at Walmart put away her groceries in her car.

79. Left $5 dollars at McDonalds for people buying their $1 coffees on a cold day.

80. Donated unused blankets from home to a family in need.

81. Gave someone in need clothes in good condition I did not need for the winter.

82. Bought and donated groceries to the youth retreat at the St. Willebrord church in Green Bay.

83. Made cookies and passed them on to others.

84. Shared food with a coworker.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Have a SAFE Halloween this year!

Trick-or-treating is just around the corner.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has a number of tips to help make Halloween safe.

  • Choose costumes that are light-colored and more visible to motorists.
  • Use reflective tape to decorate costumes and candy bags to increase visibility of children to drivers. Reflective tape may be purchased at hardware, bicycle, or sporting goods store.
  • Use makeup rather than a mask; if your child’s costume does include a mask, make sure it fits snugly and that the eye holes are large enough to allow full vision.
  • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
  • Costumes should be short enough that a child will not trip and fall.

  • Engage in Halloween activities during the daylight hours, if possible.
  • Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Remind children to walk, not run, and to only cross streets at crosswalks.
  • Be sure your children are accompanied by a responsible adult who has flashlight. Flashlights or chemical light sticks should be use so that children can see and be seen by motorists.
  • Remove obstacles from your lawn, porch, or steps if you are expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Make sure your front porch is well-lit.
  • Avoid using candle-lit jack-o-lanterns if possible. If you do use candles, don’t place them near curtains, furnishings, or decorations. Move them off porches where children’s costumes may ignite.
  • Keep your pets in another room when you are expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Small children should not carve pumpkins; instead, allow them to draw the designs on the pumpkin and adults may carve.
  • Turn on an outside light if welcoming trick-or-treaters.

Treat Safety
  • Instruct  children to wait until they are home to eat any candy.
  • Check candy and novelty toys for potential choking hazards.
  • Make sure packaging doesn’t have any tears or tampering.
  • Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

  • Slow down, especially in residential areas.
  • Watch for children darting out from parked cars.
  • When Driving Children around, use child safety seats or seat belts, and have children get out of cars on the curb side, not facing traffic.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Post by: Alice E.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Celebrate International Credit Union Day with us!

  • Treats and giveaways will be available daily in our branches for all of our members.

  • There is a coloring contest for kids with winners receiving $20 VISA Gift Cards.  Members of HCCU under the age of 13 who complete the International Credit Union Day Coloring Sheet and return it to either branch of the credit union by Saturday, October 22nd will be entered into a drawing for a $20 VISA gift card! Stop at a branch or go to to print a coloring sheet.

  • HCCU Employees will be performing 84 Random Acts of Kindness in our communities in the weeks leading up to International Credit Union Day.  That’s 1 act of kindness for each year we’ve been a credit union!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What is ICU day?

International Credit Union Day Celebrates The Authentic Difference

On October 20, 2016, credit unions around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day).
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offering the same services as other financial institutions, but with a people-first philosophy.  Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated the principles that make credit unions the best financial partners of people all over the world.  “The authentic difference,” this year’s ICU Day theme, zeroes in on what makes credit unions different from banks, fintech startups and other financial institutions—our principles.  
Credit unions all over the world have operated according to the same core principles since the 1850s, when a group of weary German workers, tired of being exploited by loan sharks, formed the world’s first credit union by banding together to provide affordable credit to each other.
These principles are derived from the 7 cooperative principles, shared by all cooperatives. They are:  
  1. Democratic Control
One member = One vote. Whether you have $5 or $5 million, your voice is equal.
  1. Open and Voluntary Membership
Members are connected by a bond of association, fostering a sense of community.
  1. Non-Discrimination
Credit unions are open to all without regard for race, orientation, nationality, sex, religion, gender, or politics.
  1. Service to Members
Credit unions are ranked No. 1 in service in numerous surveys, because they exist to serve members, not profit.
  1. Distribution to Members
Credit unions return all profits to their members through dividends, lower fees, better savings rates, and improved services.
  1. Building Financial Stability
Credit unions are historically stable organizations. They’re owned by the people they serve, so they don’t take unnecessary risks.
  1. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Credit unions and cooperatives share the same principles. Together, they amplify each other’s good works.
  1. Social Responsibility
Credit unions strive for social justice by committing to strengthening their communities and helping people of modest means.
  1. Ongoing Education
Credit unions prioritize financial education for their members, employees, and communities as part of their pursuit of social justice.
This is why we celebrate ICU Day at Horizon Community Credit Union (HCCU).  We think ideas like people before profit, social responsibility, and financial education improve lives. It’s why cooperative banking is a key component of helping people in developing countries get access to microloans, or a middle-class couple in Green Bay receive an affordable mortgage for their first home.  
So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day at HCCU, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors—and people around the world—grow and thrive and follow their dreams.
If you have any questions about the credit union philosophy or how HCCU can help you, stop by or contact us at (920) 433-0122 or at
Copyright 2016 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bellevue Trick-or- Treat Trail!

Bellevue Trick-or- Treat Trail

Wear your costume, take a leisurely walk along the wooded trail, collect candy, pick out a pumpkin, and have a time you and your child will never forget! HCCU will be there on the trail and we would love to see you there too!

When: Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 10:00am-Noon

Where: Josten Park, 2280 Town Hall Road, Bellevue

The Trick or Treat Trail is open to Village of Bellevue residents ages 2-10 and is limited to the first 400 participants. This event fills up quickly every year.

Preregistration is required and can be done online at 

Hope to see you there!