Use secure online banking platforms
While online banking may seem inherently secure, there are still ways that criminals can access your information. It is especially important to think carefully about the financial services platforms you use if you hold crypto, given how often major thefts and breaches seem to happen. To help protect your data, only use banks and financial institutions that have a strong online security protocol in place. Additionally, make sure you are only accessing your accounts from secure, trusted devices and networks.
Keep your passwords safe
The first and most important step to keeping your financial data safe online is to keep your passwords safe. That means using strong, unique passwords for every account and never sharing them with anyone.
To create strong, unique passwords, use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. These tools will generate and manage strong passwords for you, so you don’t have to remember them all yourself. Additionally, always ensure you are making use of your bank’s 2FA procedures and, despite them being potentially inconvenient, resist the urge to turn them off. 2FA makes a big difference, especially when you understand how many cybersecurity risk factors financial institutions often overlook.
Keep your software up to date
Malware and viruses can be a big problem when it comes to protecting your financial data. However, keeping your antivirus software and anti-malware programs up-to-date will help protect you from these intrusions.
Software publishers regularly release patches and updates because they have found vulnerabilities in their coding that you need to be aware of. Outdated software is one of the most common ways that people’s computers get infected with malware, so make sure you are regularly checking for updates and installing them as soon as they are available.
Keep an eye on your credit card transactions
Monitoring your credit card transactions to check for suspicious activity is an essential step in protecting your financial data. Signing up for fraud alerts with your credit card providers, and being on alert for odd or unfamiliar transactions will help you stay on top of any potential issues with your account.
Be mindful of phishing emails
There has been a marked increase in the number of phishing attempts on personal banking information over the past several years. To protect yourself and your data, always be on alert for emails that promise free gifts or other financial incentives if you enter your banking information. Additionally, never share your personal information with any unknown sources online, as they may, in fact, be criminals trying to gain access to your accounts.
Be wary of online shopping sites
While online shopping is convenient, it’s important to be cautious when entering your financial information in our cashless economy. Make sure you only shop on sites that are secure, and that you trust. Additionally, always use a credit card for online purchases rather than a debit card, as credit cards offer more protection against fraud.
Don’t use open wifi networks
Avoid sending and receiving sensitive financial data while using the internet in places like coffee shops or airports, as these types of public wifi networks are often insecure. If you must use public wifi, make sure you are only accessing websites that are encrypted, and that you trust.
Don’t save credit card information online
Many online stores will offer to save your credit card information for easier future shopping. However, this leaves your financial data vulnerable to hackers and other criminals. Instead, only save your information on sites that you trust and that have a good security protocol in place.
Keep an eye out for sketchy apps
With the increasing popularity of mobile banking and shopping, criminals are increasingly trying to find ways to steal your information through apps. To protect yourself, always do a quick search on the app store before downloading any new banking or financial apps, to ensure that they are legitimate and safe.
Get reports from credit monitoring agencies
There are a number of different credit monitoring agencies that you can sign up with in order to stay on top of your credit score and report. This is important not only for protecting your financial data but also for catching any errors or fraudulent activity that may have occurred without your knowledge.
By following these simple tips, you can help protect your financial data from intruders and criminals. Whether you are doing your banking online, or simply shopping online, always be vigilant and thoughtful in how you use the internet to prevent any potential issues with your money or credit score.