In addition, online shopping and online financial services have opened up a new world of possibilities, bringing greater convenience and new opportunities. While this has ultimately been great for consumers, it’s also made things easier for cybercriminals.
In recent years, cybercrime has become a serious problem all over the world as more people than ever connect online. By stealing personal data, cybercriminals can commit fraud, access accounts and steal your money.
The cost of global cybercrime is predicted to reach $8 trillion in 2023 and is on pace to surpass $10 trillion by 2025. The UK and US are two of the most affected countries, but anyone is at risk. Thankfully, there are ways you can protect your data and keep your money safe while using online services.
Keeping Your Passwords Safe
When you use online services such as banking or shopping, it’s important to set a strong password and keep it safe. ExpressVPN’s study shows that banking account passwords are most commonly forgotten, and this is often because they need to be strong.
A strong password is difficult to crack with software, and it normally needs to be at least twelve characters long. You can also improve the strength of a password by adding upper and lowercase letters as well as symbols and numbers.
Once you’ve made your password, it’s important to keep it safe and ensure you don’t forget. One of the best ways to do this is to use a password manager. Some browsers will also let you save your passwords, though you should be careful doing this if you’re using a shared computer.
While it may make it easier to remember, you should never use the same password for multiple accounts. If one account is compromised due to a data breach, you could then lose access to several accounts. Change your passwords regularly and ensure they’re all unique.
Adding Extra Security
You can increase your account security by also adding two-factor authentication. This means that you’ll need to enter the correct password and then approve your sign-in by confirming it with a code sent to your phone or email. With two-factor authentication, your account is still safe even if your password is compromised.
Additionally, many banking apps and websites now offer biometric security features. These will take a scan of your face, eye, or fingerprint and use it as a key. Each time you make a transfer or log in, you’ll need to present this key. This way, only you can ever access your account, making it next to impossible for cybercriminals to gain access to your money.
Being Aware of Scams
While you can spend a lot of time adding security to your online accounts, scams are the most common form of cybercrime. No matter how good your security is, a cybercriminal will be able to get what they want if they’re capable of tricking you.
There are lots of different online scams, but most of them involve phishing. This is where an email or message is sent from a seemingly trustworthy source to gain money or information. A cybercriminal will often send fake emails that look like they’re from a bank or other organisation, requesting that you log in or provide information.
While these scams can look convincing, you can avoid them by never giving out personal information online. You should also avoid clicking links sent in an email unless you’re sure of the sender. Be sure to check the email address and compare it to any official emails you’re received.