How to Protect Your Financial Information Online
Cyber Security Tips for Bank Customers
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. Take some time this month to evaluate how secure your information is online and implement measures to protect it even further.
Protect Your Identity
Protecting your identity is one of the most important ways to keep your financial information safe. Guarding against identity theft guarantees that no one else will have access to your most private information. Make sure to shred important documents, such as bank statements and bills, before disposing of them. Additionally, keep an eye on your credit report. This will help you stay up to date with your current credit score and allow you to identify any suspicious activity. Don’t share private information (e.g., social security number, PIN numbers, passwords, account numbers, etc.) unless you are certain the connection is secure.
Protect Your Mobile Devices
Protecting your mobile devices is another important factor in cyber security. Most people store sensitive information on their mobile devices or participate in mobile banking, so it’s important to keep your mobile devices as secure as possible in order to protect your private information. As a first line of defense, use passcodes and keep them private. If your phone or tablet gets lost or stolen, having a strong passcode will make it difficult for thieves to access your private information. Additionally, be cautious on mobile devices. When using online banking services, don’t use public Wi-Fi, as these connections aren’t very secure. Remember to completely log out of your account when you’re done, as well.
Create Strong Passwords
Creating strong passwords is one of the best ways to keep your information safe online. Make sure that all of your passwords include both uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols. Don’t use common words, names of family members or pets, birthdays or anniversaries in your passwords. This information can be gathered through social interactions or social media, making it easily accessible to cyber thieves.
Be Wary of Scams
Know how to spot phishing scams in emails and smishing scams in text messages. Make sure to report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission and the company that is being impersonated when you come across them. Don’t download anything or open links from these messages, as they will usually contain viruses or malware. Additionally, you should not respond to these messages in any way.
Protecting Your Business
Cyber security is important for businesses as well. Make sure to always use protected internet connections, encrypt sensitive information and keep virus and malware protections updated. Additionally, you and your employees should follow the same cyber security guidelines used to keep personal information safe.
While online shopping, mobile banking and social media all present unique challenges to keeping financial information safe, using the methods above will help protect your private information and keep it out of the hands of cyber thieves.