13 Ways to Keep Your Online Finances Secure
Nowadays, nearly everything is online. You can communicate with people across the world instantly, buy almost everything with the click of a button, and research just about anything. With our world moving towards all things digital, you probably manage some or all your finances online. Unfortunately, the ease of internet finances doesn’t always benefit you—hackers are getting better and smarter. Fear not—we’ve compiled this list to help you keep your personal information and finances safe.
- Use FDIC insured accounts
If you’re shopping for a new credit card or bank account, look for FDIC-insurance, meaning the government insures the money up to $250,000 per owner. If you’re online shopping, try using a card that is FDIC-insured.
- Look into a security app
There are plenty of security apps for smart phones and computers. These usually protect against viruses and malware, which can be hidden in unfamiliar emails or certain websites.
- Extra fraud protection
Some credit and debit cards have extra fraud protection features such as a money-back guarantee if you become victim to fraud. Ask your bank about these features and the procedures in case you ever become a victim.
- Use strong passwords
Many websites require a strong password but creating one that is difficult to guess is important no matter the policy. Adding special characters, numbers, and a variation of caps and lowercase letters can make it difficult for someone to figure out your password. Make sure you don’t use commonly known facts about yourself such as birthdays, anniversaries, names, etc.
- Sign up for transaction alerts
Many banks offer notifications when a transaction is over a customized amount. They can send you a text, email, or phone call. This can be crucial if someone uses your card while you’re on the go. Even if you made the purchase, you’ll have the security of knowing your bank is on top of your account.
- Check your credit score weekly
Your credit score is an indicator of your finances. If it drops significantly, it may be a sign of identity theft or fraud.
- Use a shredder
Shred secure documents and old cards. Anything with an account number, bank information, social security, or other personal information. Some libraries, UPS stores, and Staples offer low cost or free shredding.
- Use caution with mobile purchases
Because mobile banking and purchasing are relatively new, it’s easier for hackers to take your information, especially if you’re using public Wi-Fi. If you are making a mobile purchase, be cautious and only trusted websites.
- Monitor accounts from a private network
When checking on your accounts, make sure you’re using a private server such as your password protected Wi-Fi from your home. It’s more difficult for hackers to steal your personal information with every layer of security added.
- Shop on a trusted website
- Do not open or respond to unknown emails
If you receive an email from an unknown sender or with a strange subject line, delete it. If it’s important, they’ll contact you in other ways or make another attempt. Also be cautious of ‘spoof’ emails. If you’re not sure what that is, try clicking on the sender’s email address and see if it matches the text used to create it. A simple hack is to attempt to send you information with hazardous links while impersonating someone you know to establish a trust to click on the link.
- Leave your credentials in a secure spot
If you write down your usernames and passwords, make sure it’s in a secure place. Try disguising it. Do not leave it in your purse or pocket. Make sure you update your passwords every 30 to 90 days and do not use the same password for everything you use. As tempting as that is, that is the first thing a hacker will attempt once they break one password, is to try it on all the other sites you may visit, causing the damage to your finances that much greater.
- Find a trustworthy financial advisor
For your larger finances, find a trustworthy financial advisor. This person will monitor and control large portions of your money. Look for a fiduciary—meaning they legally must put your best interest above their own. For more tips click here for our blog post with questions to ask your potential advisor. https://ronaldgelok.com/smart-questions-to-ask-your-potential-financial-advisor/
If you’re ready to meet with an advisor, click here to schedule a time to chat so we can help protect your money while allowing growth. Our team offers financial advisors, retirement planners, a tax specialist, an estate planning attorney, and more! https://ronaldgelok.com/fa-schedule/
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