Tips to Protect Your Financial Information
Protecting your financial information is important, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. When on-the-go tools such as mobile banking apps make managing financial tasks easy, you should also take precautions to manage the risk of accessing sensitive financial information anytime, anywhere. This Credit Education Month, practice safe online habits with a few easy tips.
Taking Basic Security Precautions
Take precautions to make sure that your online financial management activities are secure. Be aware and vigilant by practicing these safe online habits:
- Make sure the websites with which you transact financial business are secure. Look for the lock icon and/or a Web address that starts with "https://" (the "s" stands for secure). This isn't a guarantee, but is generally a good indication of a secure site.
- Create strong passwords of at least eight characters that combine letters, numbers, and symbols. Use a different password for each account. Change your passwords frequently and don't store them on your devices.
- When you're finished with your transaction, log out of the account.
- Secure all your transactions online with a comprehensive security solution for your PC and mobile devices, Norton 360 Multi-Device. With anti-phishing technology, this blocks fraudulent phishing sites designed to steal your information.
- Be cautious of emails that ask you to update your security information, this is a common phishing attempt. When in doubt, don’t respond to the email and contact your bank, credit card, or investment firm directly. According to a recent Symantec Intelligence Report, financial themes continue to be the most frequent subject matter in phishing emails.
- Use official banking apps. Designed for your mobile OS with ease of use and security in mind, most mobile banking apps make use of secret PIN codes (which you should never share or store on your device). These apps should also employ SSL (secure socket layer) security to encrypt your sessions.
- Remember, any offer that seems too good to be true probably is. Don't respond. According to a recent Symantec Intelligence Report, 82% of all social media scams were “fake offerings”. These often include a fake offer such as a free gift card, to intice users to share credentials and social account information.
Monitoring Your Credit Cards
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, credit card fraud is the most common form of consumer fraud. Online monitoring of your credit card transactions can help keep you from becoming a fraud victim and a statistic.
- Go to your credit card company's website and sign up for online access to your account.
- Monitor your account frequently and identify each transaction.
- If you see a transaction that is suspicious, call the credit card company and report it.
- If the transaction is found to be fraudulent, you can have the charge reversed and, if necessary, your account frozen and a new card issued with a new account number.
By using the various online and mobile tools available from your bank, your credit card provider, and your financial investment service, you can stay well informed about the state of your financial affairs. You will also be able to spot fraudulent charges or unauthorized transactions, giving you the ability to stop a cybercrime quickly and limit the damage.
Learn more about protecting your financial information. Related articles:
Are you a small business owner? Check out: How-to Protect Your Business Against Tax Scams
Spot a phishing attempt. Check out: Phishing, How They Attack