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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

Comments

Kudos0

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

Kudos1 Stats

As the article mentions, phishing attacks often include some form of "update your security information" ruse to trick you into disclosing your personal and financial information--or even to hand over access to everything on your computer and home network as well. A Huffington Post report today warns of one such scheme targeting Netflix users:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/03/netflix-phishing-scam-customer-support_n_4892048.html

The article provides several important tips on protecting yourself from such scams--as well as a good, short video exposing the inner workings of this one in particular.

Note that Netflix is far from the only false flag for these schemes. Over on the Norton Community Forums, we Gurus frequently hear from our fellow customers who have been contacted "by a Norton representative" who claims that the customer's Norton software has alerted them to a malware attack. The representative tells them that their Norton subscription includes Norton assistance in rooting out the malware, and asks the user to allow them remote access to their computer. The fake tech works for a few minutes--supposedly removing the infection, but in reality searching the users computer for financial data just like the attacks described above, and sometimes installing "back door" software that will allow them to continue controlling the victim's computer at will. Don't be fooled: Norton does not contact us in that way. Ignore these scammers and, if you got any identifying information from them (like a web link in an email, or a Caller ID number from a phone call), come to the Norton Community Forum and report it to Norton:

http://community.norton.com/t5/Tech-Outpost/bd-p/Tech_Outpost

Remember--each of us is the first line in our cyberdefense!

V/R,

--DistEd2

Kudos1 Stats

Interesting article on financial security, thanks for the tips. About 7 or 8 years ago I had credit card fraud on my debit/check cashing card. They took out about $11.00 and then waited for the bank to clear that transaction. After the transaction was cleared by the bank (BoA) they took out $400.00. That was noticeable by me. I learned a great lesson that day. Now I make it a routine to check all my accounts 2 to 3 times a day. Last month fraud happened on my debit card again, $4.99  was taken out. I found it in the morning after looking at my accounts. Immediately I called the bank and cancelled the card for a replacement before more money was taken out. Check Your Financial Accounts Daily.

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