It seems like everyday there's a new data breach or "hack" we have to worry about on one of our favorite platforms like Facebook or Google. Almost everything we do is online in some capacity, and managing our finances is no exception. Using these amazing online tools is convenient and helps us be more attentive to our finances but it also puts our personal information at risk of being "hacked". Thanks to our friends at Two Cents, we've provided some tips below for upping your cyber security game.
Create a Strong Password
This may seem like a no-brainer but it can require a great amount of consideration. Your password should never contain information a hacker could find through simple research, like the name of your child or your street address. Password managers are also especially helpful, as they'll create and store strong passwords for you to use on your devices.
Use Authentication Tools
Most websites offer a Two-Factor Authentication tool. This requires that you answer a security question or include a special code texted to your phone as well as entering your username and password to access your accounts. This may seem like an inconvenience but is vastly important for keeping your accounts as secure as possible. iPhone users can also enjoy features like Touch ID and Face ID to login to financial accounts, making them even more secure.
Be Wary of Texts or Calls
Scams grow more and more elaborate all the time and an important one to watch out for is calls or texts from your bank, brokerage, or even a government institution like the IRS. If you receive a call from someone asking for sensitive information about your finances, hang up and call the bank back yourself to confirm it was your institution who was truly calling. Similarly, if you receive a text asking for information, call your bank to ensure it was them making the call.
Keep an Eye out for Anything Abnormal
You should make a habit of constantly monitoring your finances. You should keep a close eye of your account information, statements, and credit score to make sure that anything out of place gets dealt with right away. As soon as you notice suspicious behavior, change your passwords and account information and call your financial institution immediately. Many institutions now have the option to freeze your account via an app of website until the issue is resolved.