Online banking, remote bill payment and mobile wallet applications have made it easier for businesses and consumers to interact with their financial service providers. But online banking has also brought consumer financial data into the digital space, leading to cybersecurity concerns.
Saved passcodes, automated transactions, and passwordless devices can make your financial data vulnerable to hackers. Financial companies are constantly working to prevent consumer data from being compromised or lost. But at the end of the day, a consumer’s data is only as secure as the precautions they take.
This article will discuss the steps you can take to protect your online financial data for yourself and your business.
1 – Protect your financial data with a new mindset
It may seem obvious, but the most important thing to do when it comes to protecting your financial data is to start with a new mindset. This first piece of advice is to rethink data security.
Many people believe that they will never be affected by data breaches. Or that a data breach will have minimal impact on their finances. However, this is not the case. Data breaches are on the rise and more and more people are victims to this type of attack.
By accepting that you are just as vulnerable as anyone else, you can take the first step towards protecting your financial data.
2 – Automatic payments can pile up bills and leak your information
Saving money and financial security go hand in hand. A way of to save money and protect your data is to remove your payment information from third-party websites. Have you ever bought something online? Many online stores store your financial and personal information to facilitate checkout the next time you want to buy something.
But if one of these websites is hacked, hackers can gain access to your name, address, and credit card number. With all this information, they can easily wreak havoc on your bank account.
Avoid these problems by removing your payment information from websites. Alternatively, you can use a secure payment processor, like PayPal, to protect yourself. This way, only your necessary information is shared with the provider.
3 – Be on the lookout for social engineering and scams
The last thing to do is be aware of social engineering and scams. Social engineering is a term describing when individuals target you to try to convince you to give up sensitive information that will allow them to break into your account.
For example, a common tactic is to convince people to divulge information related to their security issues. Phishing, a closely related tactic, involves tricking people into clicking on links or sending sensitive information to the wrong people.
You can prevent identity theft and accidentally disclosing sensitive data by verifying that you are communicating with a trustworthy person before sending any data. Many banks will never call you to make contact, so check with your bank for their contact policies. Avoid contacting people and sources that seem illegitimate.
4 – Secure your devices
It may be tempting to check your 401(k) from your work computer, but device security is an often overlooked area of data security. Any device you use to access your financial data can potentially become another place for hackers and bad actors to access your data.
While it may seem unlikely that your work computer will become an entry point, by reducing the number of devices you use to log into online banking, you reduce the risk of your sensitive data falling between wrong hands.
5 – Bank from home
In addition to device security, you also need to consider where you access your data from. Everyone is looking for ways to save more money, and online banking can help you do that. But to keep your data safeit’s best to only access your financial information from home.
When you use public Wi-Fi, you run the risk of your information being intercepted by bad actors. Remember that accessing your information from home does not guarantee that you will not be hacked, but it minimizes the risks.
6 – Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available
Once you’ve eliminated areas where your data could potentially be exposed, you can also enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) when available. MFA involves using a phone number, authenticator app, or phone calls to verify your identity before allowing you to log into your account.
7 – Reassess your password security
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to reevaluate your passwords. A recent study showed that even a 8 character password could be cracked in less than an hour. These next few tips will look specifically at password security and what you can do to make sure your passwords are up to snuff.
8 – Eliminate saved passwords
Earlier, I mentioned avoiding using multiple devices to access your banking information. If you are forced to use multiple devices or if it is necessary, be sure to delete your saved passwords. You should also eliminate saved passwords on your primary devices. If your laptop is unsecured, stolen or misplaced, it is better that no criminal has access to your banking information.
9 – Choose a strong password
The next step in re-examining your password security is to create a stronger password. The longer your password, the more secure it is. Remember to use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters.
Many security experts recommend using a security password random words. For example, the passphrase “#Eating-Rubber-Ceilings” is much more secure than “$mydog8” because it is longer and contains a mixture of special characters and uppercase letters. On the plus side, passphrases can also be easier to remember.
10 – Change your passwords often
Even if you have the perfect password, remember to change it regularly. Password data breaches can occur. If so, hackers can access your password even after you take the time to choose a strong one. Experts recommend changing your password every few months.
11 – Use a password manager
Many people today have heard of password managers, but they still don’t use them. A password manager can generate secure passwords, store them for you, and organize them. While people often use the same password on different services, a password manager can help prevent this problem.
Password managers are not infallible, however, and they may also not be secure. More 29,000 businesses were impacted when a stolen password manager had his data stolen.
Online banking and mobile wallet apps make financial transactions easier, but that convenience comes at a price. It is important that you take steps to ensure the protection of your personal and business financial information. At a minimum, use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication whenever possible, avoid automatically saving your bank details on third-party sites, and make sure to connect to your bank only from trusted networks.
The post office 11 tips to help you protect your financial data online appeared first on Due.