Banking cyber attacks have become more frequent over the last few years and it is time to protect yourself! While some may be using protective measures already, we are giving you 6 important tips to reduce banking cyber attacks. Read the article below on what steps you can take to make sure you don’t become a victim of these malicious crimes.
Banks and financial services companies collect and process large amounts of data on a daily basis. To protect customers, banking and financial services companies invest heavily in the latest data protection technologies, implementing policies and solutions to keep your sensitive data secure. The protection of your data is our highest priority. While these methods and technologies are very effective, there are important additional steps that individuals can take to secure their financial information before it gets transmitted to banks and financial institutions.
As the time for spring cleaning approaches, here are six tips to remember or steps to keep your financial information secure.
Have you been getting an influx of calls lately? Never provide passwords or verification codes over the phone. Be skeptical of phone calls asking you: to send money to anyone for any reason, to update or verify personal information, or notifying you that you won a contest you didn’t enter. Be especially skeptical if the call quality is poor and/or if you are ever asked to act with urgency. Before acting, get a second opinion or try to verify the legitimacy of the request independently by calling your bank or financial institution.
We live in a world where we are often on the go juggling work, family and life. Do yourself a favor this spring and be sure to carve out a few minutes every night to review your financial transactions. If there are payments to any vendor names you don’t readily recognize, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to verify that the payment is legitimate. Also, check to ensure paid amounts are correct, canceled or refunded transactions are removed and there are no duplicate transactions. Checking your account activity daily through online or mobile banking can save you from serious fraud.
Web Browser Updates
Did you know that newer web browsers have added benefits like faster loading times and more importantly, in-browser security? These security functions offer you protection from downloading malicious software or clicking malware-laced links. Therefore, having the latest updates will help prevent malware from getting to your computer. Set your browser on both your computer and mobile device to update automatically and set your browser security level too high.
Use a Privacy Screen When in Public
With an increase in remote capabilities for work, many of us can be found working outside of our brick-and-mortar office location. Fraudsters often engage in shoulder surfing in order to see what is happening on your screen. In order to protect your privacy when in public, use a privacy screen and be aware of how close other people are to you, especially when viewing sensitive information.
Choose strong passwords. Yes, you read that correctly — “passwords.” You should have a different password for every financial institution or credit card you own. Your password grants access to your accounts and by extension to your personal information. Therefore, it is important to use strong passwords of at least 8 characters that include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Phrases and other non-obvious combinations are harder to guess. Be sure to change passwords at least every 30 days. Changes should be significant — adding an incremental number, month or year may not be sufficient. Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts, especially not for banking and other sites that contain sensitive information. Also, be sure to keep passwords safe. Avoid writing passwords or sharing them with others.
Protect Your Home Wireless Network
Wireless network devices are sold with default passwords that are known or publicly available to hackers. To prevent unauthorized access, change the default password to something unique and obscure that follows the password guidelines listed above. After updating your password for your home wireless, you should change your default user name. Suppliers of wireless devices publicly list the default usernames and corresponding passwords to make it easy for customers to configure their network. The default network name basically offers no security, so it should be changed immediately.
Even though you might feel that a cyber-attack could never happen to you, fraud does not discriminate. Utilizing these tips can help keep you one step ahead of a data breach and protected from criminals going after your valuable financial information. And whenever you’re in doubt, never hesitate to reach out to your bank or financial institution if you need to report or suspect any suspicious activity.