How To Protect Your Personal Financial Information
According to a Federal Trade Commission report, consumers reported over USD 5.8 billion in losses in 2021. Some of these losses may be to online fraud as a result of sharing personal financial data.
In today's society, where online crimes give security authorities sleepless nights, any simple mistake in handling your personal data can be a gateway to losing control over your accounts. Hackers and scammers are constantly looking for an entry route to steal sensitive customer information and wipe out bank accounts.
Unfortunately, such acts can go undetected if not examined closely. Therefore, you must take the necessary steps to prevent fraudsters from compromising your personal financial information and hurting your financial status. So keep reading as we explore measures you can take to protect your personal financial information.
Use Unique and Strong Passwords
Technically, it's easy to generate a password that you can remember. You may keep it simple using a known person’s name, pet, place, or a number combination. However, the downside to using simplified passwords is that hackers can take a shorter period to crack them.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/how-to-protect-your-personal-financial-information/ by William Willis on 2023-02-24T05:18:01.773Z
A strong password should contain a minimum of 12 characters with a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols. If you find it difficult, current systems may allow you to use a random, hard-to-crack password generator and password manager to create and securely store the password. This way, you won't need to memorize your strong passwords.
Keep Personal Data Confidential
When entering information online, it's important to always be cautious. A legitimate transaction will never ask you to provide certain personal information unless you are being scammed. This includes your Social Security Number(SSN) and any numbers about your bank accounts.
In addition, keep an eye out for unsolicited emails, pop-up ads, and advertisements on your computer or smartphone that require you to key in personal information. These may often seem to be from a known source, but they originate from scammers who use techniques such as phishing to deceive you into disclosing confidential information.
Be extra careful when you speak with salespeople over the phone. Never provide more information than is necessary and always check the credibility of the company before handing out personal information.
Using Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security procedure that gives a layer of protection to your bank accounts besides the password. It necessitates the submission of a second form of verification. This second verification is usually a randomly generated code to your phone or email. For instance, anyone attempting to access an online cash advance loan from your bank account remotely without this code will fail, even if they have your correct password.
Using Updated Software
Software updates often include security patches and bug fixes to address potential vulnerabilities. Keeping your software up to date will help to protect your personal financial information and prevent hackers from taking advantage of any weaknesses in the system. This applies to your financial software and your operating system, web browser, and other applications.
Use Secure Connection
Ensure you use a secure connection when accessing your financial accounts, such as online banking or investment sites. A secure connection employs encryption to protect the information you send over the internet. A secure web address will begin with "https" rather than "http". The "s" in "https" stands for "secure," which prevents hackers from intercepting credentials.
Furthermore, be extra cautious when using a public Wi-Fi network, as these networks are never fully secure. You can use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and protect your data even when using public Wi-Fi networks.
Safe Disposal of Financial Documents
Personal financial document disposal is important in preserving your personal financial information. You should always shred any financial records containing sensitive information, such as bank statements, credit card statements, bills, and tax returns.
If these documents fall into the hands of the wrong people, they can be used to commit identity theft and other sorts of fraud. If you must retain some financial documents for an extended period, put them in a secure area, such as a locked file cabinet or a safe.
We all know how hassle-free technology can make our lives . Gone are the days expending energy on a trip to the bank - you can acquire cash as effortlessly as by getting an over the phone loan. However, it is important to remember that protecting your personal financial information, whether in hardcopy, softcopy, or when transacting and communicating online, is a must in this digital age. Any loose information is sufficient to extract the rest of your data and cause a huge financial loss. Taking these proactive measures can protect your financial information and reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft.