Online tools and accounts give us the ability to gain data and insights about our money and financials 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whenever we desire. In just a few clicks, you can see what’s on your account, what payments are being processed and what automatic payments are coming up. With the financial data you access on your phone, laptop and potentially other mobile devices like a tablet, consider the potential cybersecurity risks of your data trail.
To make sure you’re staying safe with your data out and about on your devices, follow these five tips:
1. Use Security Software
Make sure there’s security software on your laptop computer to help you detect and combat any potential viruses. Use the software to run regular updates and clean your system of any bugs or potential threats.
2. Safely Dispose of Sensitive Digital Information
If you throw away an old laptop, make sure to remove your sensitive digital information from it first. If you lose a smartphone or tablet that has your sensitive data on it, you can depend on a find my phone app that locks up the phone from any computer when you’ve lost your phone. This way, nobody can access your data.
3. Keep Your Passwords and Devices Secure
You never know when snoopy eyes or fingers are on your devices. To be safe, it’s best to keep your devices secured with passwords. Keep the passwords committed to memory, so that you don’t need to refer to them on a written paper or have your computer or mobile device remember everything in its system.
4. Use Strong Passwords for Online Financial Accounts
If you want to keep people out of an online account, make sure you create a strong password. Avoid using anything obvious, like your name, birthday, pet’s name, child’s name, favorite music artist, hometown and so on. Try to generate a random password of numbers, letters and symbols and commit it to memory. While it takes time to practice this password and memorize it, the security it brings your financial data pays off.
5. Invest in Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is more common than many realize, as nearly 60 million Americans are affected by it. Investing in identity theft protection such as LifeLock acts as insurance to help you from suffering the financial consequences of identity theft. Use this LifeLock coupon to save up to 30 percent off your first year of service. Constant monitoring means that you'll be notified as soon as your identity is used anywhere to create a new financial account. This way, you can immediately take action to shut down the accounts before your credit score is affected.
Staying Safe Online
Even if you know how to avoid phishing scams and you know to avoid accessing financial accounts over public Wi-Fi networks, you could still be vulnerable to hacking and identity theft. Just like you would want insurance on your car in case someone did something to it, you also want insurance on your personal data so that you can protect against identity fraud. Besides getting identity theft protection, you can also stay safe online by using better passwords to secure your devices and using security software.