The Internet made our life so much easier, especially when it comes to financial transactions. By using your bank app, you can, for example, transfer money to someone else without going to the bank. On the other hand, you might also be subject to cybercrime and have fraudulent transactions made with your account, or even lose all your money. Here are five effective ways to protect yourself against these infractions:
1) Be Careful With What You Share on Social Media
Be mindful of what you share on social media. For instance, you should not share the details of your next vacation, your personal address, your precise location, geotagged images, images of credit cards or even your bank statements. The reason why is that some criminals can use these to commit fraud or steal your money.
2) Enable Security Alerts
Most social media networks, email accounts, and even bank apps have certain security features that enable the user to know if there is a suspicious activity on your account. For instance, someone trying to access it from another device or from a completely different location. You might get a notification on your phone, receive an SMS or even an email if something like this happens. For that reason, it is important to keep it active so that you decrease the chances of cybertheft happening to you.
3) Create Strong Passwords
Certainly, a password with your name and birthday is easy to remember, but that might also be easy to crack. Stay away from common words as well. Therefore, if you want to keep your information safe, you should create a password that is at least 12 characters long, has numbers, symbols, capital cases, and lower-case letters. When creating or changing a password, most websites give you a good guide as to what is expected and will not let you proceed until they believe it’s a secure password. Remember to change your password every few months. You can also enable the two-factor authentication to increase your data safety even more.
4) Don’t Open Suspicious Emails
This tip might seem obvious, but cybercriminals are getting much smarter each day. They often send emails asking for information, or maybe they might require you to download a file with malware or even enter a fake website that looks very real. However, there are some signs you can look for to tell if an email is authentic, like checking the email address. If the domain (name after the @ sign) is not used by the organization that’s contacting you, it’s a fake email made to defraud you. You can also check if there are spelling mistakes, weird requests like your PIN or credit card number, among other things. If you’re suspicious, just delete it.
5) Install Antivirus Software
There are many antivirus softwares you can download that will scan your computer files and browser to see if there is a potential threat before they hack your device. The most well known ones are AVG, McAfee, and Norton, and they come with free basic versions, which means you don’t necessarily have to pay for protection. Keep in mind that you should always keep the software updated as criminals often find ways to exploit loopholes. Updating the software allows these loopholes to be patched.