Purchasing something online? Don't hit “send” yet!
Check the website and verify if there are enough cybersecurity measures to keep your personal privacy and money safe. Money security isn't something to take lightly, after all. In 2018 alone, people lost a total of $45 billion due to cyber attacks.
Want to know how to keep your money secure and how to protect your identity online? Check out these 10 crucial tips below:
In This Post:
1. Use Encryption
Some people like to go Incognito on their browsers when conducting any sort of financial transaction online. Unfortunately, this isn't as safe as people assume. Your service provider, employer, and hackers can still see your activity.
Instead, use a VPN tool to fully encrypt any information you send and receive, including credit card details when shopping online. VPNs mask your IP address too, ensuring hackers can never break into your device and steal data from there directly.
2. Stick to Your Device
Don't expose your credit card details, social security number, or other private data by using public devices. If possible, stick to your device, particularly your phone, laptop, and desktop computer. Don't use a library computer or a display phone at a store to purchase or pay something.
You'll never know what kind of security measures public devices utilize. Hackers might have already installed malware and other means of spying without the library or store managers noticing. At least with your device, you'll always be fully aware of the safety measures in place.
3. Avoid Public WiFi
It's not simply about avoiding public devices but also public WiFi. There's always the risk of hackers accessing information riding on public WiFi, intercepting the information for their gain. Public WiFi is rarely encrypted meaning hackers will see exactly what you're sending the moment they access it.
Do you have to use public WiFi? Is there no other choice and you have to complete a financial transaction then and there? Go back to our first tip above for cases like this: use a VPN.
4. Check Website Security
Take a moment to look at the address bar of your browser. Ever noticed how there's often a padlock symbol next to the URL? That represents higher-security for the standard Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which refers to the communication between the website and the browser.
Avoid websites that don't feature a padlock. If you can't find one, check if the URL has HTTPS instead of HTTP. If it's the latter, the site doesn't feature modern security measures and conducting any sort of financial transaction is too risky.
It's so important that even Google prioritizes sites with HTTPS standards.
5. SSN and PIN Codes
As a general rule of thumb, never input your social security number or PIN codes on any website. If they have to ask for your social security number, there's something fishy going on. Do a little digging and check reviews for previous instances of scams or illegal activity before moving forward.
Yes, shopping sites like Amazon will ask for your credit card information but they will never ask for your social security number or ATM PIN codes.
Does inputting your credit card details sound risky? Don't worry, there are ways to guarantee only you can use your card even for online transactions.
6. Install Anti-Malware
Activate your firewall and install the best anti-malware you can afford.
Stick with paid software because the money they earn helps the developers keep their anti-malware products updated. Updating is the most important aspect because it ensures your anti-malware can handle all the latest viruses and malware hackers rely on to steal data.
7. Use Multi-Step Security
If you want better personal privacy to keep your money safe, activate two-step verification whenever you need to log into your bank account on a phone or when you use your card.
How does this work?
Say for example you want to use your card to buy something on an online shop. Before the shop can process the transaction, you'll have to verify you're the one using the card. This verification might involve inputting a code texted to you or by using biometric methods, such as your fingerprint.
Most verification steps are OTP services, which stands for One-Time-Password. You can only use them once and they'll expire after a few minutes. This guarantees hackers can't use the code after you've used it, preventing the likelihood of them using your card.
8. Better Password Habits
You'll need a PIN code or password to log into your bank app on your phone. You'll need passwords for your credit card, ATM card, your Amazon account, and any other shopping account. One of the best methods to keep your cash safe is to make sure people can't guess your passwords.
Avoid the most common passwords. Don't use passwords like 12345678, qwerty, password1, or passwords that use your name or birthdate.
You should master the art of crafting difficult passwords if you plan to follow a cyber security career path.
9. Track Your Credit Report
Never forget that despite all these online and digital safety measures, you should still value the old-fashioned method of monitoring your credit report. You can request a report from the same companies that compute your credit score.
Make sure to do this at least once every quarter. Double-check every expense and guarantee there's nothing you didn't spend on.
10. When Suspicious, Don't Click
Got an email stating you won a million dollars or that you qualify for a free car? Don't click on it, especially if you know you didn't sign up for any contest or subscription of the sort.
These are phishing scams. Hackers send emails like this en masse to fool people to click and unintentionally install viruses in their computers.
Instead, block these emails and let your email service provider know you received spam or hazardous messages. Gmail can then identify future phishing messages and filter them out for you.
Maintain Personal Privacy to Keep Your Money Safe!
Update your personal privacy measures and keep your money safe! It's not too difficult once you turn the tips in this list into regular habits.
Of course, protecting your finances and your home from cyberattacks doesn't end here. We've got more tips and tricks to show you so feel free to continue learning by reading more of our guides today!