Online banking is practically the new norm for most people when dealing with their finances, and with that comes convenience and efficiency. Banks will all but force you to have an online banking account, and most bill payments can be easily made online now too, with the last companies now starting to catch up.
However, all of this comes at a price in that your financial data is at a greater risk if you don’t take the proper precautions. Identity theft is widespread and relatively easy compared to other crimes. It is for this reason you should take the time to secure yourself and protect your data. Your personal data is important to you, but your financial data is your livelihood; you should treat it with the utmost caution and care.
Here are a few tips that will help you best figure out how to treat your financial data:
Take the Best Security Measures
When setting up any account involving your financial information, even if it just using a credit card, make sure you use every security option available to you. These things are here to protect you, but if you don’t use them, there is only so much the websites you are using can help you, if they even know there is criminal activity going on.
You will want to make your passwords as secure as possible, and try not to give out your username too much either. Take a look at any verification procedures and see how you can use them to your advantage. Make sure that your security questions are not things that people can find out online about you or from casually asking an acquaintance of yours. A lot of identity theft and theft of financial data is done by people you know.
In addition, you may want to deactivate any autocomplete procedures your browser uses while you are on banking sites. It might be a hassle, but it is worth it compared to the plague that a cybercriminal brings on you.
Be Protected if Making Transactions in Public
I will preface this by saying that it is almost always better to do your financial transactions (whether banking or shopping) when you are at home. You are better able to focus on the task at hand and notice anything suspicious going on. That being said, sometimes you have to do something right away or take care of things while you are travelling. In such circumstances, you want to make sure you have some form of protection because otherwise, on a public network, hackers can very easily intercept your personal and financial information.
You are going to want a Virtual Private Network, which is a service that will connect your computer to an offsite secure server over an encrypted connection. With this encrypted connection, no one will be able to see any data you send or receive, and this includes your vital financial data. For those who value their privacy, it is the best option. For a particularly good VPN to keep your financial data safe, you should check out this review of ExpressVPN to see if it’s the right fit for your financial data.
Protect Your Email Addresses
Just as important as any other financial accounts you may have, your main email address is the heart of your online life and especially your online financial life. If a hacker manages to get at your email account, then that means they potentially have access to any other major online account you have, including the ones with the most sensitive financial information.
You want to make sure that you are using any protection available and strong passwords with your email. You will want to change those passwords every couple of months, and you shouldn’t tell even the people closest to you what those passwords are. People can turn on you, and you don’t want someone to take their anger out on you by attacking your bank account.
Another thing you might want to consider is to have a separate email account that you use when you are dealing with financial and shopping account and another that you have when you are dealing with forums and social accounts. That way you can keep your financial email relatively secret while still having a way people can contact you online. Most email accounts are free, and you can always combine the inboxes when checking your email to eliminate any hassle.
Thank you for reading, and I hope that you are able to do whatever online banking or shopping that you need safely.