Protect your personal financial data with these tips
PHOENIX–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – With more and more online financial transactions, it is important for consumers to protect their personal data, especially as cybercrimes such as ransomware, phishing attempts and identity theft continue to increase.
“These risks aren’t new in our digital world, but far too many people still fail to protect themselves properly,” said Michael Sullivan, personal financial consultant at Take Charge America, a non-profit credit counseling and debt management agency. “Taking the necessary steps might seem like a headache right now, but becoming a victim of cybercrime can cause much bigger headaches in your financial life. ”
Sullivan shares six tips for consumers to protect their financial data:
- Keep personal data personal. Never give details like your social security number or other personal information to someone you don’t trust, especially if they call or email you to do so. Financial institutions will never ask you to verify this information in an insecure manner.
- Protect your devices. Make sure your device software is up to date with the latest security patches. You also want to purchase a subscription to security software from a vendor like Norton or McAfee, which will protect you from things like viruses and malware.
- Type your passwords. Protect your personal devices and data by using long, unique passwords, phrases or codes that are more difficult to guess or crack. And set up unique passwords for each of your accounts. A secure password manager can help you keep your various passwords straight.
- Configure two-factor authentication. In addition to stronger passwords, configure two-factor authentication (TFA), which requires you to enter not only a password, but also an additional code which is sent by email, SMS or through an app. authentication. TFA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
- Beware of public Wi-Fi. While convenient, public Wi-Fi connections can easily be compromised or tampered with. Never transact or log into financial accounts when using an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
- Monitor your credit regularly. Review your report at least twice a year for any suspicious or inaccurate information. You can get a free copy of your report each year at annualcreditreport.com. Another good option is to set up credit monitoring services through providers such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.
For more financial advice, visit Take Charge America’s Financial education center.
About Take Charge America, Inc.
Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a non-profit agency providing financial education and counseling services including credit counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling and bankruptcy advice. He has helped over 2 million consumers nationwide manage their personal finances and debt. To learn more, visit takechargeamerica.org or call (888) 822-9193.