There are so many of us who keep our financial accounts organized online. Create a username, password, and boom-you can view, edit, and organize your money with the click of a button. But, is it really that simple? How do we know our money is safe- that no one else will be able to control our financial lives?
Did you know in 2008, an estimated $1 trillion was stolen through enterprise systems worldwide from hackers? Or, in 10 minutes, a lowercase password can easily be hacked. And, within the past five years, 27 million Americans have had their identities stolen through online account attacks. (Stop the Hacker)
Scary, right? It is no secret hackers are out there, but if we are not careful, they can take more than just our passwords. So, how do we steer clear of these cyber bandits? Below are simple precaution methods to protect yourself online
- Change your passwords on a regular basis-Not only should you update your passwords every couple of months, but you should be very picky when it comes to creating them. Research proves passwords with upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, have less of a chance to be cracked.
- Fight the malicious viruses-Avoid viruses such as Malware or Social Engineering by being cautious of what you click on. Once attacked, the hacker has gained access to your accounts and can easily step in.
- Never share a password-It is easy to give a friend or family member your password if you trust them, but try to avoid this. Just because you trust them, doesn’t mean that they don’t make mistakes.
- Check your balance frequently- Check your bank account balance frequently to make sure there aren’t any suspicious transactions that have occurred. If you do see a transaction that you did not make, contact your bank as soon as possible to get it straightened out.
- Be cautious of the websites you use transactions on-Before purchasing an item online, be sure the website you are purchasing from is valid. Do a little research first before putting in your credit card number.
- Always log off-After you are finished with your online banking, always log off from your account. Although most online banking automatically logs off after a specific amount of inactivity, it is always safe to log off in case someone else gets on your computer right after yo