10 online and mobile security tips
As more people bank and shop online, proper internet security is more important than ever. Safeguarding your information can be as simple as consistently reviewing your bank accounts and reporting any suspicious activity. But there are a number of other things you can do to stay safer online. Here are ten tips to help protect you and your money.
Use strong passwords
A strong password (one that is not easily guessed by a human or computer) will have eight or more characters, including letters, numbers and symbols. Make sure to use different user IDs and passwords for your financial accounts and for any other sites you use online. Check out our best tips for creating a strong password.
Be mindful of the numbers you use
Don’t use any part of your Social Security number (or any other sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or birthdays) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN). If someone gains access to this information, it may be among the first things used to try to get into your account.
Look out for strange emails
Don’t respond to emails that claim to be from your bank (or any other company) requesting your account details. No bank is ever likely to approach you this way to ask for personal information.
Beware email attachments
It’s never a good idea to click on email attachments or free software from unknown sources. You could end up exposing your computer (and the information on it) to online fraud and theft. Keep in mind that links you receive in emails or in messages on social networking sites can be harmful or fraudulent, even if they appear to come from friends.
Watch how much you share online
The more you post about yourself on social networking sites, the easier it might be for someone to use that information to access your accounts, steal your identity and more. Maximizing your privacy settings on social networking sites can also help protect your personal information.
Be careful about what (and where) you click
Look for security-enables website addresses that start with “https” (the extra “s” indicates security). These sites take extra measures to help secure your information. This is particularly important if you’re making purchases using your credit card. If you receive requests for personal information while surfing the web, or calls for immediate action, these are almost always scams. If you suspect a link might give you a virus or steal personal data, don’t click on it. If the link was sent to you, talk to the sender directly to verify where it came from.
Secure your smartphone
Many mobile devices give you the option of locking your screen, which helps keep data stored on them secure. Depending on your phone, this can come in the form of a passcode, a pattern you draw on your phone’s touch screen or even your fingerprint.
Don’t keep sensitive information on your phone
Sensitive information includes your bank account numbers, identification information, passwords and other personal details such as answers to your security questions. If you bank via mobile app, don’t worry. Banks won’t expose your account information or passwords.
Think before you download apps
Keep your technology up to date
Make sure to update your computer’s operating system, your internet browser and the software on your mobile devices. Updates generally include the latest security patches. Be sure to also use antivirus and anti-spyware software: These programs help find and remove malicious programs from your computer.
By following these online and mobile security tips, you can help protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. If you suspect information related to your bank account has been compromised, contact your bank immediately for assistance addressing the issue.