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Protecting Your Finances from Cybercrime

Staying informed about cyber security is the first step toward protecting your finances online.Staying informed about cyber security is the first step toward protecting your finances online.

Cybercrime can take many forms ranging from computer hacking to fraud to identity theft and more. Between the years 2001 and 2014, total cybercrime complaints in America increased by more than 2 million, and these numbers continue to rise. Part of protecting your financial well-being is staying vigilant against potential online attacks to your accounts or identity.

The following tips can help you understand more about cybercrime and how to prevent common incidents from happening to you.

Protect Your Passwords

security key

One of the most basic rules of internet safety is protecting your passwords. Passwords are one of the most important lines of defense against cyber criminals, so ensure that you are working to keep them as safe as possible.

Try not to use the same password for every account, as that practice may make you more vulnerable to attack. Also, try using a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and special characters, if possible, to create passwords that are difficult to crack.

You may have anywhere between five to fifty passwords for various accounts online, so if you have trouble remembering each individual code, try keeping them safe in a secure password manager for easy access.

Email: Proceed with caution

Envelope icon. Email design

One of the most common places hackers try and get victims’ information is their email. To an unsuspecting recipient, gaining access to a bank account or personal information can be as easy for a hacker as hitting the send button.

To protect yourself from email phishing, make sure to never click on any suspicious links or open any unknown attachments. It’s important to remember that skilled hackers can send emails that look exactly like they came from your bank or credit card company, so be sure to double check the authenticity of any sender before clicking on anything within the email.

Think Before You Connect

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Some hackers can gain access to victims’ computers through unsecure Wi-Fi connections. Think twice before connecting to a stranger’s Wi-Fi network, especially one that does not require a passcode to access.

When using a public establishment’s Wi-Fi connection, check with the manager of the coffee shop or restaurant to receive the password and confirmation that their connection is secure before logging on.

Buyers Beware

mobile commerce concept  Flat design

Finally, making online purchases may be more convenient than leaving the house to go shopping, but it can also make you vulnerable to cyber attackers. Before entering your credit card information online, make sure that the website you are visiting begins with https. This signifies that the webpage is secure.

If you are still unsure of your personal information’s safety, don’t hesitate to give the website’s contact a call. Reputable sellers will normally list a customer service phone number you can call, along with a physical address.

Protecting yourself from cybercrime can be simple as long as you take the proper steps to make your information secure. Keep your finances safe from hackers by staying informed and alert about potential digital threats.

Sources:

“Online Shopping” (n.d.) StaySafeOnline.org. Retrived from: https://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/protect-your-personal-information/online-shopping

Lee, J. (2014, May 22). “6 ways to keep your passwords safe” USA Today. Retrieved from: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/05/22/password-protection-cybersecurity-ebay/9432075/

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