Tips to Protect Your Financial Data Online

Tips to Protect Your Financial Dat

The Internet undoubtedly makes life much easier. However, there are often some issues with digital technology that cannot be ignored especially when it involves your financial data. With news of millions of accounts hacked, protecting your financial data online at the same time enjoying all the perks of digital transactions becomes paramount. Here are some simple and easy to follow tips that will help you stay safe from financial data theft.

  1. Check your mailbox regularly: Remove mail promptly and place a vacation hold if you’re going to be away for a while especially when it comes to your emails from the bank.
  1. Pre-treat your garbage: Shared any documents with sensitive data or burn them if possible. Use a disk wiping utility program to delete any sensitive data before discarding or selling your computer and wipe out info before getting rid of a smartphone or tablet.
  1. Watch what’s in your wallet or purse: Don’t carry your PAN Card and other financial documents around unless you absolutely must.
  1. Check for Secure Websites: While making the online transaction, check that it is a secure site. A website address that starts with “https” instead of just “http” and has a key or closed padlock in the status bar (which appears in the lower right-hand corner of your screen) is usually a secured website.
  1. Spot & Prevent Phishing: Phishing is a technique used by cyber thieves to access sensitive information by pretending to be a safe site. When logging into any account, make sure that you’re not being asked for any information that you usually wouldn’t be required to provide to log in.
  1. Secure your Primary Network: Secure any wireless network that you use either at home or work. Hackers access any information from an unsecured network. Your wireless router documentation should have the instructions to lock your router and encrypt your information. It won’t affect the way you use your wireless network but will keep you safe from intruders.
  1. Maintain Computer Security: Personal firewalls and security software packages (with anti-virus, anti-spam, and spyware detection features) help secure your computer especially for online financial transactions.
  • Install up-to-date security software, including security patches.
  • Security software should be configured for automatic updates.
  • Security software should always be turned on.
  1. Delete Spam email: Delete spam or junk email and add spam-filter if possible. These messages often have phishers or contain Trojan horses (viruses) that hackers use to access your information. 
  1. Don’t Store Sensitive Information on Non-Secure Websites: Avoid storing sensitive financial data in non-secure websites.
  1. Set Banking Alerts: Bank and financial institutions offer email and SMS alerts for any transaction or action in your account. Setting alerts for your accounts help you find out any unauthorized access as soon as possible.
  1. Use Different Passwords: It’s a really good practice to use a different password for every account you access online. This way, if someone does find out your password for one account, they won’t also be able to access your other accounts.
  1. Use Optional Security Questions: Set up optional security questions to log into your accounts. Many financial institutions ask security questions that a third party wouldn’t know, but you can often set up multiple optional questions that can increase the security of your account. Remember to use questions that don’t have answers available by public record. For example, choose questions such as “What was the name of your first pet?” instead of “What is your mother’s maiden name?” 
  1. Avoid Using Private Information on Public Computers: If you must access private account at the library or cyber café, log out completely from your accounts, and do not opt to save login information (like your username or password) on these computers.

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