Keeping finances safe is of the utmost importance. Gone are the days when money was only accessible by going to a bank in person and filling in forms to withdraw whatever you needed.
Even ATMs are losing their charm because cash is no longer considered king in many places and for many people. This means that a lot of individuals are using digital methods to move money around, and online banking is hugely popular.
Although there are many advantages to this, including the fact that it’s quicker and more convenient, there are issues when it comes to safety.
Online scams and hackers are becoming increasingly clever and sophisticated, meaning that you might accidentally give someone your personal banking details without even realising it.
This is why it’s so important to put measures in place to ensure your finances stay safe.
In that way, you’ll never have a shock when you log on to your banking app and find there’s lots of money missing, and you won’t fall victim to identity theft either.
Read on to find out what you can do to ensure nothing bad happens and that your finances, whether business or personal, are always safe.
One of the best things you can do (and the first thing you should do) when it comes to keeping your banking details safe is to create a strong password.
In other words, you need a password that’s hard for others to guess. It should contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even some special characters to make it really hard for any hacker to work out.
Never use personal information in your password like your date of birth, surname, or where you live, as this isn’t just easy to guess, but it can lead criminals to find out more about you than you would ever want them to know.
One good approach to creating strong passwords is to use a passphrase, which is a series of random letters and numbers that combines to make an unguessable random password.
If you do this, it will be hard for you to remember it, so try a password app so you don’t even have to think about it. Also, make sure every password you use is different because if a hacker did guess one, at least they won’t suddenly have access to everything.
Be Wary Of Public Wifi
Ideally, you shouldn’t use public wifi at all because it’s just not safe – if you try to access your bank account when you’re connected to public wifi, there could be many different people watching what you’re doing and then they can steal your money easily, right under your nose.
However, sometimes it’s necessary to use public wifi, especially if your phone signal is weak or you’re running out of data. What happens if you need to pay for something, check your account, or log into a store account where your financial data is stored?
This is why it’s crucial to have a VPN for public wifi. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it much harder for hackers to access your data. Set up your VPN beforehand and then activate it before you access any sensitive information while using a public wifi service, and this will be much more secure.
Regularly Monitor Your Accounts
It’s easy to assume all is well and not look at your accounts very often, if at all. Perhaps you don’t look because you’re worried about finances and don’t like to see what’s happening.
Perhaps you don’t look because you are able to keep a tally of what you’re spending in your head. No matter why you choose not to check your accounts, the fact is that this can be a bad idea when it comes to security.
When you check your account more regularly (ideally every day as part of your daily routine), you’ll instantly be able to see if there is a problem.
If you’re not going to remember to log in and check your accounts every day, see if you can set up alerts to tell you as soon as money leaves your account. In this way, if a transaction appears in an alert and you didn’t spend the money, you can contact your bank immediately and let them know.
The sooner you find out and do something about it, the less money someone is going to be able to take, and the sooner it will be returned to you.
Be Careful Of Phishing Attempts
Phishing is one of the most common ways that hackers use to steal sensitive information, including financial details, and they can use emails, messages on social media, texts, or even phone calls to trick you into giving away your login details, personal information, passwords, and PIN.
The problem is that over the years, these attempts have become much more real looking, and it can be hard to know whether to respond or not.
The best thing to do is to assume everything is a scam and take time to look into each attempt carefully.
Real banks won’t ever ask you to send them sensitive information, especially over text or email, for example, and if you’re in any doubt, call them yourself using the information you find on their real website (not whatever phone number you’ve been given in the potential scam email or text).