In today’s world, the most valuable resource is no longer oil but data. With data being so important, cyberattacks are quite happening in different forms like ransomware, data breach, identity theft, malware, online scams, etc. Recently there seem to be whooping data breaches exposing millions of data records, account details, emails, sensitive data which have heightened the importance of data security.
Organizations have started prioritizing security and implementing the best approach and services to protect data but still securing data is each and everyone’s responsibility. In order to protect your financial information, follow the below-mentioned approach to reduce the risk of data theft.
1. Apply strong passwords
Generally, hackers attempt to crack the password to steal the data. So, it’s necessary to strengthen your password and update it periodically to create a strong defence. Passwords can be strengthened by certain factors like increasing the number of characters to at least 12, using a combination of alphabets, numbers and special characters. Passphrase as a password is also highly recommended to protect your financial data.
To avoid identity theft, passwords must be updated periodically, and you must not set any default passwords like date of birth, name or use the same password for multiple accounts.
2. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Securing your financial data need more than one level of authentication. Since most of the cyber attackers attempt to crack the password which is the common authentication process. Multi-factor authentication also known as two-factor authentication must be implemented to reduce the risk of data breaches. Basically, Multi-factor authentication has more than two authentication process to verify the user’s identity.
The first one is usually the password and the next process is entering the OTP, a unique security code received on your mobile or email. Implementing Multi-factor authentication helps in protecting your financial details by enhancing security.
3. Protect your printed Financial Information
Everyone has financial documents either in print or as a digitalized copy. Since the digitalized copy is always password protected, it is highly recommended to get rid of the printed financial documents. Those documents might be anything from utility bills, sales receipts, ATM receipts, cheques to credit card statements.
Cyber attackers are always lurking to steal the account number, username, passwords. By shredding these documents, you can easily prevent identity theft. Also, shred the online shopping order which includes your bank details or billing information.
4. Use Secure portals
The secure portal is a necessity when comes to online banking or while sharing your financial details. When most people still share financial information or documents through email, hackers easily break into your email account and steal the data.
So, accessing through a secure gateway is a must to protect your personal and financial data. For any type of portal, installing an SSL certificate from SSL2BUY is the basic procedure to secure access between the user and client communication. Moreover, you should check the website whether the site has a secure padlock, HTTPS in the address bar or not. If the site starts with HTTP instead of HTTPS, you should leave such site as it is an insecure website.
5. Periodically monitor your accounts
The percentage of identity fraud is increasing day by day and it is best to secure your personal and financial records. To protect your data, monitor all your financial accounts every week. Since, open networks are easy for cyber attackers to monitor your online activity, avoid using public unsecured Wi-Fi at Cafe, airport or library while transferring personal or financial information.
Furthermore, regularly change your password every three months and pick a strong password for your financial account which is a mix of alphanumeric and special characters.
6. Protect against Phishing
Beware of Impersonators trying to get your personal information through email or phone. These internet scammers try to steal your identity by sending certain links to your email, which might be a phishing attack that in turn gives access to all the sensitive information.
Generally, phishing emails redirect you to a malicious website to steal your data and it’s always better to contact the financial institution directly to verify the suspicious emails.
7. Update your software and operating systems
Ensure your system is up to date by regularly downloading the appropriate security updates and patches for your system. Also, turn on the automatic updates for your operating system. Outdated systems are vulnerable, and Hackers tend to exploit that vulnerability exposing the sensitive data of the user.
Updating your software and the operating system usually fixes the issues from the previous version. So, regular updates prevent malware and security exploits.
Identity theft has been the most happening thing around the IT space in recent times. So, safeguard your financial information by applying the above-mentioned protective measures to prevent cyber-attack.