While some refer to today as a day of recouping from the Super Bowl, it is more importantly known as, Safer Internet Day! Let’s look over some of the best tips for keeping your finances secure while online.
Never trust a link
Links can take you anywhere on the internet. Make sure the link comes from a legitimate source and that you know where it will take you before clicking. If you are unsure, call your financial institution or stop into a local branch before clicking it.
Use your own computer and internet
Computers and cell phones can save a ton of information without you being aware. It is always better to complete your online banking on your personal devices to ensure nobody else could gain access to your accounts after the fact.
It is also important to use your own Wi-Fi along with your own device. Hackers, fraudsters, and scammers are becoming more advanced each year. Therefore, airport, coffee shop, and restaurant Wi-Fi may not be as safe as you think and are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Most online banking platforms and apps offer a 2-factor authentication system. This system allows you to log in with your usual username/email and password combination and receive an email or text message to confirm your login attempt. You not only have a more secure login process but have the added benefit of being notified if anyone other than you was attempting to log in, allowing you to change your credentials immediately.
You can turn on 2-Factor Authentication in Credit Union ONE’s online banking. Log in to your account, go to additional services on the far-right of the menu, click Settings, the click Security. In Security, under Security Information, is the Two Factor Authentication section. Here you can turn the authentication on or off. Enabling will require Two-Factor Authentication for each login.
Create a strong password
Unfortunately, with advances in computing power, computers have become capable of generating large enough numbers of passwords to guess yours and unlock your account. With social media becoming larger than ever, we also leave digital footprints of names, pets, birthdates, and more, scattered all over the internet. This means it is easier than ever to guess passwords.
The chart below can help you determine if your password is long enough. Also make sure to avoid the use of words, phrases, numbers, or other information that might be accessible online.
Lock credit scores
Being proactive about your financial security online is important and locking your credit score allows you to do just that. All three major credit bureaus allow you to lock your credit score. This blocks new creditors from pulling your credit and gives your better control than a freeze.
Equifax and TransUnion allow you to lock your credit for free. There is a charge to do so with Experian but it is part of a program that gives you extra features such as credit monitoring. Contact your financial institution
If you are ever unsure about a check, link, text, or transaction, contact your financial institution directly. It is the safest and most secure way to handle the situation.