Personal privacy is a hot topic these days, but remember that your financial information is equally precious and needs to be protected. If you are concerned about keeping your finances secure, start with these tips.
First, use strong passwords online. Ideally, your passwords should use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Also, consider taking advantage of two-factor authentication. With this service enabled, a business might text you a code to enter each time you log in to a financial website. And of course, don’t keep your passwords written down near your computer where they are easy to find, and don’t use the same password across multiple websites.
Next, be wary of email messages that request your personal information. Scammers have become very sophisticated at creating fake emails that look authentic. Most legitimate business will never ask for your private information in an email. If you’re ever in doubt, contact the business directly — but look up their contact information on your own. Don’t ever use contact information provided in a dubious email.
Finally, monitor activity on your credit cards and bank accounts. This can be as simple as reviewing your monthly statements for suspicious activity. You can even set up email and text alerts for charges. And don’t forget to check your credit report for unusual activity. You can obtain a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year. Just visit annualcreditreport.com.
When it comes to keeping your financial information safe, be cautious, be proactive and be smart.
This information in the Financial Tips section is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.