This October is cyber security month. Keeping your information safe online whether completing banking transactions, shopping, or just checking your emails is extremely important. Scammers are constantly finding new and sneaky ways to coax your personal information out of you. We have compiled a few important tips on how to safeguard yourself online against phishing scams and cyber criminals.
Watch out for links and attachments
Cybercriminals are sneaky and will often compose their phishing scams to look like legitimate communications from your bank or another corporate entity. Certain things like spelling errors or a different email address than the typical sender can be a clue that the email or text message is fraudulent.
Create strong passwords
When creating a password, think beyond words or numbers that a cybercriminal could easily figure out, like your birthday. Choose combinations of lower and upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s better to create a unique password instead of using the same password across multiple sites.
Don't Open Any Suspicious Emails
Emails that ask for your personal information are called phishing emails. These emails try to trick you into divulging your bank and credit card information. The emails may look like they come from a legitimate source, but the person on the other end of that message is almost always a hacker.
Just remember that your bank will never ask you for personal information through email or text message. If you ever receive an email or text from your "financial institution" that seems a bit too nosey, make sure to report it to your bank.
Use free/public Wi-Fi with caution
A little online shopping never hurt anyone…or did it? Most free public Wi-Fi networks have very few security measures in place, which means others using the same network could easily access your activity. You should wait until you’re at home or on a secure, password-protected network before whipping out that credit card.
Don't overshare on social media
We all have that one friend who posts too many intimate details of their life online. Not only can this be annoying, but it can also put your personal information at risk. Check your privacy settings so you are aware of who’s seeing your posts, and be cautious when posting your location, hometown, birthday, or other personal details.
Keep an Eye on Your Bank Statements
You should be diligent about taking a close look at all your monthly bank statements. Your bank might not catch all fraudulent activity on your card and fail to alert you. By combing through your statements, you can scan for any strange transactions. If you do happen to find any, you should contact your bank as soon as possible and freeze your card.