5 Tips to Help Investors Safeguard Their Online Data
June 10, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Making investments and other financial transactions online has never been easier. And in a lot of ways, moving money online is also safer than it has always been, as companies and financial institutions are investing heavily in creating secure systems for consumers.
However, no amount of cybersecurity can protect against human error, which is why individual investors need to know the basics of how they can keep their online data and various accounts secure. Here are some tips that can help you achieve that goal.
1 - Check if your passwords are safe
One good place to start when taking a more hands-on approach to your online security is by checking if your passwords are publicly available. Websites like haveibeenpwned.com compile information from publicly available data leaks into one searchable database, so you can check if the password for any of your email accounts is publicly available.
If the answer is yes, then it's time to stop using that password and change it on all of your accounts. It is also a good idea to start using a password manager to ensure that if one of your accounts ever gets compromised, hackers won't be able to use that same password to access other accounts.
2 - Enable two-factor authentication
While a password manager will go a long way towards making your passwords more secure, that isn't enough. Malicious software can still steal your password by keeping logs of everything you type or everything you copy and paste. The best way to ensure that a compromised password won't compromise an account is to enable two-factor authentication on that account.
Does your bank already send you a text message or email with a code whenever you try to access it from a new device? That's two-factor authentication at work, and while most serious financial institutions are implementing this as a default these days, some investment and banking apps still have the option disabled by default. You can fix the issue by turning that option on in the app or website's security settings.
3 - Avoid oversharing
Hacking someone's account is often like putting together a puzzle. And the more relevant information about you is available online, the easier that puzzle is to put together. Don't complain about your bank online, share information about your investment position, or recommend that people use the same accounting firm you do.
That's all information that someone can use to contact one of those institutions pretending to be you. Or to contact you while pretending to work for one of those institutions. They may contact you to ask for information or even to try and convince you to invest in a scam.
So, when discussing financial topics in public online, keep it non-specific. And make sure you're talking to a licensed professional before making any investments online. This won't guarantee you that they are telling the truth, but at least it ensures that you can hold them accountable with the help of an investment fraud lawyer afterward, as this website shows.
4 - Mind information requests
As mentioned, it's a common move for hackers to impersonate authority figures and even people you know to ask for seemingly innocent bits of information about you or your organization. Make sure you triple-check to make sure you know who you're talking to when answering messages via email or on social media. Spotting fake accounts is often as easy as double-checking their usernames or email addresses.
5 - Mind what you install
Apps and browser extensions often have access to a lot more information than you realize. Make sure you only install apps and extensions that come from trusted sources. And once you're done using a piece of software, uninstall it. It's better to have to install it again in a month than to have something on your device that is potentially logging all sorts of sensitive information.
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