Ways to keep your finances secure on the internet in retirement
Criminals are getting smarter by the minute, and it can be difficult to stay ahead of them when it comes to keeping your money secure. As the online world continues to evolve, criminals find new ways to obtain your personal information and access your identity and compromise your financial security. It’s important to stay up to date with new technology to keep yourself protected. Here are a few tips you can use to secure your finances in cyberspace as you head into retirement.
Secure your passwords
Are you using the same password for everything you log into? That’s not a good idea, because if that password is compromised and sold, a person with bad intentions then can access multiple accounts at once. Create passwords that are unique to each log in or website, and if you have the option to select two factor authentication, use it. When you use two factor authentication, you’ll be prompted to enter a code sent to you via another source (your phone, text, or an app) which provides another layer of security. Think you might have trouble remembering all of those unique passwords?
Use a password manager
Password managers are designed so that you only need to remember one password (for the password manager), which then provides you access to the password vault, where all of the other unique passwords for each website and log in are stored. A password manager can even design unique, difficult to hack passwords for you so that you don’t have to come up with it on your own.
There are several credit monitoring services available for purchase, and it’s worth comparing them to see which is the right fit for you. Credit monitoring systems monitor your credit and notify you whenever an inquiry is made into your credit, so that you are aware if something unusual is happening and you can then investigate and put a stop to it before it starts. They’re usually a nominal fee.
Visit secure sites
When you’re visiting websites, make sure you’re visiting securely – check that you’ve typed the address correctly, as phishing schemes may run off of incorrect URLS. It’s also a good idea to check the front of the URL or website address to ensure that the site is using https instead of http, which means that the site is secured.
Be careful with personal information
Don’t enter your personal information on website when you’re using a public computer, if you can avoid it. If you’re engaging with social media, be wary of posting personal information or filling out forms, polls or games that capture your personal information unless you trust the source. If you’re using an unsecured public wi-fi, hold off on checking your personal accounts such as your bank account until you’re on a secure and protected network.
Keep an eye on your bank account and credit cards at a cadence that makes sense for you – daily, weekly, etc. Not only will you have an idea of it something looks off, but it’s a good way to keep a pulse on your finances. You also need to be aware when checking your email. Emails with strange subject lines might be phishing emails. Don’t click on links if you’re not sure what they are or who sent them. Shred your physical documents that contain personal information and delete any emails that you no longer need to keep your inbox clean.
Keep your software up to date, both on your computer and your phone, so that you have the latest updates and protection. Install antivirus software on any devices that you own to protect you from cyber-attacks. When using your browser, clear your cache and cookies regularly to keep your personal data cleared.
If your personal data has been compromised, contact your banks and credit agencies and put a freeze on your credit while you deal with the issue.