Scroll Top

How to keep your money safe from fraud and cybersecurity threats

As with so many things, the way we interact with our money has changed into a mobile, digital experience. We think nothing of making transactions and payments at automated tellers, through our computers, and with our phones.

While it’s all wonderfully convenient for customers, this environment also offers thieves and fraudsters an opportunity to execute cybersecurity threats. To help make sure you don’t fall victim to a financial scam, it’s important to remember the basic rules for protecting your money in the digital world.

Start by securing your login information

One of the best things you can do to steer clear of cybercrime is keep the bad guys from barging right through the front door. Keep your accounts secure by using strong, safe passwords that you change three or four times a year. A strong password is at least 12 characters long and includes a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Never use personal information such as birthdays or family names in a password.

Second, boost your protection by setting up two-step verification (2SV) for your accounts, where a secondary code gets sent by text or e-mail with every login attempt.

Write your password down and keep it somewhere safe at home, but don’t store it on your cell. Most importantly, never give your password to anyone through e-mail or over the phone. Reputable financial institutions almost never ask their clients for personal login details, although you may be asked to enter numerical passwords through your phone.

Browse from a secure base

Avoid using public WiFi to access your financial accounts as these put you at risk of ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks. Secure WiFi networks or the cellular data option on your phone are best. If you absolutely have to use a public network, protect yourself by setting up a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, on whatever device you’re using to access your accounts.

Whether you’re shopping online or signing into your accounts at a financial institution, make sure the website is legit. Look for the padlock icon and ‘https’ on the far left of your browser’s address bar – it’s a sign that you’re visiting a secure, encrypted site. It’s also wise to run anti-virus software on your computer so you don’t get targeted by malware or ransomware.

Finally, don’t let your apps and operating system get out of date. Updates to apps and software often fix security flaws, meaning those using older versions are leaving back doors open for hackers to snoop around. Stay safe by downloading and installing the latest updates to your system and the apps you use for financial transactions.

Be aware of spoofing and phishing attempts

Sometimes, websites and e-mail messages are disguised to look legitimate, but they’re actually clever traps designed to get you to reveal personal information and details. Never click on links in e-mail messages from suspicious senders and be sure to carefully check spellings and web addresses for typos – they could be attempts to duplicate or resemble a familiar and trusted name.

Some phishing attempts try to panic us into action by claiming we have limited time to respond before losing access to something important. Don’t get sucked in – remember that this isn’t how most legitimate institutions and agencies treat their clients. If you’re unsure, the best policy is to verify things directly with the organization in question – give them a call and you’ll be able to sort fact from fiction.

Maintain a secure attitude when using social media

Social media networks are a great way to share certain things with friends, family, and the wider world. Personal information isn’t one of them. Talk to your family and set some ground rules around what you choose to share and be smart about posting photos or information that divulge any details hackers could use, such as address details or birth dates. For extra security, keep social media accounts private whenever possible.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.
Skip to content