Banking in the modern day means using technology. Everything from how you pay your bills to your phone’s mobile wallet are automated systems with access to your routing and account numbers, plus other important financial information.
This means that there's a greater threat of being at risk of fraud, but that shouldn’t scare you.
With safety measures in place and the ability to monitor your accounts 24/7, you can stop any attempted defrauding before it even begins. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way by being careless. As long as you are vigilant when using your money online, you greatly increase your chances of protecting yourself from fraudsters.
Here are some tips on how you can stay safe while banking online.
Secure Your Devices:
Viruses and Malware
- Unsafe websites will try to install malware onto your devices, such as ransomware which will shut your device down until you pay the hackers’ demands. Make sure you have an antivirus software installed on your computer that can scan your devices for signs of malware, as well as remove them. Don’t download files from sources with questionable credibility.
Unprotected Wireless Networks
- Unprotected wireless networks have no encryption or password protection. That means the free Wi-Fi you can get at a Starbucks or McDonalds, the Wi-Fi you can just log onto without any sort of password, is available to anyone and unencyrpted. Because of this lack of security, an unsecured network is very easy for hackers to intercept transmissions and access your information. If you have important documents on your computer or phone, especially financial information, avoid logging on to unprotected networks and putting yourself at risk.
Secure Your Information:
- One of the most common mistakes people make with their passwords is to use the same password for all of their accounts. This provides easy access to hackers because if they manage to get access to one of your online accounts, they could have access to all of them. Use a different password for all your accounts if you can, but, at the very least, use different passwords for accounts with access to your finances. Make sure your passwords are long, uncommonly
used words or phrases and have a mixture of numbers, symbols, and letters. Updating your passwords frequently, but not too frequently that you’ll forget them, will also increase your account’s safety. It’s recommended to change your passwords at least twice per year. It’s also a good idea to use multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Scam artists and fraudsters try to get access to your information by phishing, a process of trying to appear legitimate, such as through emails claiming to be from your work, credit union, or the IRS. It’s a way to trick you into giving them your information. Look out for the red flags of phishing by reading this article on the sure giveaways that something isn’t legitimate.
If you feel your cards or accounts have been comprised, immediately call Florida Credit Union at 1-800-284-1144, and make sure to visit our eFraud Prevention page. Our partners at eFraud provide Florida Credit Union members with their library of content on how to avoid fraudsters and scam artists so you can keep your information safe.
Florida Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. Founded in 1954 as the Alachua County Teachers’ Credit Union, FCU now services over 100,000 members in 45 counties throughout North and Central Florida. For more information on the services we provide, visit FLCU.org or call us at 1-800-284-1144.