Most of us would do anything to protect the items we carry in our wallet. Our identification, cash, important cards, and anything else that may be at risk while we are out and about are considered our most valuable assets. So why is it that we miss opportunities to protect these items in other places – like when we are online?
It’s almost impossible to function without the internet these days, both at home and at work – and that means the potential threat is there for someone to take your most valuable information and use it for their own purposes. How can you prevent this from happening?
Here are six important tips for keeping your information protected online and preventing fraud:
- Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi – It’s fairly common to see free Wi-Fi advertised as you take a quick lunch at the local sandwich shop. However, this open internet access is also the ideal place for someone to steal your information like passwords and log-on credentials. If possible, avoid using open Wi-Fi access, or if you do, avoid typing in passwords.
- Your Password Matters – Coming up with a password you can remember often involves stating the obvious, like a pet name or a place you enjoy visiting. However, in today’s cyber world, these types of passwords are easily stolen, and then you may find yourself wondering how your personal information was taken. Choosing passwords that aren’t as obvious and including symbols and unique characters will help to deter potential fraudsters.
- Read The Address Bar – Did you know that some sites are more secure than others? If you aren’t certain whether you should enter your personal information on a site you’ve visited, check the address bar for “https.” Sites that only use “http” may not be as secure, and therefore your information may be open for the taking.
- Email Awareness Is Key – We’ve all gotten them– a warning email from a company we use routinely to make purchases saying that we need to update our password or verify our information by clicking on a link. Before you hit the button and start typing away, you might want to double check their credentials. Look for spelling and grammatical errors in the body of the email, as well as the “Sender Address” at the top of the email. If it doesn’t look legitimate, then it probably isn’t. If in doubt, contact the company via information you know to be accurate (not the information in the email) and ask them if the email actually came from them.
- Privacy Means Everything – If you are an avid user of social media platforms, you may not know that your personal information is at risk here, too. Having strident privacy settings will help keep your information from prying eyes. If you aren’t sure of the last time you changed your password information or privacy controls on your social media accounts, taking a few minutes to do this may give you the security boost you need.
- Inform & Educate – Another key to protecting yourself and your loved ones is by passing along any new information about how to remain safe online. Especially for people 65 and older, navigating the fast-moving cyber world can be fraught with difficulties. Make sure your parents, your children, and your friends know how to protect themselves.
At BlueRock Wealth Management, your online security is important to us, and we are here to help when you need to make sure your financial information is safe. Contact us today if you have questions about your accounts or if you have received any suspicious correspondence.