It’s splashed across the news: Hackers tried to steal $951 million from Bangladesh’s Central Bank. They weren’t fully successful; they only made out with $81 million, but still. The whole thing probably has a lot of people wondering, ‘Can anyone with a computer and an internet connection just steal my money straight out of my bank account?’ It almost makes you wistful for old-fashioned bank robberies.
Here, a few tips and tricks to protect your money from hackers, because in 2018, they might the biggest risk to your money.
1. You’ve heard it before, and we’ll repeat it: Use different log-ins
We know, it’s just so easy to use your mom’s maiden name for all your passwords. Here’s the thing, nothing puts your accounts at risk quite like doing this. At the very least, make sure you are using unique passwords for your most sensitive information, particularly to guard your bank accounts online.
Need some extra help keeping track of all of your passwords? Apps like LastPass are great for keeping your passwords organized and secure.
2. Sign-up for two-step authentication whenever its offered
This additional security step requires you authenticate yourself a second time after you’ve entered your password (usually via your smartphone or another device). It’s a little bit annoying but extremely effective. Now, not everyone offers this, but a lot of companies do, and it’s to your benefit to take advantage of it.
3. If a link or email looks at all suspicious, don’t open it
This is a piece of advice that everyone knows, and yet, somehow doesn’t always get followed. Occasionally you’ll get an email, or get prompted for information on a website, and something just seems iffy. Repeat after me: Just walk away. Chances are your intuition is right. Look for the little padlock on the top of your browser next to the URL to see if the website that is prompting is legit or not.
4. Get in the habit of checking your accounts daily
The best way to stop fraud or a hack on your account is by checking your accounts religiously. Every day you brush your teeth, you make your bed, and now, add into the mix that you check all of your accounts.
5. Turn paper statements on
In a paperless world, this seems like an odd tip, but stay with us here: If something happens to your account, if suddenly your records disappear, by keeping your paper statements turned on, you are still going to have a record. You might just end up needing that record.
6. Don’t access your financial accounts from just anywhere
Pay close attention to where you are logging into your bank or inputting your card information from. If you are doing this from an unsecured device or an unprotected Wi-Fi network, just stop. Never use public Wi-Fi that isn’t password protected, and don’t sign onto Wi-Fi networks that you aren’t sure are secure.
Looking for some resources to protect your money? Here are a few more:
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