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Hackers Are Stealing Millions From Banks. Here’s How To Protect Your Money.

Leah Bourne
May 7, 2018
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, and we might earn a commission if you click on one. We are letting you know because, as our grandmother taught us, an honest penny is better than a stolen dollar. Now, back to filling up your piggy banks.

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:

Digit: The savings app uses 128-bit encryption to protect your data, along with firewalls and other precautions to protect your identity and date.

Blooom: The 401k management tool uses 256-bit encryption, and is constantly scanning for hackers with 24/7 hacker virus scans.

Image: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

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