With the rise of technology, the risk of fraud and cybercrime has increased dramatically in the financial domain. The OctaFX security experts give essential tips on keeping your finances secure, both online and offline.
In today’s world, both online and offline transactions are becoming increasingly digitalised. With the rise of technology, paying for your dinner at a fancy restaurant, ordering gifts for your loved ones online, and even investing have become more convenient. However, it has also increased the risk of fraud and cybercrime. The OctaFX security experts present six essential tips for keeping your finances safe.
Use strong passwords and 2FA
Strong passwords are a must when it comes to financial security. Create strong, non-obvious passwords using combinations of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, be sure to create different passwords for all your important accounts. Otherwise, if hackers get to know your main password, all your accounts will become vulnerable. Biometric logins, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, can be another useful way to secure your financial information.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your financial accounts by requiring additional verification beyond your password. If you want to put another wall in the hackers’ way, consider using physical 2FA, which involves a physical device such as a USB key or a smart card that generates a one-time code for authentication purposes.
Protect your financial information
There are several rules that you can follow to protect your financial information both online and offline:
- Do not share your bank card details with anyone.
- Avoid writing down your card PIN and other personal information anywhere. Make sure to keep documents that contain your card details in a safe place where strangers cannot access them. If it’s an online document, you can use additional encryption to protect it from unauthorised access.
- While convenient, saving your sensitive personal and banking information in browsers or with online marketplaces is risky, so try to avoid it.
- Keep all your devices, software, browsers, and financial apps updated. Newer versions usually contain important security features and patches that keep hackers from exploiting their vulnerabilities.
Monitor your financial accounts and statements
It is crucial to monitor your financial accounts and bank statements to identify any suspicious activity. Do it at least once a month to identify fraudulent transactions early and prevent losses. There is usually a specific time period for disputing unauthorised purchases.
Nowadays, most banks let you access your statements through an app or using your bank account online. You can save printed receipts to reconcile them with the statement for increased accuracy during the review.
Be careful when making transactions
Don’t share financial data or make transactions on websites you do not trust. It is also essential to review the site’s URL before entering any sensitive information. Sites with ‘http’ in their address are generally less secure than those with ‘https’. Moreover, there are sites with URLs that almost precisely copy the addresses of well-known and trusted retailers or banks. The site would look very similar to the original one. However, hackers will use it to steal your login credentials, bank card information, or even money if you try to pay using their fraudulent payment options.
When you have to use an ATM, make sure it is in a secure location, preferably a bank office. Fraudsters use skimming devices placed on ATMs and other card readers that capture the card data when you swipe or insert it into them. Avoid any payment devices that look suspicious or have any signs of tampering.
Keep a separate email for your finances
It is easier to organise and manage your finances using a separate email address. This reduces the likelihood of hackers gaining access to your financial accounts and sensitive information since this email will be linked to many fewer sites that can potentially be compromised.
Keeping a separate email for your banking and investment activities will also help you to track your transactions, spot any unusual activity faster and easier, and fulfil your financial obligations.
Avoid phishing scams
Phishing scams often involve fake emails or calls from a bank, a broker, or a payment system. Their goal is to steal your personal information, such as bank card details or login credentials. If you have any doubts, contact the official customer support service of the organisation the scammers are posing as.
Avoid downloading attachments and following links that you receive from suspicious email addresses. Those may infect your device with malware that can encrypt your data or harm your system and other computers in the network.
There are several ways that our finances can be affected by others. However, those who harm them most are usually ourselves. While the tips above will help you keep your funds safe from fraudsters, quality financial education will aid you in managing and multiplying them. Start with creating a personal budget to cut excessive spending and gain control over your finances. Investing might be the next step you want to take to increase your capital.
OctaFX is an international broker that has been providing online trading services worldwide since 2011. It offers commission-free access to financial markets and a variety of services already utilised by clients from 180 countries with more than 21 million trading accounts. Free educational webinars, articles, and analytical tools they provide help clients reach their investment goals.
The company is involved in a comprehensive network of charitable and humanitarian initiatives, including the improvement of educational infrastructure and short-notice relief projects supporting local communities.
OctaFX has also won more than 60 awards since its foundation, including the ‘Best Online Broker Global 2022’ award from World Business Outlook and the ‘Best Global Broker Asia 2022’ award from International Business Magazine.