Ways To Protect Your Online Financial Security

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

For most Australians today, using a computer or device with internet access as a regular part of your everyday financial transactions is a normal part of life. Whether you choose to pay a bill online, transfer money from one account to another using your banking app, or book tickets to events using your credit card, financial security is an important issue and one you can take steps to protect.

In 2016, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers indicated that cyber crime was the “2nd most reported economic crime, affecting 32% of organisations.” And the worrying reality of that statistic was that a large percentage of victims of financial crime are not even aware it is happening.

To help keep your sensitive financial information more secure, try these practical tips for better financial security online:

1. Always check the link before you click it

Rather than automatically clicking on links, taking a moment to hover your cursor over the link, you can see if the site you are about to go to looks legitimate. For example, if you were expecting a link to take you to your favourite news source, such as abc.net.au and hovering the cursor reveals an entirely different domain address, don’t click through.

Hyperlinking is an extremely common way to launch phishing attacks, so when dealing with embedded URLs, double-checking before you click is strongly recommended.

An unknown link may send you to a malicious site that can unleash malware on your system – putting it at risk.

Using a free online tool, such as Redirect Detective allows you to have a complete view of the path of the redirected link – helping you determine its credibility and security before you visit it.

Another ways to check suspicious links is via VirusTotal.

2. Only use secure websites for all financial transactions

Without the right protection, cyber criminals could access your hard-earned savings.To see if you are using a secure website, try the following:

  1. Find the “Lock” icon on the left of the web address. This lets you know you are visiting an encrypted/verified website.
  1. Check if the domain name starts with “https://”. The “s” stems from “secure socket layer” and lets you know you are connected to a website where sent and received data is encrypted.

3. Create strong passwords for all your accounts

By combining upper and lowercase characters, as well as adding numerics and other symbols, you create passwords less easy to hack. Having different passwords for different accounts will limit any hacking attempts, if you are hacked. Consider changing passwords every 30 days to update security on an ongoing basis. Sure, it might make your time online that little bit more complicated but it’s worth it if it stops breaches to your online financial security. Don’t reply to unknown emails.

4. Ignore Unsolicited Emails Asking for Private Information

Never reply to emails that promise an unexpected reward or gift. It’s a typical phishing tactic that usually requires you to send sensitive credit card or banking information and once they have your personal data, you are at risk of being hacked.

5. Only use official banking apps

The convenience of using mobile apps for your bank is enticing but to make sure you are using the right app, access it via their official website or contact your bank for instructions. Adding a security code onto your mobile phone is another way to protect your data from being accessed.

6. Use a reliable anti-virus program

Using trusted anti-virus protection on your system is a no-brainer. Choose one that includes real-time scanning and an automatic update, as well as a firewall that keeps an active eye on things and guards against questionable activity.

7. Install a dedicated solution against financial malware

By asking advice from a tech expert, you can Install a security solution that will protect your system from financial malware and phishing. A small investment in your online security can ensure your financial security is safely looked after.

If you need help choosing a loan product to help boost your financial security for the future, talk to our team of lending experts at Loans Actually.

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