Font Adjust: A | A | A
How To Invest and Save Money
Britt Erica Tunick is an award winning financial journalist who has spent the past 17 years writing about virtually every aspect of finance.

The Importance of Proactively Ensuring Your Cybersecurity

The Importance of Proactively Ensuring Your Cybersecurity

By Britt Erica Tunick

As hackers become ever-more sophisticated and creative in the ways that they use to gain access to individuals’ finances and personal information, financial institutions and merchants are stepping up their games on the digital security front. But when it comes to protecting your personal information, it isn’t enough to assume that the steps others have taken in the area of cybersecurity are sufficient to do the job.

Following are a few steps you should take to safeguard your personal information:

  • Make sure to use unique and elaborate passwords for every account you have and make sure that friends and family members have their own passwords, as opposed to sharing yours. While using the same password for multiple sites may be more convenient and may seem harmless, the reality is that it makes it extremely easy for criminals to access everything from your credit card information to your email account and even information about your friends and family. Keeping track of multiple passwords for multiple devices can be easily done through a password manager, where such information can be safely stored. Just make sure to look into the ratings of whatever password manager you choose because, just as with everything else, the quality will vary.
  • Add two-factor authentication to any online account that allows it. Two-factor authentication provides an additional level of security by sending a message to your mobile number or email account to make sure that it is actually you logging into your account and not someone who may have gained access to your computer.
  • Be selective about who you link to on social media. While it may seem harmless to friend someone you may not know well on Facebook, the information that most people share on social media can be extremely telling about you. Posting seemingly harmless information on social media can make it easy for criminals to figure out everything from the answers to the security questions you have set up to safeguard access to your financial accounts, to the fact that you may be away on vacation and that your home is unoccupied and may be an easy target for burglary.
  • Never send sensitive personal information through emails unless that information is encrypted.
  • Take the time to educate children and elderly family members about the importance of safeguarding personal information and not sharing it with friends. It is equally important to explain to them some of the ways that criminals are commonly able to trick people into giving out such information, such as phishing attempts.