Web banking and online shopping have made our lives so much easier but they have also introduced new risks for our financial data. With many financial transactions now taking place in the digital world, it is important to remember how to keep your valuable banking details safe from hackers who are out to get you.
Get Informed and Get Protected
Online fraud and cybercrime targeting consumers is on the rise across the globe. The FBI reports that in 2017 alone, cybercrime victims suffered financial damages that surpassed $1.4 billion. Identity theft caused almost $67 million in losses, credit card fraud another $57 million, while personal data breach incurred more than $77 million. Non-payment or non-delivery took the lead at over $141 million – and claimed more than 84,000 victims in 2017, almost triple the number of personal data breach victims, who amounted to roughly 31,000. Phishing and its variants took the third spot at victim count with over 25,000 people scammed.
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The statistics are devastating and just go to show that even though we have become much more tech-savvy when it comes to online transactions, we do not only know how to properly protect our digital accounts. As more and more of our financial activity migrates online, it is crucial to understand how we can better keep our money safe from hackers. The key is to put in the effort to educate ourselves – that way we can spot our vulnerabilities much easier and react quicker. Spend some time to get an overview of the websites and online accounts that hold your financial information like your banking data – and then take steps to safeguard it. The first step is to put in place cybersecurity tools like an antivirus and a firewall, as well as encryption, which can help protect you when browsing the internet.
Know Who to Trust – and What to Avoid
Many hackers will try to steal your data by making you think they are a trusted source. When you are sharing financial data with a website, make sure that it is legitimate. Always shop from reliable sites like Amazon and other reputable online retailers. The same goes for other websites that are privy to your financial information, like airline accounts, cab companies or online casinos. As Real Money Casino Canada explains, you should always look into a casino’s ownership and license, their security measures and payment methods, as well as their reputation by reading reviews before sharing your payment details with them – tips which are equally useful for any website that asks you to input financial information.
It is equally important to be cautious with online links, whether they appear in emails or social media messages, urging you to visit a specific website – especially when these messages are unsolicited. Phishing is one of the main scamming techniques that allows hackers to get their hands on your personal data – and eventually, your wallet. Never send sensitive personal data over an email – and beware of “countdown offers” that try to get you to spend money before you have the chance to think it through. Whenever possible, avoid carrying out financial transactions on a public Wi-Fi, since your data might be more easily intercepted.
Taking steps to minimize the possibility of falling victim to online scams is no longer a luxury for consumers; it is a necessity, which becomes more and more urgent every day.