Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly more common and the scale of these attacks can range from the largest corporations to one single person.
As we continue to move towards digital currencies and online banking, the fear of these malicious attacks can be paralyzing. However, it is possible to safeguard yourself from cyberattacks and prevent your money from being stolen or accounts being misused.
To help you get a better understanding of cyberattacks, let’s go over common ways cybercriminals steal your money, and seven simple tips to keep it protected.
Common Ways by Which Cybercriminals Steal Your Money
The easiest way hackers can access our bank accounts is through the personally identifiable information (PII) that we may unknowingly share with them.
If extra precautions are not taken, here are some of the ways your money can be stolen.
Collecting your personal data
Cybercriminals can do this by requesting your login credentials through email, social media, or even over the phone. They also create fake websites or apps that resemble your bank’s to trick you into entering your banking information.
You may receive emails or messages with malicious links that lead to the hacker’s website when you click on them.
Such websites are designed to extract personal data from your phone or computer that allows the hacker to access your bank account.
Malware or ransomware attacks
Such attacks are designed by hackers to gain access to all the data stored in your system. This malicious software can sneak into your system through files or attachments you may download.
Your system is especially vulnerable to them if you do not have anti-virus or anti-malware systems installed.
Cybercriminals often create fake websites that resemble your bank’s to trick you into entering your banking information.
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7 Simple Tips to Keep Your Money and Personal Information Protected
Even though it may seem a bit overwhelming, there are a number of ways to safeguard yourself and your finances from cyberattacks.
To protect yourself from cybercriminals, here are some simple tips to follow:
1. Two-factor authentication (2FA)
Enable the 2FA feature on your smartphones and other devices, wherever possible. You can also turn this feature on for all the websites and applications you use on your devices, especially those you use for banking and financial transactions.
2. Placing fraud alerts on credit accounts
Set up email, text, or push notifications for receiving alerts of all transactions conducted on your accounts. If you are notified of a transaction that you didn’t conduct, you can instantly notify your bank of the activity. Plus, the sooner you take action the faster your bank can sort things out.
3. Safeguarding all IoT-enabled devices
IoT-enabled devices are all the “smart” devices you use that are always connected to the internet. They can include your smartphones, computers or laptops, tablets, televisions, and even Wi-Fi enabled lights or other electronics.
You must set strong passwords on all the devices and your Wi-Fi connection to make it difficult for hackers to access your systems. Additionally, avoid storing any sensitive and personally identifiable information on these devices as much as possible.
4. Installing anti-virus or anti-malware software
Ensure that you install anti-virus or anti-malware software on laptops and computers, and also your smartphones. Check them often to ensure they are always up-to-date.
It also helps to set up the firewall system that comes with your operating system, in addition to installing anti-virus or anti-malware software. Run the virus or malware scans each time you access your computer or laptop to ensure no malicious activity is detected.
5. Monitor your transactions
It’s a good idea to check your bank statements regularly to detect any odd transactions or any activity you don’t recognize. Even if you haven’t made any transactions, you should still check your statement. It will allow you to spot fraudulent activity quickly.
6. Use unique login credentials
Never use the same username and password combination for multiple accounts. Also, ensure that your passwords are difficult to guess. Avoid using continuous numbers such as 12345, birth dates, or a string of 0s in your passwords.
7. Only use trusted websites and applications
Look on the back of your bank statement to find the website your bank uses. You can bookmark this website and only log into that to make transactions. For apps, you can look for the “verified” badge in the Play Store or App store and avoid downloading apps without the badge or those with poor ratings and negative comments.
It may be overwhelming to hear news of cyberattacks but remember that it’s possible to safeguard yourself from such incidents.
Taking appropriate precautions while using digital banking services can protect you from most types of cyberattacks. You can follow the simple tips given above to mitigate the risk of financial fraud on your accounts.
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Photo by Clint Patterson
About the writer
Director of Creative Strategy
Greg is Quotacy’s Director of Creative Strategy. He has an eclectic past from working on movie scripts to creating ad campaigns for major brands. His love of creative solutions drove him to strategy, and he now uses his powers to help families protect their loved ones. Outside of work, Greg spends his time off the grid hunting, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, and walking his dogs.