4 Simple Ways to Secure Your Finances
Although your accounts themselves are incredibly secure, bad actors usually target the weakest point: you. By targeting account holders who haven’t secured their accounts properly, scammers have a much easier time stealing your hard-earned money and sensitive information.
In today's world, where personal information and financial transactions are conducted online, every aspect of your digital life requires protection. Shield your sensitive data from cybercriminals by implementing the following four essential strategies:
Your first line of defense against digital threats is a complex password. Avoid the common pitfalls of using easily guessable passwords like "123456" or "password” or any variations of common words. Instead, create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts. A strong password typically includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Many sites and accounts now have requirements to help ensure your password is long and complex enough to deter brute-force attacks. Still, you should always adhere to these recommendations, even when a complex password isn’t required.
If you’re wondering how you can keep track of this multitude of complex passwords there is a solution – a password manager. Password managers generate and store passwords, making it effortless to maintain strong and unique credentials for each account. Instead of paying an additional fee for a password manager, consider signing up for our Signature Banking account. Our Signature Banking account comes with Pioneer Perks, which includes a password manager in addition to Identity Theft protection.
Even the most formidable passwords can sometimes be compromised. To add an extra layer of security, enable multifactor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. MFA requires you to provide two or more pieces of information to access your accounts.
Popular MFA methods include receiving a one-time code via SMS, using a mobile app like Google Authenticator, or utilizing biometric verification like fingerprint or facial recognition. When MFA is enabled, even if a cybercriminal manages to obtain your password, they can’t access your account without the second authentication factor.
Phishing is a common tactic employed by cybercriminals to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details. These fraudulent attempts often come in the form of seemingly legitimate emails, messages, or websites.
To protect yourself from falling victim to phishing scams, be vigilant and scrutinize incoming communications. Look for telltale signs of phishing, such as misspelled URLs, unsolicited requests for personal information, or suspicious attachments.
Phishing attacks are also incredibly common to use to access bank accounts, as those are the most lucrative hacks. That’s why we have a Scam Alerts Fraud Center to keep you apprised of the latest scams. If something feels off, don't click on links or download attachments. Instead, independently verify the sender's legitimacy and report any suspicious activity to us, especially if you believe you have been compromised.
Software updates may seem like a nuisance, but they play a crucial role in keeping your digital life secure. Developers release updates to patch vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. By keeping your operating system, applications, and antivirus software up to date, you minimize your exposure to potential security threats.
Many software programs have an option for automatic updates, which ensures you're always running the latest, most secure version. Make it a habit to enable these automatic updates or regularly check for updates manually.
In conclusion, safeguarding your online accounts is a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. By using strong passwords, implementing multifactor authentication, recognizing and reporting phishing attempts, and staying up to date with software updates, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. Remember, while your bank may employ robust security measures, your own proactive efforts are essential in protecting your hard-earned money and personal information from cybercriminals.
Pioneer Customers: As always, if you experience suspicious activity on your personal or business banking accounts, please contact our Customer Care Team at 518.730.3000.