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Money Matters: Become more cyber secure by following these tips

As our screen time ever increases, you can be sure cybercriminals and malicious activity also continue to grow. Your financial institution invests a lot of money, time and energy to be sure they’re keeping your financial livelihood safeguarded – but just as important is what we are doing on our own to protect ourselves from becoming cyber-event victims.

Be proactive and relentless in your efforts to protect your personal financial information. Here are a few tips to keep at the forefront.

1

Think before you click, always! Scams get more sophisticated by the nanosecond. Do not click on any link if you don’t feel 100 percent sure about it, especially attachments in email and text messages. When unsure, instead of clicking, go directly to the source. Package delivery notifications are a common trap. Even if you’re expected something, it’s safest always to go back to the source to confirm.

2

Choose strong passwords. Yes, we are all on password overload, but they are crucial to safety. Never share passwords and don’t store them on your devices. If you get hacked, everything is already unlocked for the bad guys. Robust passwords are the locks on the cyber doors and windows of your financial house.

3

Keep a handle on your financial correspondence. Review your account activity regularly and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. Also, make sure your financial institution has your correct contact information. It’s amazing how many times people get a new phone number and never tell their bank – and that is the number the bank calls when there is an issue with your account.

4

Use your own device – and secure it. Avoid public computers or devices when accessing your financial information. Public computers can contain software that capture passwords and PINs. Further, be sure to secure your device by installing updates as they become available.

5

Enable multi-factor authentication, a key control to significantly reduce the likelihood of a cybercriminal taking over a customer account. MFA uses two or more different types of identifiers to let you log into your account, such as a password plus a code sent by text message or a physical identifier, such as fingerprint, voice or facial recognition.

If you ever think your personal information has been stolen or compromised, take immediate action. First, notify the firm or affected account as soon as possible. Then, change passwords on the breached account and any other account that has the same login. You can also put a fraud alert on your file with each of the credit bureaus.

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