Economic Opportunity

Financial Safety Online

by Guest Author, Laird Green (Abacus Planning Group) on Aug 3, 2018

For WREN’s First Financial Friday in August, we sat down with Laird Greene of Abacus Planning Group to discuss financial safety online. If you missed it, or you need a recap, you can watch the full discussion here:

We are LIVE with Laird Greene of Abacus Planning Group, discussing financial safety online. Comment with a 🔒 emoji if you’re watching! #FirstFinancialFriday

Posted by Women's Rights and Empowerment Network- WREN on Friday, August 3, 2018


And here’s Laird’s recap with some important tips:

We continue to hear about major retailers and governments having large data breaches. What can be done to improve your financial safety online?

1. Monitor your account and credit card statements for unusual activity.

Review your transactions regularly to identify any purchases for which you are not responsible.

2. Use bank and credit card notifications.

Monitor notifications from your bank and credit cards to alert you of any unusual activity in one of your accounts.

3. Find the website yourself or use a bookmark.

These days everyone receives a large amount of email daily. Many of these emails may be phony emails trying to gain access to your computer or financial information. If you receive an email from a financial institution, instead of clicking on the link in the email, visit that institution’s website.

4. Make sure your web browsing is secure.

When accessing your financial information or making a purchase on the web, be sure to look for https in the web address bar. The “s” means that the link between the browser you are using and the server is secure and encrypted.

5. Use a company’s mobile app when possible.

If you need to access your financial data while on your mobile device, be sure to use an app from your financial institution. These apps have more security than the mobile web browser. Mobile apps are implementing high-level security features such as biometric authentication where you can use your face, thumb print, or voice to access your account information.

6. Keep your antivirus and regular software up to date.

Keep the software and applications you use current by installing their most recent versions. Programs are constantly improving security and adding fixes for known threats. Set your applications to update automatically.

7. Use strong, unique passwords and change them frequently.

Most sites now require you to use a password that contains both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Consider using a password manager which will generate complex unique passwords for you when you set up a new account. Password managers will check for any duplicate passwords. The most popular password managers include LastPass, 1Password, RoboForm, and DashLane.

8. Use two-factor authentication.

This method uses both a password and some other piece of information – a code from a text message or from an app that randomly generates the code. More financial websites are using two factor authentication. Your password manager should also have an option for two factor authentication.

9. Think to the future.

If something happens to you, how will your loved ones gain access to your information? Using a password manager service can help. Then you only have one username and password to maintain and communicate with your fiduciary. Some services also give you the option to name an emergency access contact who can request access to your account in the event of your incapacity or death. Therefore, the need to store usernames and passwords on paper disappears.

10. Most importantly, use common sense!

Be cautious to whom you provide personal and financial data online. Always log out of websites
when you’re done. Do not use the same password for every website you access.

« Back to Blog