The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Waiting For The PS4
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Restroom
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – New CEO
3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

3 Ways To Protect Your Financial Data

Cybersecurity

Recent retail foibles have us all a bit on edge about our personal data. High-profile security breaches at Target and on SnapChat remind us it can happen anywhere, to anyone. It leaves us marveling a bit (not in a good way) at how a simple transaction can cause a great deal of angst in the weeks after it.

I never go to Target,” one friend said at a post-holiday party to me. “But I did just before Christmas. Not even for gifts, but for shampoo. And I used my debit card.

“So now, I’m checking my statement every day, calling about the balance, hoping the bank is also keeping an eye out for me …”

Retailers and social-media administrators work hard to protect your data, and breaches like the ones Snapchat and Target recently experienced are nightmares for those entities. The problem is, hackers and scammers work just as hard to beat the system and get to your data.

There’s no such thing as “hacker proof,” it turns out.

Here’s what happened

1. Target

Hackers accessed data for as many as 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target locations in December, including encrypted data that contained personal identification numbers. Target claims the PIN data is not at risk, but cybercrime experts still warn against potential of risk.

Action: Target offers free credit monitoring for those who might have been affected by the breach. If you were affected, that’s not much help now, but at least you’re protected from another attack.

2. SnapChat

This photo-messaging app predicated on privacy – messages disappear after they’re seen – was breached with a “find friends” feature that revealed data for 4.6 million users. Although this breach had no financial implications, the compromise was of concern to many SnapChat customers.

Action: Site administrators issued a new version of the app that allowed users to opt out of the “find friends” feature.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself

Here are three things you can do today to help keep yourself a step ahead of the bad guys.

1. Register for free credit monitoring

Companies such as Credit Karma will protect against identity theft and unauthorized purchases. It monitors your credit nightly, and sends an email if anything unusual appears, including new accounts opened in your name. Credit Karma also safeguards against inaccurate credit reports.

Bonus: In the market for financial services? Credit Karma also offers consumer reviews for credit cards, mortgages and insurance purchases too.

2. Protect your data—physically and online

Your social security card should never live in your wallet. Also, your passwords and usernames shouldn’t be kept on a piece of paper, in your wallet, car or home. Never give out your social security number to anyone who calls you and claims they’re from your financial institution.

Banks, credit card providers, and utility companies will never do that. In the wake of the Target breach, companies like Verizon and Wells Fargo have even proactively notified their customers that they never solicit information via email or phone call.

Bonus: Multi-platform app LastPass manages and encrypts passwords across all your services.

3. Set up mobile alerts

Some financial institutions, such as Citizens Bank, offer mobile alerts of any account activity. These services will send you a message if your account balance dips below a specified amount, signal a check clearance, and even send your five most recent transactions on a schedule you set.

Most national banks and large credit card companies offer similar services, so take advantage of them.

Bonus: Consider changing your debit card’s PIN number on biannually or annually, or if you suspect your information was released in a breach like Target’s. Although PIN information is encrypted once you enter it on the keypad, it’s good peace of mind to actively change the first wall of defense from someone withdrawing money in your name from an ATM.

4. Protect your network

Keep your electronic data safe from prying eyes at home by securing your WiFi network. Many Internet providers include wireless routers with their service. Setting a protected network is easy, and worth the five minutes spent.

Data stored on the cloud is vulnerable to hackers. Massachusetts Institution of Technology researchers have developed protection against hacks to memory-access pattern analysis (the means by which computers store and access data) by broadcasting false information to remote server data requests.

Bonus: When you don’t have other people jumping on your wireless service, you could experience faster speeds. Lock up that wireless signal!

By Alexis Caffrey

Alexis is a freelance writer with a focus on technology, new media, and design . You can reach Alex via @AlexisCaffrey or alexiscaffrey.com.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Support

Recent

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift  Since the announcement of the Oculus Rift in 2012 gamers and game developers alike have been frenzied trying to both get their hands on the unit or build their own proprietary VR machine. The VR gold rush has since lead to the announcement of Project Morpheus from Sony and…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Due Diligence

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Due Diligence

By David Fletcher Please support our comics by sharing, licensing or visiting our cloud sponsors (Below). Your support goes a long way in allowing us to continue to produce our lighthearted comics each week.   About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information.…

Popular

Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips

Cloud Migration – 10 ‘Do it Right’ Tips Businesses continue to adopt the cloud at break neck speed. Inherent benefits like lower operational costs, no infrastructure overheads, and quick access to better technology make cloud a very attractive proposition for businesses, especially start-ups and SMEs. However moving from legacy to the cloud environment has its…

Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype

Cloud-Based VOIP – 4 Alternatives To Skype Skype is the most popular cloud-based VOIP service. Since being bought out by Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011 the company has grown to more than 300 million users and now accounts for 34% of all international calls. Some people don’t want to use Skype though. Reports of…

Cloud Computing and Social Networks

Cloud Computing and Social Networks

Pushing Innovation With Social Networks There was a time when storage space was a precious commodity. A few videos and photographs and the system would be gasping for breath in old PCs’ limited storage space. 10 Years ago, today’s top social networking sites would have broken down under the burden of the heavily visual traffic…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Sponsored Posts

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

The Timely Shift to Desktop as a Service There may be some colleagues lurking within any given workforce who remember what a C:\> prompt meant. Much like the ring from Middle Earth, it had the power to make things happen. Desktop computers at that time were large grey beasts, with their only wired connection being…

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising