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.

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some…

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud Infographic: Most Used Cloud Apps

Cloud app and analytics company, Netskope released its quarterly Cloud Report. The new report reveals that enterprise employees are using an average of 397 different cloud apps (most of which are unsanctioned), when IT estimated they have 40-50 — that’s a tenfold underestimation. Below is an infographic provided courtesy of the group at Netskope which goes into further detail.…

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Are Cloud Servers The Right Choice For Your Business?

Cloud servers offer power, flexibility, reliability, and client friendly hosting for small and medium businesses that have outgrown shared hosting. New business hosting clients are bombarded with an incredible diversity of different choices for their site’s hosting. It can be a challenge to negotiate the range of platforms and the marketing hype that many hosting…

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Cloud Infographic – Big Data Survey: What Are The Trends?

Jaspersoft Big Data Survey Shows Rise in Commitment to Projects and Decline in Confusion Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft Community Members Participate in Second Jaspersoft Big Data Survey San Francisco, February 4, 2014 – Jaspersoft, the Intelligence Inside applications and business processes, today shared results from its Big Data Survey. Nearly 1,600 Jaspersoft community members responded to…

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…


CloudTweaks Writers & Contributors

Featured Sponsors

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Mobile Collaboration In The Cloud Imagine that you, as a manager, are told by the powers that be that you have to find “efficiencies” within your department that will result in one million dollars of savings annually. You struggle with this. You send an email to everyone on your senior team. “Where can we save…

2015 Advertising Opportunities - Find Out More!

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100

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.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter